Last week I posted the first part of my 5 Ways to Become a Better Film Composer, which focused more on the non-musical side of the profession. This week is part two, and I'll be focusing more on the musical aspects. Today's film composer is very interesting, it's not at all the same as the classically trained composer of the pre-1970s or 80s eras. Because of this, there have been some drastic changes in musical styles and aesthetics in film, so today I'll try to be broad about the genres, but will include some things I think are still very necessary.
There's a lot that goes into being a good film composer, it's more than writing good music and having expensive equipment. This is the first of a two-part list where I'll give you a few ideas on how to be a better film composer. This is not a "how-to" post, but rather a list to inspire you to take a critical look at yourself as a musician and address areas you can improve upon. When you're confident in your abilities, I also have an article for 10 Ways to Make Money as a Film Composer!
It's true that working in the music industry is incredibly competitive, and making a living as a musician can seem impossible for many musicians. The truth is that in today's music industry, for most musicians, it is impossible to make a living doing just one thing, but it's not impossible to make a living if you're able to find income from various sources - this is how many musicians work today, and I'd argue it's the only way to work today. You shouldn't stretch yourself too thin with these income sources - you can master only a small handful of skills and use those to generate lots of options. Let's take a look at 10 ways to make money as a film composer:
Every artist needs to start somewhere. Every beginning designer, musician, filmmaker and creative has worked on projects with little-to-no budgets, some that we couldn't wait to be done with, and others that were exciting enough to not worry about not getting paid. At some point you need to let those projects go and become a professional. Yes, you can be an artist and be professional.
Now, I don't work for free anymore, but at the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, I have a confession: I still score student films. Before you start throwing your digital rotten tomatoes at me, allow me to explain...
Filmmakers often spend months, if not years, preparing for production of their next film. Storyboards, development, casting, scouting locations - these are just some of the time consuming and stressful parts of preproduction, and yet one thing that can put all of this on hold is the budget. So when it comes to music, what choices do filmmakers have?
The answer is somewhat complicated, so let's break it down a little.
Film | Music
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