It's great to be able to make a living writing music for TV, but sadly, most shows I work on are either so below the radar that no one will ever see them, or else they're so bad that I don't WANT anyone to see them. Not that I'm complaining, but it would be nice to have a GOOD answer when people ask what projects I'm working on.
So, the last couple years, I've been putting a lot of effort into trying to court new clients who are producing good primetime shows (I normally get mostly daytime and low level cable reality shows.) It's tough because you generally have to find someone you know who's working on some new show and get introduced to whoever will be hiring music. Or else you have to find some other angle in order to be taken seriously. This is absolutely a "who you know" business.
Anyway, I saw (on Production Weekly) the listing for a Showtime pilot that one of the producers was a friend of mine. Believe it or not, the fact that he's a friend rather than just an acquaintance actually made things more difficult. As a friend, he knew all about my history of Barbie commercials, Oprah, etc. That made getting him to take me seriously for his dark pilot about terrorists a tough sell.
So I madly starting writing tracks in the vein of where I thought this pilot would go and gave him a CD. Here's the funny part: my friend liked my tracks, but it was his PARTNER who was most impressed and became my fan and champion.
So I got a bunch of meetings and came close to getting the scoring gig, but I lost out on that to a guy named Paul Haslinger. I wouldn't have been considered at all except for they liked my CD so much, but even then, the fact that I had zero primetime drama credits is what lost me the gig.
But the theme was still up for grabs, and they liked two of my tracks for it. They got other submissions from a bunch of other people and after months of waiting, I was told they were down to four songs, two of which were mine. A few days later, I got a phone call from my friend at about 10:30pm on a weeknight that started, "You know I wouldn't be calling you this late unless it was something good . . . " I can't tell you how excited I was!
For the big name guys, this might be no big deal. But for me it's huge! Now I have a serious credit for my resume which I desperately needed. It's near impossible to get taken seriously for a prime time network drama when all your credits are kids' shows, daytime and reality.
I figure a lot of members here, as composers and aspiring composers, can relate, so I'm sharing my story.
Anyway, "Sleeper Cell" debuts this Sunday on Showtime at 10:00pm. The theme song does NOT play in the first episode because the visual opening titles (which debut in epiode 2 the following night) give away part of the plot of the first episode.
My theme plays in episode 2 onward. Episode 2 airs this coming Monday at 10:00pm, episode 3 on Tuesday and episode 4 on Wednesday. 5 through 8 do the same thing the next week. Here's the Showtime link:
One warning: the last few minutes of episode 1 are pretty disturbing. It will be obvious when "the bad part" is about to happen, so if you're like me, you may want to turn it off then. I can fill you in later so you won't really miss anything plotwise.