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Topic: Does anyone have any stories or experience gained in the Film/Tv Industry as composer

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  1. #1

    Does anyone have any stories or experience gained in the Film/Tv Industry as composer

    As an example you know the saying 'Its who you know and some luck on top of that plus talent & desire',
    Well im beginning to wonder if it's even more harder than one thinks. It's more verging on 'If your dad's the director you're hired'

    Anyone been so close that they can taste it but for some reason or another, the chance just evaporates.

    Not to say i see myself as jerry goldsmith but, it does beg the question At the beginning did successful composers have discussions like these in bars or clubs...like we can on forums. Maybe it never entered their mind.

  2. #2

    Re: Does anyone have any stories or experience gained in the Film/Tv Industry as comp

    Interesting topic. I'm sure you'll get a lot of different responses. Even if you know someone or are highly involved with people in the know that doesn't always guarantee you'll make it big.

    Back in the 80s I free-lanced at Pinebrook Studios in Indiana. This studio was the hot-bed for Christian musicians wanting to go places. My job was to do copy work for recording sessions. My hope was to later get into arranging, orchestrating and producing. However, since I had few works to show what I was capable of, nothing came of it. Oh, I got to know some of the big names in the Christian music field, but they were mainly interested in those who were already proven top-notch professionals, not an unknown.

    In 1990 I moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to work as a music engraver at Hal Leonard. I thought I had arrived. I was working for the largest printing company in the world! I was going to finally get some music published. The reality was I had to go to another publishing company in Madison to publish my first (and only) string orchestra work because of the same reason I ran into at Pinebrook: they wanted seasoned, proven composers, arrangers and orchestrators. After five frustrating years at Hal Leonard I left and am now doing something totally different which I enjoy.

    I still work in music as often as I can. I've helped put together two Christmas CDs. I had written and arranged lots of music while I was director of the Bay View United Methodist church choir. I continue to do free-lancing for a number of venues like music for weddings, etc. I keep arranging for the Garritan Christmas album. I keep hoping someone out there might just hear something I've done and say, "Hey, this guy's not bad. Maybe we could use his help on our next project." Of course, I've been saying that for over 30 years. That's a long time. And at 57, I have fewer days in front of me than I have behind me.

    That said, I'm still going to keep plucking away, hoping someone out there just might notice something they like. "It's who you know..." Yes...sometimes. "Luck..." I think a lot of luck comes into play at times, too. I know I will never give up. That doesn't ever enter into it. I will continue to do what I do because I love what I do. I may be 80 years old before any of my works are ever recognized, but hey, look at Betty White. She's not slowing down, is she?
    Serenity Musician Productions (Gary A.)

    Lenovo ThinksStation S30, Windows 10 Professional 64-bit, 20 gig ram, 2 terabyte hd., M-Audio Fast Track, Finale25, Sonar Professional

  3. #3

    Re: Does anyone have any stories or experience gained in the Film/Tv Industry as comp

    Quote Originally Posted by serenitymusician View Post
    Interesting topic. I'm sure you'll get a lot of different responses. Even if you know someone or are highly involved with people in the know that doesn't always guarantee you'll make it big.

    Back in the 80s I free-lanced at Pinebrook Studios in Indiana. This studio was the hot-bed for Christian musicians wanting to go places. My job was to do copy work for recording sessions. My hope was to later get into arranging, orchestrating and producing. However, since I had few works to show what I was capable of, nothing came of it. Oh, I got to know some of the big names in the Christian music field, but they were mainly interested in those who were already proven top-notch professionals, not an unknown.

    In 1990 I moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to work as a music engraver at Hal Leonard. I thought I had arrived. I was working for the largest printing company in the world! I was going to finally get some music published. The reality was I had to go to another publishing company in Madison to publish my first (and only) string orchestra work because of the same reason I ran into at Pinebrook: they wanted seasoned, proven composers, arrangers and orchestrators. After five frustrating years at Hal Leonard I left and am now doing something totally different which I enjoy.

