How To Make Music For Film

how can i become a film composer?

Probably One of the most asked questions in the history of composition. And clearly, it is also one of the most difficult to answer. In this article I will discuss briefly my involvement in music composition and the path that led me to my first position as a commercial feature film composer. 

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Film makers with no money are usually more open to discussion. You’d be surprised at how artistically broad minded a zero budget can make a producer.

This won’t come as a surprise, but the most important advice I can give you is to start small and work your way up.  For example, my whistling is on the opening credits of children’s television show featuring puppet mice, a dog and a cat. It doesn’t get smaller than that.  The key is to be making music to a remit constantly and the more you do, the better you get. Also, your communication skills will develop and, to a certain extent,  this is equally as important as your creative/technical skills.

hey, i can do that, give us a job.

The pitch 

Pitching your services should be instinctive, like “Yeah, I’m making a new film.”  “Oh, really? Who’s doing the music?  Let me see the rushes.”  

The entertainment industry is littered with creative people bemoaning the hand they’ve been dealt.  Creatives of any discipline often feel that their creative genius should be all that’s needed to propel them into the big time. All the while there are less talented artists pinching all the plum jobs.


To an extent, this is true; provided you only allow for a very narrow band of talent assessment when judging them. 


Music composers are no different. I have to admit to having the same feeling myself many times – “I can do better than that, how did they get the job?”  


The answer is down to the skills that have little to do with notation, pianos or DAWs. If you cannot talk to people, if you are uncomfortable shouting out, approaching others and generally telling the world what you can do, no-one will know. Don’t expect those in a position to hire you to go looking for you the moment they need music.

online video producer

Watch the trailer for 7 Hours on Earth here.

Online advertising – how effective is it?

Online advertising – we discuss if it is the new TV

My introduction to online advertising video was back in 2008.  I was called in to create a video for a well known web site,  Pistonheads The idea was for 10 members to test drive the new Mini JCW by racing them around Brands Hatch, the famous race track in Kent,  The day was a great success, everybody was impressed by the cars handling and race quality and, of course, they said so to the camera.

Wow! Look at that!

I remember thinking to myself “hang on, Pistonheads viewers are all petrol heads with good expendable incomes who may well be in the market for a new toy should the opportunity arise. This is the most focused advertising I’ve ever witnessed.” Thus started my obsession with online advertising videos.online advertising in action - our advert for Powwownow

There is a fundamental difference between TV ads and their online equivalent. While TV ads are often created from market research data and placed on spots where the demography of the audience best suits the target market, you can never fully ignore the fact that TV ads are still more of a scatter gun approach. Channels often boast of tens of millions of viewers for certain peak show, but who are these millions? Take X-Factor, for instance.

Who’s watching?

Everyone from your great grandmother down to your 4 year old son will put aside the time to watch; what can you sell them?  Washing powder? Chocolate? A car? Only a very small percentage of those millions will have any interest in your product or service. Furthermore, they didn’t tune in to look for examples of your wares, they want to see the next emotional (highly believable) rollercoaster story unfold on stage.

One size fits all?

Scattergun? But look at Pistonheads! These ‘viewers’ are actively looking for cars to drool over, they have a reasonably high income and have been known to submit to impulse purchase urges from time to time. You can’t buy that kind of focused audience (well actually, you can but that’s another story).

The test

Take a look at your web site and imagine a TV advert right there on the home page.  It’s an easy test. Once you start looking for online advertising videos, you’ll find it becoming a habit.

Remember that Nostairway Creative give free consultations with absolutely no obligation, we’ll even buy you a coffee.

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Online Video Producer – a modern necessity

Online video producer – the need

Online video producer is an interesting role. The simplest way to determine if an online video producer is needed is to ask a different question – Do I have an online presence? If the answer is ‘yes’, then the answer is also ‘yes’ to the question of video.  It’s really that simple.  Therefore, there are now almost no circumstances where video will not enhance the message you intend your website to deliver. What used to be described as surfers are now more often called viewers, akin to TV viewers. And they behave like viewers; consumers who vote with their feet as soon as their discerning taste is compromised. online video producer When you initiate a web site, you are create a portal through which your key messages can be delivered. Nice, positive images, up-beat text extolling the virtues of your service or product. So, viewers will only read so much before they start to get restless. They need the info and they need it fast. That’s where an online video producer can help. Also, if a picture paints a thousand words, then how many words can a moving picture with commentary paint?

Putting it all together

The key job of the online video producer is to take all the key messages you wish to put out there and sublimate them into short, easily understood video. Script writing is an essential part of this – in the old days they called it ‘copy writing’ – as it is the bedrock of the video and everything else is built upon it.  An online video producer will have a good knowledge of scriptwriting and/or experience in interpreting good scripts.  Take a look at this example. One good rule to bare in mind is to use moderation when putting the information in.  A video is at its most effective when it appeals to the emotion rather than bombard the viewer with hard to remember data. What you’re really pushing is concept, the choice information will sit inside a broader message and, so, be much better taken in and retained. Stay tuned (sic) for the next episode where i’ll go a little deeper into the process. Here’s an example montage of some of our work.    
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