No two composers share the exact same formula or workflow when it comes to scoring to visual media. I'm always adjusting my workflow to meet the needs of each individual project I'm on, it's just necessary in order to keep growing as a composer and as a professional. Although I'm always trying to do something a little different, there are a few questions I ask myself that, for the most part, stay pretty consistent from project to project.
We love profound quotes, especially from people we admire. They inspire us; they give us a small piece of the speaker's personality; and sometimes they can teach us things about ourselves. I've seen a few great quotes from composers that have stuck with me for one reason or another, so I thought I'd compile a few for my blog.
If you were born after 1955 and have used the Internet at all, you've probably at least heard of the organized anarchy that is Reddit. If you haven't, it's sort of like a global social media/forum/cesspool of anonymous users (called "redditors") who post, comment, discuss and educate on just about anything you can think of. Seriously, think of anything, I bet it's on Reddit. All jokes aside, it's actually a great community and an excellent source for staying on top of various topics, and here are a few subreddits to help you with your film scoring!
Matt Head is an Atlanta based composer and producer whose career in film scoring has seen incredible success over the last few years. His composition credits include numerous scores for movies, documentaries, and even commercials. Working with The Horne Brother's production company, Matthew served as the Music Supervisor and Composer for their films Kissing Bandit and The Start of Dreams. Matthew has also worked with Dapa Entertainment composing the music for their documentary I am a Dream Chaser.
Matt and I originally connected on Twitter and I was immediately impressed with the quality of Matt's music and his growing success in a city I only really knew for it's music. Matt's story is truly inspiring.
"First is merely the realization that film composers are in the film business, NOT the music business." - Richard Bellis
Richard Bellis' career in show business ranges from child actor, to composer, to educator and author, and more. After years of working as arranger and music director for Las Vegas acts like Connie Stevens, Leslie Uggams, Abbe Lane and Sally Struthers, Bellis landed his first TV movie, "Black Market Baby", in 1977. He later won an Emmy for his score to Stephen King's "It". Richard is also a past president of the Society of Composers and Lyricists, served on the faculty at USC's SMPTV program, and served on the Board of Governers of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Richard currently serves on the Board of Directors of ASCAP.
With Halloween approaching, and my annual horror movie marathon nearing its climax, I reached out to Richard for a Q&A to celebrate the season and one of my favorite 1980s horror movies, "It".
Those who know me know that I love Halloween, and Halloween just isn't complete without horror movie marathons. Last year I was very excited to have the opportunity to interview Harry Manfredini, composer for the iconic horror movie Friday the 13th. This year I wanted to start the season off with a month-long calendar taking us chronologically through film history; every day I will post a new horror movie that has revolutionized the genre through history. I'm going to have a lot of fun with this, I hope you do too!
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:
The Fans of Film Music Society began in 2008, when Film Score Monthly president Lukas Kendall decided to invite fans to get together and meet one another. The first official Fans of Film Music event wasn't until 2010, when Kendall passed the event leadership over to Peter Hackman. Each year, the event brings in composers and music enthusiasts of all levels, with panelists such Harry Manfredini, Chris Young, Bruce Broughton, and many other amazingly talented musicians. I have yet to make it to a gathering, but one of these days I will. For those of us who weren't able to attend this year, The Fans of Film Music Society has posted video of the panels!
Film | Music
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