    I still work in music as often as I can. I've helped put together two Christmas CDs. I had written and arranged lots of music while I was director of the Bay View United Methodist church choir. I continue to do free-lancing for a number of venues like music for weddings, etc. I keep arranging for the Garritan Christmas album. I keep hoping someone out there might just hear something I've done and say, "Hey, this guy's not bad. Maybe we could use his help on our next project." Of course, I've been saying that for over 30 years. That's a long time. And at 57, I have fewer days in front of me than I have behind me.

    That said, I'm still going to keep plucking away, hoping someone out there just might notice something they like. "It's who you know..." Yes...sometimes. "Luck..." I think a lot of luck comes into play at times, too. I know I will never give up. That doesn't ever enter into it. I will continue to do what I do because I love what I do. I may be 80 years old before any of my works are ever recognized, but hey, look at Betty White. She's not slowing down, is she?
    Very nice read, thanks for sharing!
    57...age means nothing, think john williams was only 43 when his career really kicked off with JAWS..
    I had coffee with film composer 'Trevor Jones' once upon a time..he just finished the film Notting Hill, i was 27 at the time. He told me that he didn't get his first real gig until he was 36yrs old..and that was with Excalibur 1982. So the way he looked at it was, that i had 8 years to sort myself out. im 11 yrs over and nothing has happened.. Who knows. hehe

    Yes even though i feel like i'm walking through the sahara desert without a drop of water, im still compelled to hang on to the musical twig on the branch. It's as if im afraid to let go and have a normal life. I'm convinced the love of music is a curse..the very fact you can't walk away from it..

  4. #4

    Re: Does anyone have any stories or experience gained in the Film/Tv Industry as comp

    All famous composers (at least most of them) are dead. So wait a couple of centuries and then suddenly.... "What a nice piece that is", the archaeologist says. No kidding, today's music has nothing to do with "how clever"/"how wonderful"... anymore. The purists had taken over and we ignorant earthlings who wish to enjoy music in all aspects, we are just a forgotten species, thank God for that. I don't see myself defending my music before modern musicians. One slip of the tongue about a tonal transition and you are damned.

    Today my wife and I had a discussion about the blablablabla in CD booklets. Only very few writers came out saying that he/she enjoyed the music. It is as a discussion about the quality of a type of wine. My adagio is: don't talk about it, just drink it and enjoy and then I am the least interested in the brand of the grapes, Chauvignon, Cabernet, Medoc or else. The world is ruled by snobs.

    Two people next to each other in an audience during a piano recital.
    One asked "what is he playing?"
    Answer "piano."
    One again: "Thanks."

    Raymond - LOL

  5. #5

    Re: Does anyone have any stories or experience gained in the Film/Tv Industry as comp

    I've done two short Irish films so far, a few friends projects, showreels and a booktrailer - nothing big at all - and the directors of the films where no further up the professional chain than I am regarding their fame (e.g. about zero). But both films were well shot and produced so I didn't mind doing it for free either, as the 'free gig' was still part of the foot in the door scenario for me, and the experience was welcomed.

    Though you go through the 'door' and realise no one is home anyway. Some people are in the same boat, be they a director or whatever. I read that the best way to get out there is to luckily attach yourself to an up and coming director who with luck and talent of his own will rise, pulling the composer up with him/her. Just one way...

    I also found that the relationship between the people I've spoken to is odd, distant and months go by when you send your score and hear back from the director. Just my experience thus far.

    I not aggressively pursuing it as yet though, either. I'm busy with other music projects and licensing, so that's my focus right now as it's going well.
    Website:
    www.grahamplowman.com
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    My Channel
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    @GPComposer
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  6. #6

    Re: Does anyone have any stories or experience gained in the Film/Tv Industry as comp

    Quote Originally Posted by superquartet1 View Post
    Its who you know and some luck on top of that

    I don't believe in luck, but I do believe that it's who you know, not what you know.
    I have seen this in too many occasions.

    Just keep doing your best.
    Dan

  7. #7

    Re: Does anyone have any stories or experience gained in the Film/Tv Industry as comp

    I don't have any experience in the TV or Film industry but I came across this. I posted it on the other music forum that I'm a member of. I thought it would get a mixed response but so far it's been negative.

