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music for TV, FILM, RADIO
Last post Tue, Nov 16 2004 by bruceup, 61 replies.
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Posted on Sat, Oct 16 2004 18:48
by calaf5
Joined on Mon, Jan 19 2004, Posts 150
I know I've asked this before but... can anyone share their stories at how they made it into the music for TV, FILM, RADIO business?

What do I need to do in order to break into the industry?

thanks in advance,
calaf
Posted on Sat, Oct 16 2004 18:52
by evan evans
Joined on Tue, Jun 17 2003, Hollywood, CA, Posts 2058
It's different for everybody. Absolutely different. I suggest starting to pay the bills by working as a copyist, then move up to orchestrator, OR you cvould be a compsoer assistant, all the while collecting job leads, resources, and paychecks. Then after 5 to 10 years without luck you'll be ready to break free. Of course, with a little luck, who knows? Maybe sooner.

And of course you have to live in Los Angeles. Duh.

Evan Evans
Evan Evans
Film Scoring Academy
http://filmscoring.academy
Posted on Sun, Oct 17 2004 17:15
by LDT
Joined on Thu, May 20 2004, Denmark, Posts 27
Well, it works for me not to live any where near LA... [Wink]
Posted on Sun, Oct 17 2004 19:39
by evan evans
Joined on Tue, Jun 17 2003, Hollywood, CA, Posts 2058
LDT, can you elaborate? You are working professional and you broke in how? And everyone is doing it like you from all around the world and so LA is not necessary why?

Evan Evans
Evan Evans
Film Scoring Academy
http://filmscoring.academy
Posted on Sun, Oct 17 2004 21:02
by Leon Willett
Joined on Fri, Feb 21 2003, Posts 105
John Williams lives in Boston, MA.

Oh, and Evan: I don't know why you assume the initial question in this thread was about your particular continent..... What if, god forbid, someone was trying to build a career in Europe? Would they need to move to LA for that? They have tellies in Europe too! and movie theatres! and radios!

BTW, if you glance at LDT's profile, you'll see he's from Denmark.
Posted on Sun, Oct 17 2004 23:05
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5626
Actually I am very interested in the topic of where one lives influencing getting scoring jobs. It is extremely helpful living in a center of commercial filmmaking like L.A., New York, London, Paris, etc. Leon Willet mentioned John Williams lives in Boston. Yes, but I don't think he did originally - when he was climbing his way up the ladder. Now, he could live in Antarctica and people would still hire him. But that is John Williams. Not a normal example. In fact, I would like to know if there is ANYONE who has managed to become a solvent film composer without living in a major filmmaking center. There just aren't any jobs elsewhere - at least in my experience. Production companies use library music every time they can get away with it. Also, independent film producers seem to home in on Hollywood (or the equivalent major city elsewhere) when they want a composer, not put out a want ad in the local newspaper.
Posted on Sun, Oct 17 2004 23:23
by evan evans
Joined on Tue, Jun 17 2003, Hollywood, CA, Posts 2058
John Williams is irrelavant. However, he broke himself in in Hollywood.

What seems to be your problem Leon?

I am giving good advice. I'll say that again:

GOOD ADVICE.

Evan Evans

P.S. Calaf did not ask how one "builds a career in Europe".
Evan Evans
Film Scoring Academy
http://filmscoring.academy
Posted on Sun, Oct 17 2004 23:26
by evan evans
Joined on Tue, Jun 17 2003, Hollywood, CA, Posts 2058
Leon et all,

Listen to me and Wiliam. We are not giving bad advice. i suggest moving to LA. If you want to "press your luck" elsewhere than that is a personal decision of yours. Otherwsie, if you would like a gaurunteed best shot at career filmscoring, you MUST be in LA. I'm sorry if that offends you. it is nothing personal.

Evan Evans
Evan Evans
Film Scoring Academy
http://filmscoring.academy
Posted on Mon, Oct 18 2004 08:18
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608
evanevans wrote:
Leon et all,

Listen to me and Wiliam. We are not giving bad advice. i suggest moving to LA. If you want to "press your luck" elsewhere than that is a personal decision of yours. Otherwsie, if you would like a gaurunteed best shot at career filmscoring, you MUST be in LA. I'm sorry if that offends you. it is nothing personal.

Evan Evans


I agree that moving to LA is the best option. However, it is not always possible; there are things like work permits to consider and one would need a healthy bank balance already in order to survive financially.

DG
Nuendo 6.03, 4.3
2 x Intel Xeon x5675 3.07GHz Hex Core
48GB RAM
Windows 7 (x64)Pro
RME Multiface II
Intensity
ATI HD5400 series graphics card
Posted on Mon, Oct 18 2004 09:42
by Leon Willett
Joined on Fri, Feb 21 2003, Posts 105
Oops Smile

It seems I was having a bad hair day yesterday, sorry Evan. I misplaced my lard and THAT puts me in an awful mood!
Posted on Mon, Oct 18 2004 10:14
by evan evans
Joined on Tue, Jun 17 2003, Hollywood, CA, Posts 2058
huh? ok. Wink

lard?

LOL.

huh?

(over my head I guess)

Evan Evans
Evan Evans
Film Scoring Academy
http://filmscoring.academy
Posted on Mon, Oct 18 2004 10:21
by LDT
Joined on Thu, May 20 2004, Denmark, Posts 27
Evan, I really appreciate your great contributions to this forum (and I am quite new here), but it seems to me that you were answering the question: "How to break into the music for film/tv/radio industry in the USA".

