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Topic: Will VSL and EWQLSO open the doors to Hollywood?

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  1. #1

    Will VSL and EWQLSO open the doors to Hollywood?

    Hi everyone,

    After hearing the many amazing demos of both VSL and EWQLSO (and GOS, Hunter, SI, SAM, and others), I am amazed at how good many of these demos sound in the hands of the talented composers here. It\'s nothing short of a revolution.

    I wonder.

    Will the dynamics of these new sample libraries change a composer\'s ability to break into the Hollywood/Film/TV scene? We hear great demos. Is Hollywood calling these composers? The demos show proof of talent, style, MIDI-mockup talents, orchestration, and musicality. What else does a composer do to get noticed? Can these libraries and broadband knock down the doors to moving to Hollywood? Can these libraries remove the paying your dues payment?

    Without knowing the history of how the top film composers of today received their \"breaks,\" I suspect that today\'s libraries should make it easier for a young composer to get noticed. Did the first realistic orchestral mockups generate some interest in the film world?

    I hope that these libraries (along with talent) help provide a springboard to those who dream of composing as a career. P.S. This is not for myself, I am older, a newbie, and just starting down this path and not planning on breaking into anything--except my piggy bank.

    What do you think?
    Is this OT?

    john

  2. #2

    Re: Will VSL and EWQLSO open the doors to Hollywood?

    Originally posted by jon2u:
    Hi everyone,

    After hearing the many amazing demos of both VSL and EWQLSO (and GOS, Hunter, SI, SAM, and others), I am amazed at how good many of these demos sound in the hands of the talented composers here. It\'s nothing short of a revolution.

    I wonder.

    Will the dynamics of these new sample libraries change a composer\'s ability to break into the Hollywood/Film/TV scene? We hear great demos. Is Hollywood calling these composers? The demos show proof of talent, style, MIDI-mockup talents, orchestration, and musicality. What else does a composer do to get noticed? Can these libraries and broadband knock down the doors to moving to Hollywood? Can these libraries remove the paying your dues payment?

    Without knowing the history of how the top film composers of today received their \"breaks,\" I suspect that today\'s libraries should make it easier for a young composer to get noticed. Did the first realistic orchestral mockups generate some interest in the film world?

    I hope that these libraries (along with talent) help provide a springboard to those who dream of composing as a career. P.S. This is not for myself, I am older, a newbie, and just starting down this path and not planning on breaking into anything--except my piggy bank.

    What do you think?
    Is this OT?

    john
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Before I answer let me kinda fill you in about my background. I struggled in my twenties in Hollywood trying to break into film/TV music. Finally had a little success. Worked on a cartoon for a few years, did some stuff for a production library (that I have interest in and get royalties for) that gets used (still) on E! and other places, did some commercials and promos for Disney, etc. etc. In all, I had a \"career\" started. I left the biz for other reasons in my life before I got too far though.

    So, with that said, here is my perspective.

    1) There has NEVER been a lack of talent for people trying to get into film/TV music. I had a bunch of friends that were all talented composers, for instance. We were all trying to get the same jobs. The cliche is that for every one job, there are 10,000 people trying to get that job. I once asked a friend at a party who had produced an independent movie how many composer demo tapes he received from his ad in DramaLogue (where people advertise for creative help that pays no money) and he said he had two full trash bags of them. The fact that he stored them in trash bags should not be lost on this audience. He literally had no time to even begin to listen to them.

    So, how do you get the jobs then? On the the next points.

    2) You will not ever get a reputable agent unless you have done something fairly promising that holds the hope of an agent making money off of you. So, unless you scored a film that went to Sundance and won, forget that route.

    3) You can find other composers and work under them doing everything from ghost-writing to orchestration, to music prep, etc. This is how I got a lot of my work. The downside of this is that you are pretty invisible to the business people, i.e., the people you need to meet in order to get business.

    4) You can start scoring all kinds of projects on spec with people you think are talented whose work might get picked up. If you are lucky, you might ride along with them when their film gets picked up at Sundance, etc. More than likely, however, if they suddenly make it big, they will be coerced by the financers of their next big project to use a bigger name than you.

    Sorry if this sounds bleak. I am just telling it like I saw/lived it. I was doing okay; just needed more time to really dig in further (time which it turned out I didn\'t have). But then again, I was o.k. with living on a struggling artists income during that time. If you want to have a house, kids, two cars, vacations... I recommend something else for your line of work.

    Like it or not, the fact of the matter is most people who try will have to give up before they succeed, or, if they don\'t give up, they will never make a really good living. Most people. There will be a few who make it big. There will be a few more who make a good middle class income. But unless you really HAVE to do film/tv music for a living... unless your heart won\'t let you not do it... then you\'re probably better off doing something else where the risk/reward ratio is better than Las Vegas odds.

    John

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Re: Will VSL and EWQLSO open the doors to Hollywood?

    I\'m a newbie too (ex-rocker)....


    But in my opinion all these libs do is give you the \"opportunity\" to create mock-ups that
    sound good. The rest of the story is a loooong story.

    Likewise, having a great studio (for rockers) does not amount to a record deal, you still gotta
    pay your dues. No one really cares if a newbie rocker has a great sounding demo if they don\'t
    play out and attract an audience. You need more than Pro-Tools and a Mesa boogie to get
    signed....


    I may not be as experienced as some of the other guys on this site, but I understand a bit of
    how the industry works. From what I know it\'s a lot to do with \"face to face\". I feel some
    composers may forget that music is only part of it (at least that\'s how the rest of the industry
    works in Hollywood). I think you have to get out there just as if you were in a rock band.....
    you gotta sell it! I\'m not afraid to be a slut in that respect. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]


    After all, Hollywood is very image conscious and used to entertaining, I think people like to
    meet you face to face and talk about nonsense. A key factor (I believe) is having people like
    you \"personally\".


    Dues: There\'s no possible way to by-pass paying dues (unless you are Collin Farell and an
    agent just happens to see you in a play in Ireland and thinks \"hey, I could make this kid a
    star.... fast forward three years.... yep he was right!). But the composing world is locked down
    pretty tight. My plan of attack is to try and \"meet/get work\" from the up and comer indie
    directors, the guys that are being \"tracked\" by the big agencies, or perhaps meeting them
    before they get locked into studio deals etc.


    BTW... If you haven\'t paid any dues, no one knows if you can handle the pressure. That\'s a
    big reason why dues are there... it\'s a test. People need to trust that you aren\'t gonna f-up their
    billion dollar venture (the film). Remember there is more riding on these films than the film
    itself. You got all the foreign deals, sequels (possibly), merchandising, blah, blah, blah, (shoot
    some films are just one big commercial for products) No one in Hollywood is gonna risk all
    that on some kid, when all they\'ve got going for themselves is having VSL or QLSO. They
    need to know they can trust you (absolute trust), that\'s why it\'s so locked down. They trust all
    those top guys (for good reason!). **** they work hard for that trust..... not to mention they
    are extremely talented.

    Like I\'ve said, I should\'a been a TV show creator/writer, that\'s really where the money is in
    Hollywood.... but film is way more glamorous, huh! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]


    That\'s my take.....

  4. #4

    Re: Will VSL and EWQLSO open the doors to Hollywood?

    Hi Spinach,

    Thanks for the real-world view you present. I hear stories like yours and know that they are the reality young composers face. You achieved success and to that you have something to be proud of.

    Some background from myself and why I started this thread. I began as a student in music many years ago. First as music teacher, then to grad school for composition. Wrote a little, then mostly stopped to make my career elsewhere.

    There was no orchestra to play what I wrote in school as a student. I need to be inspired. I lost interest to a degree and dabbled mostly in MIDI.

    So, I wonder. If I had VSL or EWQLSO at my disposal (to realize orchestral composition) while I was a student, would my life be different today? Perhaps not, but you wonder.

    So when I hear these younger composers. I hope that these composing tools of VSL or EWQLSO will provide a benefit to them in their goals and dreams. I suspect that the reality of the tough world of film music will be there regardless.

    One positive - traditionally, you would need some orchestral scores performed by live orchestras to at least have a chance at being noticed. I think that these libraries at least provide the vehicle to show your stuff.

    I have a long way to go in my building of my sample libraries, but I hope to enjoy it at the hobbyist level in the future.

    I won\'t comment much more on this thread and hope that others may give their insights to those composers starting out.
    \'
    Thanks again, Spinach Ravioli. (great name)

    john

  5. #5

    Re: Will VSL and EWQLSO open the doors to Hollywood?

    I\'ve wanted to be a film composer since I was 10, but now that I know how hard it is to get into the whole scoring scene, I\'ve been wondering if I should do something else (maybe work at McDonalds?). Making music is my passion, though, and if some really good sample libraries could up my chances I\'d buy them. Problem is, they\'re really only available to the people who are already in the business and have good ammounts of money to spend (unless some miracle happens and you win them in some contest).

    Having good sample libraries most definitely influences a person\'s musical future. You sure as hell aren\'t going anywhere with nothing but soundfonts.

  6. #6

    Re: Will VSL and EWQLSO open the doors to Hollywood?

    Hi kid-surf,

    Great plan and worldly sense. You\'ll make it just based on knowing how things work.

    I agree that the personal aspect of the business is important and certainly understand the dues and the need to prove oneself. I have not pursued meeting people (when I was young), or been in such high pressure situations as the film composer might be. Yes, the stakes are high.

    However, l like the idea that a composer, or rocker, can write, create and produce music that sounds good enough to publish or get in a film. Year\'s ago, when I had a Tascam 244 Portastudio, I knew I was only writing demos (why wasn\'t I discovered sitting in my living room?) and that was it. So, even though there are a million CDs out there, its still good that the young rock group can create a CD, press it, distribute it, and show the world their stuff. Making it further up the ladder, is the real problem of course.

    Here\'s another angle as to why these tools become more important. A friend played me a MIDI a song they wrote. Instead of commenting on the song, I mentioned that if they had \"produced\" that song using quality sounds/samples they would get more interest in it. The old traditional MIDI detracted from the song. You didn\'t notice the song, just the bad MIDI. Again, first step. Getting the sound to a level where it interests people.

    So, to continue the analogy. You write a symphonic piece. You want it performed by a live orchestra. What are you going to do? Send a paper score to a conductor who will take the time to study the score, hear it in his head, sight read it at the piano????? No way. But sending a realized composition might result in the conductor, taking a listen and then deciding whether they will consider it. Just another idea as to how to use these tools to achieve a goal or desire. Still, the real world problems of actually getting things played follow, just like in the film and rock world.

    So, I\'m thinking. The demo/sound/VSL EWQLSO music you write is meant to get the interest of someone. Then let the \"business of music\" pieces fall where they may.

    Again, I\'m not a pro and don\'t have much high level real world experience. I am thinking that these tools can only help people to have a better chance at making it by just getting to the first step. The best sounding product they can get.

    Thanks, again. Kid.

    (and I said I wouldn\'t respond) Till tomorrow.

    John

  7. #7

    Re: Will VSL and EWQLSO open the doors to Hollywood?

    Originally posted by jon2u:
    Hi Spinach,
    ...
    One positive - traditionally, you would need some orchestral scores performed by live orchestras to at least have a chance at being noticed. I think that these libraries at least provide the vehicle to show your stuff.
    ...
    john
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Actually, when I was living in Los Angeles there were several enterprising people (usually struggling composers themselves or studio musicians, etc.) who would put together sessions where a non-yet-established composer could pay to have his/her compositions played and recorded by some of the better (but not usually the first call) studio players in LA. These people would organize a day-long session where you could buy 15 minute lots of time to spend with the orchestra. If you wrote music that wasn\'t full of mistakes or unplayable stuff (as wrote some of the MIDI people with no real orchestral training), you could get about three minutes of music rehearsed and recorded during that time. The more you have to rehearse/make corrections, the less music you would have time to commit to tape.

    If your goal was to get work as a composer for real orchestras, I would say buying an hour or two of this type of session would be way better for your demo than any mock-up you could possibly do. If you want to get work doing mock-ups for projects where there isn\'t the budget for orchestras, then the mock-ups would be better for your demo.

    John

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
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    Re: Will VSL and EWQLSO open the doors to Hollywood?

    Can\'t speak for the Hollywood scene as its never held much interest for me, but in Europe I\'ve found its a good thing to establish your style, your sound, your musical mannerisms. People pay for it if they like it. Without it you\'re just going to sound like a pale imitation of an established figure.

    Think just how many \"orchestral mock-up\" demos get posted on this site alone, ranging from good to bad, many can often seem very samey because they are just imitating another composers style and they have that same bish bosh or mawkish quality to them. That\'s the kind of demo that gets sent to agents week after week after week. And they probably nearly all go in the bin.

    I also think its a good thing to try and not view libraries like the QLSO as purely for advanced mock-ups. Think of it as a set of instruments that can be made to serve a fully-rounded presentable composition rather than just as a demo creator.

    PS: I\'m not having a pop at pastiche as its an essential ingredient of film/media composition and the more styles a composer has mastered, the more flexible they are in this business.

  9. #9

    Re: Will VSL and EWQLSO open the doors to Hollywood?

    Just because you\'re given a great paint set, doesn\'t make you a great artist. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    If you\'re a crappy composer, than buying an expensive library will make the crap sound prettier. =) I\'ve heard absolutely amazing compositions made with crappy GM sounds which have blown me away. I\'ve heard crappy compositions with mega-buck-libraries which made me roll over and laugh. It\'s absurd to think that one can break into the business because they get better sounds? C\'monnnnnn...

    Although I have to admit, when a composer gets more tools, the less limiting the composition process gets. Once I had access to violin trills, I learned a whole new bag of colors. =) To me, if you\'re starting to compose music, it\'s best that you purchase an el\' cheap PSR Yamaha and learn the basics of composition and sequencing before you dive into multi-million dollar libraries.

    The one thing that I hate about composing with a sequencer is that I will not compose a part unless it sounds somewhat realistic. The only way I can compose freely is through Finale, because you don\'t have to worry about the realism of the performance, rather than worrying about the composition which should be the main concern! Once samples can pull off the Firebird Suite in all its glory, THAN we are compositionally free. Okay, I shut up now.

  10. #10

    Re: Will VSL and EWQLSO open the doors to Hollywood?

    Very interesting discussion! In some ways revolutionary-sounding sampling libraries like we see today are great equalizers - anyone with $3grand can sound like Hans Zimmer! Then again, if anyone can sound like Hanz (or insert fav composer), then that just makes the competition that much more intense.

    Seems like in the end, it\'s all relative, what do you bring to the table that puts you above the rest. When everyone sounds amazing with these big libraries, it will still take a unique style, experience, networking-skills, etc. to get noticed.

    This is all conjecture as I still have my day job and write music in the late hours of the night...

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