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

Piet Dierickx
Netflix original content and music.

Hi! Does anybody know how to get into Netflix' productions? Or have any experience on working with them? I am aware that for their original content they probably have a list of 10000000000000... musicians.... But still. Would be cool to get on that list :) Suggestions and opinions please. Thanks!

James Drago

The filmmakers still make the hires. You have to be in with them!

Keith Kehrer

I would start making friends with music supervisors. I work with a few and they are the ones pitching my music to TV and streaming shows. KK

Joel Irwin
iCompositions Shutting Down Permanently

My primary music site, icompositions.com had a massive series of software and server malfunctions on July 4th and have decided to shut down permanently on Aug 11.

I plan on moving to another site by then. Right now I am looking at reverbnation and soundcloud where I also park some of my music.

Soundcl...

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Julian Montgomery

Hey Joel, concerning adding to existing playlists, that is definitely possible. Here's what you do:

1. Find the track you want to add to the playlist

2. Click More (the ellipsis)

3. Click "Add to playlis...

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Joel Irwin

There is something screwy going on - some sort of long lag. It took an hour or two for the new playlist to show up as a choice after I added it . I am guessing I will see it in an hour or so. This lag is quite frustrating.

Julian Montgomery

I found this recent thread where some people were talking about the same issue. Maybe use Chrome?

https://community.soundcloud.com/playlists-229933/i-can-not-add-a-track-......

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Joel Irwin

yeah - saw it. the playlist has finally shown up --- you just have to be VERY patient.

Michael Mason

Hi Joel, I'd like to throw this out there for you too. I joined and I'm really happy with their service. It's called ReelCrafter. That being said Soundcloud is always good too! just wanted to give you another option.

Eirik B. Jensen
Feedback on showreel!

Hi! I finally have gotten over the anxiety of making a showreel of some recent compositions. Dreading that I had to rearrange and putting all my pieces over to my newest template to make them sound "coherent", I just grabbed all the mp3s I could find and smashed them together in a new logic file.

As...

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Joel Irwin

Here is a 'dissenting view' - I know the 'practice' for most composers is to take excerpts from various scores and put them together into a single MP3 that provides an 'overview' of the music. This ap...

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Eirik B. Jensen

Thank you for a long and elaborate comment!

Well, all I want from this reel is to have something to show to in networking circumstances. In a way proving that I do more than "Casio Keyboard Demo Songs...

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Joel Irwin

As artists, we will be picky and very conscious about our works: how they are assembled and how they are perceived. I believe much more so than our 'fans' and potential customers. I believe that all w...

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Eirik B. Jensen

Yes, it’s a slippery slope this, that you have to both show your versatility and at the same time sticking to your ‘voice’, this one thing that you do, and (hopefully) better than others. To both clai...

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Joel Irwin
Espresso

One of things that I don't see mentioned or done very often is describe the scene behind a cue and then write a cue and see how it 'compares' to others.  Now first keep in mind that any piece of music is 'legitimate' and there is really never a 'right' or 'wrong' answer though as we know, filmmakers...

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Joel Irwin

fyi - your link is blocked in the US. Keep in mind, at this point in the film I am scoring, the nature of the film is not yet known (it is going to be an LGBT love story). The music can not yet divulg...

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Joanna Karselis

Oh sorry, the link was to the opening of The Ipcress File. The whole opening montage is wordless and features Michael Cain making coffee, getting up and so on.

Interesting- why can't the music give us...

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Jonathan Price

Aye, even a coffee brewing scene, if it's the first scene of film, should set the tone for what we're about to see. I scored this Showtime film (https://youtu.be/RlpE09TN-GA) whose first scene was an...

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Joel Irwin

Jonathan - That music certainly works. In fact that is the music that the audience 'expects' to hear when they see a moving scenery or aerial shot. It conveys the feeling of vastness and movement.

Spoi...

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Jonathan Price

Cool stuff Joel! The C section wouldn't be out of place in a Western!

Cathy Yeater
Question for composers/lyricists

I'm working on a script for a musical, but I myself am musically illiterate, and while I have attempted to write some of the lyrics, I freely admit that they are very rough and need polishing.

With the success of movies such as La La Land and The Greatest Showman, I really think my script has the po...

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Lisa Bloom

I'd love to take a look and speak with you. I've composed 3 musicals for the theater, and am very excited to collaborate with a writer. Please do contact me!

Rods Bobavich

Most musicians find lyrics to be the toughest part. Rodgers and Hammerstein's collaboration was legendary. One was a lyrical poet and the other the musician. So don't feel ashamed of handing off half...

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Cathy Yeater

Thank you for this advice! I really appreciate it!

Rods Bobavich

One of the phrases I tell my artists in the studio on lyrics is that beauty in art is all about making the mundane memorable. This is pretty much the polar opposite of cliche which makes the memorable...

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Matt Milne

Find a good lyricist/poet, find a good composer, match them up.

Joel Irwin
The Millennial Sound

Time for me to 'expand my horizons'. I am pretty good and small and large ensemble sounds or even solo acoustic instrumentation. But twice in the last two months, I left a project because I was not creating a "Millennial" sound. In the first project, I scored the film three separate times with direc...

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Joel Irwin

Mark - good question - that is exactly what I was asking above.

