Composing

Discuss, share content, offer tips and advice on hardware, software, style, strategies, process, work-flow and the business of scoring a film, video or theater production

Liked by Vladislav Savvateev and 3 others

Joel Irwin
Friends and Aquaintences

Looking for work in any industry is brutal - especially cold calling.  Regardless of our 'specialty' in the film biz, the competition is intense.  So we network and make friends both actual and virtual.  Potential collaborators such as filmmakers and directors, know who we are and hopefully have see...

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Guillaume Longhi

Our job has always been kind of remote. Unlike actors, cameramen, staff, etc... Score Composers intervene mostly at later stages of production.

Just like a production chain, those who make the product...

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Ray Archie

Guillaume Longhi - It might also be interesting for us to try to get involved earlier in the project. A composer could be very helpful to define the look/feel and sonic identity of a project very earl...

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Rachel Walker

Sometimes movies are made to the sound track which really brings a lot of life to the experience...music is important:-)!

Jonathan Price

Here are my two cents. First cent: if somebody says your production could be improved, work on improving it. A trick I use is to convince myself somebody else composed/produced my track and listen wit...

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Mara Cracaleanu
Short film soundtrack

Hi guys, anyone here who can help me with some music? I’m currently writing a script for a short film, a drama about 2 close friends, about death, grief and that feeling when you lose someone. I get very inspired by all sorts of songs when I’m writing something, it helps me a lot. Can you help me please? Thank you so much! :)

Mara Cracaleanu

Hi Julian Montgomery! That’s great, thank you so much! I’m gonna check that out! Good luck! :)

Mara Cracaleanu

Hey Rachel Walker! :)

Edwin Abraham

Hi Mara, what about some Indian Music in it ?

Ali Alyousuf

Hello Mara, did you find a composer to help you? If not, or your looking for a composer for another project, kindly visit my Youtube channel, you might like my music :) screenshot added.

Michael Williams

Contact Allan Phillips - does some great stuff.

Andrea Celis
Scoring for film

Hello, everyone!

I am currently working on my first short film and since it's gonna be part of a portfolio I have to present to apply to this film school, I have to do everything myself.

Including, of course, the music. Now, I have absolutely no experience in film scoring so, if anyone has any tips t...

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Andrea Celis

I get what you're saying, Joel but I am familiarized with composition, I already have some pieces of my own! That's why I feel confident that I can write my own score for my films.

Joel Irwin

Writing music, even orchestra music, and scoring cues that fit and support the action of the film could be different. If you feel confident then go for it. When the film is completed, get feedback on everything from someone outside the film biz.

Allen Lynch

Joel made some valid points. One suggestion - Determine the scenes in your film that you feel need music. Choose existing music from your music collection (or anywhere else) and place them under your...

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Andrea Celis

Thank you so much, Allen!

Jeremy Leung

Hi , if you have a budget i can score something for you , feel free to reach out and talk more , Best

Jimmy Francis
Song Parodies

Can anyone tell me if song parodies count as original or cover songs? They’re kind of a blend of both so it’s confusing when submitting a parody song and I’m only given the option of clicking on original or cover.

Kay Luke

It's neither. A Parody is covered by its own legal interpretation.

Jimmy Francis

Thank you. That’s what I thought but I had a parody called a cover and I corrected the person that called it a cover but thought I’d better make sure.

Alex Choyce

Lol "Hey composer people let me throw you off! 3...2..."

Alex Choyce

Wow this has been up for 2 weeks... Typical now that I'm looking. "Composer: a passive-aggressive sadist."

Tony Clark
Relationships

I have a sense that building long lasting relationships with film makers is the avenue to placing my music into film and media. I look at the number of well known directors and producers who tend to use the same composers for their films.

Joel Irwin

There is a good and bad associated with that. Composing/scoring is much the same as any other profession - if you are a service/product provider and your customer likes the service/product, they will...

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Guillaume Longhi

I mean, my guess is you don't change a team that wins. Just like in team sports. If I were a film director and I have my go-to music composer, the latter will be more of a priority than others. For the rest, I believe Joel pretty much summed up the whole thing.

Tony Clark

I like your thoughts on creating working relationships with many of the creators within the film industry.

Sarah Nadine Sadik
Music Supervising

Hey all! I have been wondering what types of software are necessary to learn for working at a production company. I currently work with Pro-Tools & Garageband but I am learning more about Logic. I am applying to jobs in LA and wasn't sure if knowing Logic was necessary- I just don't want to waste co...

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Joel Irwin

This is my input 'from the outside looking in' as I neither work for a production company or live in LA.

