i'm sure people ask this all the time, but how do you get jobs writing music for video projects (tv, documentaries, movies, etc.)? if anyone knows of ANYTHING, and i mean ANYTHING that would help - please let me know. or if anyone has a project that they would like music for let me know that too. i just feel like i'm still young so why not pursue the dream? either way, all comments will be appreciated.
You can probably get some practise by contacting some school that's educating people in that area. There are lots of director students making their graduation projects, which are often short movies etc. This won't probably give you money, but it's a good start to get things done and you get some merits to show to the next place you try to get to.
Go for it! This is actually what I'm currently doing too and I got to make music for one short movie which will be published as a DVD too.
When you one day apply for some real project, there's no more valuable merit as some previous similar project you've done (except maybe your dad as the project director ). This way they can immediately see, that you're a man who can finish his job.
Remember just to keep asking. And if you contact some school, it often isn't enough if you just leave your number to some secretary and wait for calls. A better way is to ask for some contact details of some students that might maybe need music for some current projects and directly contact them.
If you're looking to get your feet wet and you don't mind working for free/cheap, then student films are a good way to start. I went to a college with a very prominent film school and I got to know a lot of film students -- I composed for them whenever I got a chance. Most of their classmates were just ripping songs from rock and hip hop albums to use as film music, so they enjoyed being the only ones in their classes to have original music even on their small class projects projects. I have gotten a few professional jobs since then based on recommendations from former classmates.
Even a lot of high schools now have video production classes -- maybe call up a local high school and offer to compose for someone's final project.
A more oblique approach is to get to know theatre and dance communities -- college departments, community troupes, etc. Composing for theatre and dance are different than film in a lot of ways, but the underlying principles are the same. Either way you're getting experience writing music *for* something, in service of a story. So you're getting experience, you're getting your name out there (with all the dancers / actors / directors you work with and with any audience members who come to see), and you're building up a good collection of works. There's a lot of overlap in the performing arts, and one day one of your actors is going to be in a film and recommend your name to the director.
Another recommendation that I've heard but have never tried -- go to online forums where amateurs are creating mods of video games, and offer your services there. I'm not really sure where/how to begin on this front, but I'm sure someone in the 'game audio' section of this forum could point you in the right direction.
Also, try the Turner Classic Movies young composer competition. I don't have the link handy but it should be easy to track down. It's good experience and hey, who knows, you might just win.
Don't expect to make enough money to live on for a while... You'll need a plan B to get you through. Unless you have rich parents.
Michael Giacchino is an interesting example, but there was also some dumb luck along the way. Read up on his rise to the top. Its an interesting lesson.
Frequently (not always) collecting fees from even the major TV networks can be a drag taking as long as six months! Its not that they don't like musicians. Its just that they are huge lumbering bureaucracies; they take that long to pay ALL there bills. Its a difficult situation for any small company providing services to them. And they don't care, because they know that contractors are lining up to get a job from them.
If I may rant for a moment, this is why Unions were formed, because they would unintentionally and inadvertently treat many of their employees the same way if they weren't forced to sign a contract documenting the terms of proper consideration for one person to another.
OK off the pulpit. Go to the ASCAP website, maybe you can find some interesting articles on other composers. ASCAP expo is a valuable (though expensive) tool also.