Mark Gosney

So this is interesting! If you google "What is the sound of a Millennial Soundtrack" you get this kind of stuff:

and songs like this:

https://youtu.be/8uySN...

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Jonathan Price

Let's hear some more examples of original scores that are considered Millennial! Cuz the above example (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iepyQF6wGyk&feature=youtu.be) can't be it. I'd imagine something...

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Mark Gosney

I’ve been doing a little more poking around and I’m reading the the film, “The Dark Knight” was considered a Millennial smash. This film differently had a hybrid score, synthesizers with orchestral el...

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Jonathan Price

Maybe hybrid... Not that it hasn't been around forever, but there is more of a focus now.

Richi Carter
Scoring to Film Process

Guys, I have a question, which is something I'm really interested for your view on.

With the introduction of top-quality VSTs in the past 5 years or so, what is the most accepted process for scoring for Feature Films these days, once the Composer/Director have watched rough cuts and decided the route...

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Jonathan Price

1) I wouldn't call them "rough" temp tracks because you'll need to sell the cue with everything you have at your disposal. Your mockups need to sound as polished as your setup can deliver, even though...

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Joel Irwin

Great question. I too am waiting to work on a film with a budget for live musicians. One of the reasons I score in Sibelius rather than a DAW/sequencer is to make the transition to live performance ea...

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Jonathan Price

Aye, when I said, "synths tracks you want mixed into the score" I meant virtual instruments as well. Even among Hollywood's best you'll find composers who mix samples with live players. It's a topic u...

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Rods Bobavich

I'm gonna come at this from a different perspective as a music producer instead of a composer. "If it sounds good it is good. If it doesn't sound good it's crap." This has been and still is the motto...

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Matt Milne

never, ever ask anyone what the accepted practise is. Develop your own skills and techniques. Don't allow somebody else's limitations to become your own. I've used digital instruments in feature films and games for 13 years.

Dhrubajyoti Bhadury
Versatility in music

A composer myself exploring into multiple genres with extremely powerful contemporary music looking forward to work with some interesting people around, also, it would be nice to licence my music with some major labels, as the songs I am offering are for some biggest artists

Joel Irwin

are you just introducing yourself (which is done elsewhere) or there is a topic on your mind or something about composing you want to share with us?

Dhrubajyoti Bhadury

Yes, obviously it's some powerful music in my mind that I would like to share with,

Joel Irwin
Electronic Piano Scoring

These thoughts are just mine and may not be globally held by others who score electronically.  Many of us have grown up learning to play an instrument and often time, that instrument tends to be piano or guitar.  We often have a lot of playing and performing experience before and during our scoring...

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Julian Montgomery
Scoring My First Film

I have the opportunity to compose music for my first film. It is a short film that the filmmaker will be submitting to festivals. I've composed music for a lot of movie clips through school and on my own time but this will be my first full film. So, would any of you experienced composers have any words of advice for me?

Rachel Walker

Great advice Shawn:-)!

Luigi Suardi

I've just end my first feature film as composer and the situation is the same for me, great question Julian!

Julian Montgomery

Congrats on the feature Luigi!

Julian Montgomery

That's AWESOME Andrew! I'm excited for you.

Rachel Walker

How very wonderful and it is SUCH an exciting adventure as we continue to create and add to the song that sings all around us!! Have a wonderful HOLIDAY Season!! Rachel :-)!!!

Blake Robert Ward
Obtaining Music Rights for a Feature Film

Need help with navigating these waters, have a very big project inches away from reality, need to gain the music rights from a very popular band

Barry Coffing

ASCAP may be able to tell you who owns the publishing but that is only 1/2 of the rights required. You need to license the recording aka master also. PS There are NO RULES a composer can charge anything they want or even say NO for any reason.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Barry Coffing My father was a member. I am a grandfathered member. I was just trying to help him. Let him go to ASCAP and get the rules please it is the best place for Blake Robert Ward to start. Than...

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Barry Coffing

Steven, the song he is looking for my be 100% represented by BMI. ASCAP may have nothing to do with the song he is seeking. I work with a lot of indie filmmakers and I can’t tell you how many times th...

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Blake Robert Ward

Barry Coffing when would be a good time to call you? I'm located in Los Angeles PST

Joel Irwin
Multiple Composers - One Film

Here is something possibly controversial that we may not all agree on. Today I was talking to a filmmaker about a potential project he wants me to score. Partway through the conversation, he mentioned he uses multiple composers in a film and chooses between cues for each place. I told him (especiall...

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Richi Carter

I agree with you Joel. The only times I could understand this happening, is if the film requires a really niche piece of music, such as a Dubstep track, or an 80s Metal Song etc. Otherwise I don't see...

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Rods Bobavich

This is a new production style that we see everywhere. Asking artists to speculate for work is degrading to the artform. However, it's a truism that this is happening more and more...

If you have to ge...

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Tomasz Mieczkowski

Sounds strange to me. If there's a composer duo or something like that, it's fine, but I think you'd be able to tell if music changes from one composer to another. :)

Rods Bobavich

Yup. Sometimes two voices of music can work though. Like if you're in two different times. Or if you're trying to wildly contrast perspectives. But even then there should be communication and transparency.

James T. Sale

This process is the sign of a half-assed director. So your instincts are correct. Don't do it. I wouldn't do it even if getting paid. When you're a ghost-writer and part of a team it's unavoidable but even then, it creates myriad problems.

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