1. As I spent 23 years at Exxon, my initial take is you learn and use the tools used at the comp...

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Joanna Karselis

Hi Sarah. I hear Logic is big in LA, and Cubase in London, though London seems to be becoming more Logic too now. Pro Tools is more generally used for mixing, mastering and the final mix than composin...

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Joel Irwin

Cubase could be big in the U.K. because it is a product of Steinberg which is a U.K. company. Steinberg also now sells one of the top three notation tools, Dorico which competes against Sibelius (part of Avid which also sells Protools) and Finale.

Christopher Birk
Music Composing for Exposure

One of the biggest problems I often face with my productions is music. I always end up searching for non-copyrighted existing music everywhere and sometimes I find what I need and sometimes it's sub-par to say the least. But that's unfortunately one of the things that's often difficult, or impossibl...

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Joel Irwin

I am a bit of renegade - I will score any short for free as long as the music is used once I start delivering (I have an 'agreement' signed by both of us). I have done something like 27 shorts that wa...

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Manuel Marino

I disagree with the ones working for free. First of all they ruin the value of the scores, that is a lot lower than in the past. This value should go higher because the scores are more complex and pro...

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Dj Nuclear

You're problem is an easy fix :)

Andre Fratto

I think it probably, or hopefully, gets to the point for most composers where it's just no longer possible to work for free. When you're starting out, it's probably important to say yes to almost anyt...

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Joel Irwin

It really has a lot to do with the 'community and the life situation that the crew member is in. As one looks outside the major communities such as LA and NY or even the smaller communities such as At...

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Helmut Calabrese
Perspectives of a Film Composer

Greetings to the community involved in filmmaking and film scoring!

I am composer who composes for film and concert music. Stage32 is giving its members the opportunity to create a post as an introductory vehicle. I have chosen to elaborate on the business of scoring for a film. First of all, I hav...

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Joel Irwin

I believe I heard some years back from one of my profs that Irving Berlin could not read or write sheet music - he had to hire someone to do it for him. Was he a composer?

Composer is just a term and i...

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Joel Irwin
Breathe & Don't Be Married To Your Notes

We get a lot of business and not artistic oriented posts here so I like to occasionally make / pass along some artistic suggestions.  I know many people here score soley electronically with sample sets.  And so technically you can do anything you want with instruments.  Nonetheless, you may still wa...

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Russ Whitelock

Well said Joel - I still feel a gravitational pull to "add more" and then guess what? I think even a bit more would be even better to the point where I've created this cycle that goes something like t...

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Rachel Walker

Yes.....the pause....

Joel Irwin
Scoring In The Blind

I have three short films to score this month and the score for the first has to be delivered in 6 days (Friday).  The first film is a documentary and the director asked for wall to wall music - 7 minutes (full orchestration).  The film is in post and the director keeps promising a locked film but I...

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Joanna Karselis

Interesting scenario Joel. Any update on how it's gone? Personally I only make sketches before seeing a locked picture, like mood ideas, which can slot in to the film or be catalysts for other thought...

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Joel Irwin

I wasn't keeping track until you asked and so I just did the count - 9 films so far for this director and now I am going to do two more this month. He obviously knows me and my sound pretty well.

If it...

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John Ellis

I'm not a music guy, but I think my advice applies to every aspect of this business. Don't lock yourself into any kind of delivery deadlines without clear parameters. Having to deliver a score without...

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Joel Irwin

John - problem is that the filmmaker does not set the deadline - the festival does and all three of the films I have or will score are under the same festival deadline. The first two need to be done b...

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Joanna Karselis

I agree with Joel's points (and well done for getting the documentary done Joel), but also John, there's a uniqueness about a composer's role in a film. Sometimes the director will want cues to play o...

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Joel Irwin
Moving In A Different Direction

While most of my scoring gigs end when the film releases, occasionally I get work to work on a film and part of the way into the project, the stakeholder (director, producer, filmmaker) pulls the plug and decides to go in a 'different direction'.

This is certainly common and happens for various reaso...

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Sean Jefferson

Hi Joel, out of curiosity, were you still paid for the work you completed? I’m assuming yes...or was it more of a headache to pursue getting paid than to just walk away?

Joel Irwin

An interesting question :)

I had a long conversation with a composer friend of mine (arguably the top film composer in Houston) who I consider my mentor. As far as the most recent example (#1) - this i...

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Sean Jefferson

Thanks for the response! I figured it would probably come down to whatever is in the contract regarding pay. I guess the key is always having thick skin, a good contract, and a good relationship with the director and/or producer.

Tivoli Silas
Music in the MCU Analysis

In honor of the release of the final film of Phase Three of the MCU, I completed an analysis of some of the problems that I feel have plagued the first several scores in the MCU but have been approved upon.

https://tivolisilas.wixsite.com/tivolisilas/single-post/2019/07/03/The-P......

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