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Topic: Any composers of TV/Film here?

  1. #1

    Question Any composers of TV/Film here?

    Hi everyone,

    While I'm far from having the skills to do this job, a dream of mine is too write music for film, tv, or computer games. I'm still young though, and in many years I might be capable of it.

    I was wondering firstly if there is anyone else here who shares my dream, and secondly if there is anyone here who has actually achieved it?

    It doesn't have to be a blockbuster movie. It could be student films, anything. So has anyone done this?

    If so, whats it like? Have you any advice? How do you get yourself into these kind of jobs? I'd also love to hear the film/TV music that anyone has written.


  2. #2

    Re: Any composers of TV/Film here?

    I think almost everyone in this forum fall in one category or another. I myself would love to compose for games some day. But, my problem is I spend more time actually reading the forums, than composing.

    I don't know if there's enough job in my country, but I hope to compose for short films, indie films, amateur games... (even if I never make my job of it, just like my hobbie)

    I wish you luck with your dream!

  3. #3

    Re: Any composers of TV/Film here?

    Hi Dave,

    the answers are yes, yes and yes, and if you look at the threads that I have started you will find all of my story.

    All your strings belong to me!

  4. #4

    Re: Any composers of TV/Film here?

    I've written for movies. Only the movies don't know I've written for them. I go to YouTube and find a short video with lots of drama or action and write a soundtrack for it. Just for fun. That way it only takes 3 or 4 minutes worth of music to write a complete soundtrack. It's great fun and great practice.

    --gary shannon

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Ellendale, ND

    Re: Any composers of TV/Film here?

    To get your portfolio going, try contacting local advertising agencies that make commercials and corporate videos. I began with corporate videos because they are often theme or even plot motivated and allow for development of material. Often the same people that work with such productions have contacts and influence in the local indie market.

    Also, watch for local video and film festivals. Usually a few months before the entry deadline, directors will suddenly discover everything will go better with a music track. If you can work fast (and anyone that composes for film DOES work fast) this will open many possible doors for you.

    And finally, don't get discouraged. I submit 10 or 11 pieces a month, and I have far, far more rejections than acceptances.

  6. #6

    Re: Any composers of TV/Film here?

    I've done several indie films and two indie games. Only once or twice have I ever gotten paid, and then only a small amount.

  7. #7

    Re: Any composers of TV/Film here?

    Hi Dave,

    Don't underestimate music film libraries or companies like TAXI. You'll find many success stories going this route.

    Go for your dreams!!!

    Best, John
    Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

  8. #8

    Re: Any composers of TV/Film here?

    I have done some student films and small-scale indie films (local releases and some festivals, nothing you would have heard of).

    Befriend filmmakers and budding filmmakers. If you go to college with a film school (or even just some film classes), make friends in that department. Very often student filmmakers just rip music from their favorite CDs to use as their music. BUT they would often prefer to use original music because it's more personalized and sets their project apart from the rest. Find these students and work with them for free or cheap as often as possible (pizza and beer was the going rate when i was in college, but then these students graduated and started paying me real money for their breakout projects). The point is, you're developing your portfolio (demo), your experience, and your list of satisfied filmmakers who will call you next time they need a composer (or refer someone else to you).

    I went to college with one of the more prominent film schools in the world, and had a lot of film student friends. I wrote for their big projects, but I also wrote for their little homework assignments too. For example they had classes devoted simply to sound, where they had to create a radio drama. Or they had classes where they had to make a slideshow of their storyboard, with narration, sound effects, and music. One student had a project where he needed to shoot a film to fit a piece of music (in other words, start with the music, and create images to "accompany" it). Instead of using some pre-recorded music, he came up with a storyline and a basic timeline, and asked me to compose the music within this timeline. Then he shot the film and cut it to match my music.

    Also, find local theatre companies (and dance companies) and write music for their shows. Sometimes a theatre company will want an overture or incidental music, or simply prerecorded sound design. Scotland has some amazing theatre so I'm sure you can find some contacts there.

    The point is, the more people you meet and the more music you write and put "out there," the more likely someone will be to say "I hear you need a composer? I know just the guy, he wrote some music for my dance troupe last year, I'm sure he'd do great film work." Or better yet, a filmmaker might hear your music in a theatre production and track you down.

    Good luck and welcome to the board. There are a lot of aspiring film composers here so you're in good company.


    Edit: oops, just noticed that your profile says you're from "Scotland, Alabama" -- I didn't realize such a place existed.

  9. #9

    Re: Any composers of TV/Film here?

    Hi Dave

    I think i share pretty much the same dream job as yourself! Ive done some work for friends who are budding film makers and graduates of media colleges (www.favelados.co.uk has a trailer on it for a project i did...ignore the general website background music, did that before rushing off to the pub ;-p ) and have a few small jobs here and there, but I think that the masters im about to embark on (composing for film and tv) at Bmouth Uni will really set me up, as they have a great track record for doing so, and highly renowned teaching. Im only 22 and know that I have a long long long way to go before I make it big, or even big enough to earn a living from it, or even medium sized, but I dont plan to give up, and dont you either! Just let people know what you can do, whack together some sweet demos (if you find some of the threads ive started you can hear what ive done so far with GPO) and people will ask for stuff. you only need one friend in media production to introduce you to lots of budding film/game makers, and you can help each other to the top!

    also check out the GDC. Ive never been, im on the wrong continent, but apparently its very good for getting into game music, once youve learnt all the skills required for it (its more technical than doing a film i believe).

    Great to hear someone else wants to go where I do. Perhaps we should start a "GPFO" (garritan personal film orchestra) petition?! come on Gary!


  10. #10

    Re: Any composers of TV/Film here?

    Hi Chris "CallMeZoot"

    You said.. "ops, just noticed that your profile says you're from "Scotland, Alabama" -- I didn't realize such a place existed."

    You were right the first time, I am indeed from the British country Scotland, where bagpipes, kilts and Haggis come from - For some reason I can't seem to de-select the US state thing in my profile. I do have a good friend who is a film student, I think he might be a good place to start. So you reccommend contacting local theatres? I never thought of that before. Thanks!

    Hi Hannes

    I looked through the forum for previous threads you posted and couldn't find them. Would you mind sharing your story with me? Any tips?

    Hi gary shannon,

    Thats an interesting idea! Is there a way to download youtube videos?

    Hi Tom,

    Do you have any tips about making these demos that we send to people?

    Hey John,

    You said... "Don't underestimate music film libraries or companies like TAXI. You'll find many success stories going this route."

    "TAXI"? whats that? Ive not heard of it.

    Ben said... " Perhaps we should start a "GPFO" (garritan personal film orchestra) petition?! come on Gary"

    It gets my backing!

    Thanks everyone for your replies!


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