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.
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.
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.