Goldfrapp scored Nowhere Boy (an indie UK film about John Lennon’s youth), and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeas scored Where the Wild Things Are. From the article:
Although there’s next to no money to be made in writing for film, and all along the line the musician’s vision is subordinate to that of directors, editors and producers, the chance to be a mere cog in a much larger machine seems to offer welcome relief from the essentially solipsistic nature of songwriting. All that autonomy, freedom of expression and relentless self-analysis can be burdensome.
Depends, I guess, on the kind of songwriter an artist chooses to be. You can be a storyteller who aims to entertain, in which case, film-scoring is kind of a natural complement.
The more personal your style, the more you have to break away from your habits to help tell the story of a film.
And there’s this:
There are no plans to release the Nowhere Boy score because, says Gregory, the music isn’t song-based. “I’m not sure how relevant it is without the film. It’s a lot of long, held notes and plinks on the piano.”
It’s a big challenge to stay out of the way of a scene and still be listenable away from the film. Sometimes it’s good to write the music away from the picture, and then go back arrange to fit the scenes.
Here’s some Goldfrapp: