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Topic: What contact is best to find work?

  1. #1

    What contact is best to find work?

    I've got a meeting with a headhunter with a gigantic network. I'd like to know your ideas on who I should ask him to seek out. He doesn't have any contacts in the music world per se, but he is willing to go through his rollodex and make a contact with someone who might have a contact.

    Keep in mind, I want to talk to people that can introduce me to someone else that might be a match for my abilities (I know I'm not going to walk in to a TV show-I just need to break the surface)

    Who should I tell him I want to know? Here are some of my ideas.

    Anyone connected with TV shows; network execs, producers, soundtrack supervisors...

    Video Game developers...what kind of people make audio decisions.

    Ad agency people...what kind of people make audio decisions?

    Film studios...is there such a thing as an independent network? Is there a place for junior ghost writers?

    Who would you want to know at Associated Production Music in LA?

    What kind of a contact would you look for at a record company?

    Thanks in advance.

    I would just love general ideas but if anyone had time to be specific, here's my latest music...my web site
    You have to click the left side and then the word "Digit" on the music open page.

  2. #2

    Re: What contact is best to find work?

    Wow, it seems to me like you really want to bite off a big chunk: film, tv, ads, video games, recordings. IMHO, perhaps you should focus on one or two things first. Put all your energy there, and you might have quicker success. As to who to contact, all I know is that in film and tv, you could do worse than to try to make friends with writers, editors, directors and producers (usually accessible and with decision power in that order).

  3. #3

    Re: What contact is best to find work?

    The business is built on a large part upon relationships. There is nothing worse than having a talented composer and an ego to match which eventually sends red flags to those in a decision-making role of who composes what for which project (that's not directed at you rJames but in general). One red flag too many (actually one is enough if the music director is well connected) can essentially blacklist the composer from pro circles for years because everybody talks to everybody else in the business. It is a good thing to make good impressions, to stay humble, upbeat and positive, and to be seen as part of the solution to a project - not part of the problem.

    Composers in the business learn to work on a project much like an actor and take direction from those who know what they're looking for but may not necessarily understand the technology or how to score . Many composers get discouraged because what may be some of their best work could get denied - not because of the quality, but because it didn't fit in with the overall project vision. So a composer needs nerves of steel not to take rejection personally and to keep plugging away at it. Film and television is perhaps one of the biggest team sports in the industry and those who are perceived as talented team players that a director can work with seem to fare far better in it.

  4. #4

    Re: What contact is best to find work?

    Ned, I'm guessing that 90% (to 99.9%) won't have anything for me so I'm hoping to just get some contacts and start communicating.

    But maybe you're saying that I need to focus my portfolio on a particular type of music. I've been trying to figure out who I am musically for the last year. I don't know if other people can, but I cannot see myself clearly. I think I do one thing good and others say its some other aspect.

    I was hoping that making some real-world client type contacts might allow the chips to fall where they may.

    I'm also fairly sure that if I met 6 working composers, I'd hear 6 different ways to break into the business. But I don't know.

    I do know (through my graphics business) that one job can just lead to the next as long as I follow Chanandas good advice.

    (I've added the idea of writers, producers, directors to my list that I will present as types that I'd like to talk with.)

  5. #5

    Re: What contact is best to find work?

    To follow up on what Ned said, I read somewhere once that one of the big problems is that composers make friends with other composers!

    It's good to foster relationships with up and coming directors, producers etc.

    For TV and film you might start attending film festivals, plus film and tv schools - offer to score a student film for free.

    For gaming, go to the Game Devolepment Conference with a show reel and meet company directors, producers, audio directors, etc.

    Also, dont by shy to give your showreel to everyone that asks, sometimes the junior 3D artist at one company, becomes a partner in a start-up development company and remembers that you didnt fob him off when he was a nobody too!
    - SCA - Sound Studios -

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: What contact is best to find work?

    I wrote about this one time before. What brings work is work...successful projects that you've done that get people talking about you and recommending you.

    So, I'd concentrate most on finding some project to score. My real professional start was in theatre. Pretty much every job followed a single show where I got really great reviews. Then, a film director who is a great theatre patron asked me to do a TV series with her. She then had me do her next film. And once the ball was rolling, it just never stopped.

  7. #7

    Re: What contact is best to find work?

    My advice may not be worth much, but I'll share it anyway.

    2 Points that others have made are 2 of the most important:
    1) Music is built on relationships.
    2) One gig leads to another.

    The biggest point I'd like to add is a piece of advice a good mentor told me just after I moved to Nashville (he's a 61 year old producer who has been here for YEARS and knows the business well). He said if you want to make money, learn to create your own work.

    This piece of advice has served me well, because I quit thinking people needed to hire me, and started thinking "if I'm not working it's my fault". Within 6 months of that conversation I was busy with cheap, but small paying jobs and I have not been without work since. That was 3 years ago.

    I think success starts with your thinking - and this is a great place to start, because if you truly implement it and do not ever waiver, you cut out the "victim" option. Many people who fail to be successful see themselves as victims. But if you make it your responsibility to get out and create work, you realize you're only a victim to yourself.

    Then, you start building your relationships. In my case I just started with anyone I knew, and I begged them to let me do anything. I asked some people I knew who were songwriters if I could do free demos for them. Enventually those demos, as bad as they may have been, got me small paying jobs. Then, like Bruce said, one thing led to the next and I haven't been doing too many small demos anymore.

    I realize there's some differences in the film and production world, but networking is typically pretty similar, and I feel confident this approach would get your further than a head hunter looking to find you a secure job. If it were me looking for film work, I'd start by meeting some film students and becoming their friends. Tell them you want to try some music for some scenes, and see if they'll let you work with them. Then just network, network, network.

    A couple more pieces of advice: NEVER work for the price they pay you. Always work as though this is the biggest project of your life, and do you absolute best. If they're paying nothing, and you approach it that way, you'll give them crap and they'll never return OR recommend you. If you give them more than they ask for, they'll NEVER forget it.

    Last piece of advice: Mentors. You should always have a couple mentors that are older than you and more successful. They'll keep you humble. And you should always have a couple people that are not as good as you that you mentor - they'll give you confidence!! But don't forget to stay humble.

    Maybe that helps

  8. #8

    Thumbs up Re: What contact is best to find work?

    Go out for drinks with your headhunter in places where you can meet people that will work with you or hire you. Booze is the top lubricant for the wheels of industry.
    Houston Haynes - Titan Line Music

  9. #9

    Re: What contact is best to find work?

    Video Game developers...what kind of people make audio decisions.
    Depends alot from developer to developer, publisher to publisher. Some developers have their own composer and/or audio department, others dont, and let the publishers work out the music deal.

  10. #10

    Red face Re: What contact is best to find work?

    All of this is good advice -- except for the alcohol one.

    So, it was four years ago and I was out with a bunch of people in "the business" when we met another bunch of people in a hotel bar. In the course of conversation, one woman commented that she was a "cat person" and loved cats.

    I, having had a few (drinks, not cats), said "yeah -- but but what weirds me out are those crazy, 21-cat-having crazy almost-hermit-like women, who live in places that smell of cat pee and can only relate to cats."

    After a brief silence by all of her friends, and her failure to respond, I realized that she was, in fact, a crazy cat person. After the drinks, my client congratulated me on insulting the head of comedy programming for a MAJOR network.

    Needless to say, it wasn't until 5 years later (when she left that network) that our music was ever used on that network's comedy programming again.

    Apparently, other comments that don't seem to fly are "yeah, but being a pedophile hasn't slowed you down," or the ever-horrifying "when's your due date?" when, of course, the person is just garvity-impaired and not pregnant.

    Learn from my mistakes. Alcohol can be a problem.

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