    You probably have already seen this but now I have more usage at my disposal so I've been able to look at things I couldn't before.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTh8w...ure=plpp_video

    I would have hung up the phone as well!
    yjoh

    Music... A Joy For Life.

  8. #8

    Re: Does anyone have any stories or experience gained in the Film/Tv Industry as comp

    Quote Originally Posted by yjoh View Post
    I don't have any experience in the TV or Film industry but I came across this. I posted it on the other music forum that I'm a member of. I thought it would get a mixed response but so far it's been negative.

    You probably have already seen this but now I have more usage at my disposal so I've been able to look at things I couldn't before.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTh8w...ure=plpp_video

    I would have hung up the phone as well!

    Thanks Was little interesting, but was little point to it...Why do they even make these videos?? It's like the x factor or sumin.
    This kind of thing do makes me wanna puke. Not interested in these ppl. I'm sure they get paid to doing something well.... Who are they to judge? It is amazing how it comes down to them to make a communication between company and composer. Do we really think these ppl have made an outstanding contribution to the role of music in film? Do we really need em? Nah didn't think so.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Frank D's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone have any stories or experience gained in the Film/Tv Industry as comp

    Interesting thread Friends! ...

    There's a slogan for the NY State lottery that goes "Ya gotta be in it to win it ...".

    I can't vouche for the classical music world, but everytime I have researched one of my favorite composers, arrangers or orchestrators, almost without exception, they became composers, arrangers or orchestrators because they were already working musicians.

    Successful writers put themselves in the right place at the right time and more often than not, got "The Shot" at the next level because someone above them either didn't show up, quit, or just wasn't getting it done anymore (or sometimes needed help when they bit-off too large a project to write themselves). In nearly every case, they were already doing a job proficiently (whether it be a sax/clarinet player in a jazz band, or a copyist working for an orchestrator, or a studio musician who did sessions with an arranger who was about to underscore some TV episodes, etc.)

    If you think of the logic of this, it makes perfect sense. Most people are not going to go out on a potentially carreer-ending limb to offer an unknown writer a chance to write music. No, they are (and I know I would too) going to surround themselves with fellow musicians who already have a track record, even if it's not at that next, big, step.

    Needless to say, the talent already has to be there; thats a given. But I am convinced you have to get your foot (maybe even just a toe!) in the door and be working in the business as a professional in some capacity to be noticed for more creative work.

    Note to Superquartet1: Yes, I too viewed some of the interview and I share some of the frustration you expressed. But this interview should be an eye-opener for everyone; a reminder that the powers that be in the world of pop scoring, especially song-score pop scoring, can do it anyway they see fit. It's their perogative and their right to contact and contract musicians/intellectual content any way they wish. You can pass on that niche if you choose, but it's not for you or I to judge the validity of their methods. That won't get you a gig with them anytime soon LOL.

    I enjoyed everyones comments, especially Serenity's ... and he says it all "Ya gotta do this for YOUR love of music"

    Raymond, as always, made me literally LOL ... great comments!

    Regards,

    Frank

  10. #10

    Re: Does anyone have any stories or experience gained in the Film/Tv Industry as comp

    super reads here, informative and funny! Thanks, but this is a thread for everyone to benefit!

    Frank D i try not to believe that these music sups have much handle on the inroads to getting a pitch...but inside i know i may have to accept it..but I am Spartacus!!! Surely we can frog leap these self congratulatory trio.

    I remember another quote from a indy jones 3 where a young indy fails in recovering the cross from the bad guys. One of the dudes looks at junior Indy with respect and sees himself in him..and says
    "Just because you lost Kid, doesn't mean you have to like it" and puts his fedora hat on his head. (nice scene)

    Anyway i think you understand my thinking. Rules were made to be broken...but im too tired..too tired to break them. So go out and break em...when you have your foot in the door...let me in!!

    I've just discovered this!..i believe it is relevant...looks like a great read...
    51 marketing ideas for composers

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