Me and my studio partner both make a living making film scores for danish (mostly) films.
There is a very good film school here in Copenhagen, and many composers have started their carreer making stuff for the directors in the film school. You do this for free of course, but as the director moves on to movies with a real budget, so do you (if he/she likes your music).
The danish film industry is doing fine, and so are many others around the world. Imagine if LA was the only place in the world to make movies... Confused [Wink]
I am not trying to dis americans at all. There is probably just not much public attention on non-american film making in the USA.
Posted on Mon, Oct 18 2004 10:22
by Peter Roos
Joined on Tue, Jan 07 2003, The Netherlands, Posts 477
I still don't understand the suggestion that European composers with a "local" ambition should move to L.A. to optimize their chances for a career in Europe.

Probably a language issue and I am having a bad mood today.

Anyway, this is a forum based in Europe, with lots of people from Europe, as well as from other countries. Let's not be too US-centric by default.

And Evan, can you please lower the level of your good advice a bit? It might easily be understood as arrogance.

Regards,

Peter
Peter Emanuel Roos
www.PeterRoos.com (music)
www.Samplicity.com (IR libs)
Posted on Mon, Oct 18 2004 10:29
by Leon Willett
Joined on Fri, Feb 21 2003, Posts 105
evanevans wrote:
huh?

(over my head I guess)


Haven't you watched the film Grease? They put lard in their hair man Stick out tongue

Here's the deal: to Europeans it can come across badly for someone to blurt out that it's a necessity to live in LA, especially since foreigners are not allowed to work in the US. It can also rub someone up the wrong way a little (especially if one has misplaced one's hair products) to assume that anyone wanting to build a career in film/tv must be wanting to do so in the US.

It's just that typically American "there is nothing beyond our boarders" sentiment that often gets jumped on by us Europeans. Since the question didn't mention what continent, and you went ahead and presumed "USA", I promise you it comes across as, well, presumtuous Smile (I remember you getting annoyed at someone else for that in another thread). Now, it may well be that you had never meant it that way, but I think there is a case for Americans to be overly cautious in that respect, given the social outlook of many of their fellow citizens.

Take care!
Posted on Mon, Oct 18 2004 12:21
by Fred Story
Joined on Tue, Jul 08 2003, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, Posts 257
My feeling is that if you accept the liklihood that you'll never score a major Hollywood feature film, one can find satisfying, profitable work almost anywhere one chooses to live. (Notice I said ALMOST. I'm sure there are realities of living in some places which would make the obstacles insurmountable.)

For example, I live in Charlotte, North Carolina. It's a lovely, mid-sized city with a great lifestyle. My wife and I made the decision NOT to move to LA when I chose to make it as a full time composer. That was 14 years ago. Today we oversee a shop with 3 full time composers (myself included), a talented sound designer and a full time production coordinator. It has exceeded even my own expectations. I get to work on a variety of stuff, and that's the way I like it. Commercials, TV shows (including the occasional national network show), documentaries...and several independent feature films so far.

It's taken a long time...no doubt much longer than it would have had we relocated to a major media center. We're not getting rich, but we enjoy our work, pay our bills, save a little...and we have a satisfying life.

We work hard to constantly improve our craft. We work hard on having great relationships with our clients. And yes, we have to work hard to keep work flowing in. But if you have sufficient talent and skills...and don't mind working hard...I think you can find a career wherever you are. They told me it couldn't be done in Charlotte, North Carolina. I just shrugged and said, "We'll see."

I found the comments from our European friends interesting, too. I'm afraid I agree with their words about our American perception problem. And I speak from a bit of experience. Two of my favorite film projects have been foreign films...one French, one a Spanish language film set in Chile. I loved the experience...and learned a little about our perception abroad.

Fred Story
Concentrix Music and Sound Design
Posted on Mon, Oct 18 2004 17:13
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5626
What Fred writes is exactly the kind of thing I wanted to hear about. I want to know of composers who have not gone the Hollywood route. I admire what he has done tremendously.

And I was not giving advice on my post. I have no advice to give on commercial matters as my bank account can attest. I was just noting that it is helpful to live in a big filmmaking area. Why? Simply because you might meet somebody who was making a film. That's all. And no way am I saying L.A. is the only place - that is LUDICROUS.

In fact there may be far more opportunity in other cities because they are not so dominated by the mainstream union productions which are very exclusive. I have deliberately avoided going to L.A. because I cannot stand huge cities and I detest 99% of mainstream commercial films. So I am looking for encouragement myself from those composers like Fred Story who have done well outside the mainstream "Industry" of Hollywood.

BTW I love the use of the word "Industry" applied to an art form. I wonder - does it produce Industrial Waste? And where is this waste stored? Probably in Nevada, where it will be kept safely underground for the next ten thousand years.
Posted on Mon, Oct 18 2004 18:53
by evan evans
Joined on Tue, Jun 17 2003, Hollywood, CA, Posts 2058
LDT wrote:

The danish film industry is doing fine, and so are many others around the world. Imagine if LA was the only place in the world to make movies... Confused [Wink]
I am not trying to dis americans at all. There is probably just not much public attention on non-american film making in the USA.
Fact is there is more opportunity in LA. End of story. I cannot keep saying the same thing 3 times now. You want the best shot and the best resources you come to LA. PERIOD.

Evan Evans
Evan Evans
Film Scoring Academy
http://filmscoring.academy
Posted on Mon, Oct 18 2004 18:56
by evan evans
Joined on Tue, Jun 17 2003, Hollywood, CA, Posts 2058
Peter Roos wrote:
IAnd Evan, can you please lower the level of your good advice a bit? It might easily be understood as arrogance.

Regards,

Peter
Look, what I am saying is undisputed. I could care less. I dont live in LA. There are other places with great opportunity for scoring in the world. Agreed. But some of you seem to want to challenge what I am saying. Who cares? LA is the undisputed leader for churning out career professional film composers. Enough said. I hate LA.

Evan Evans
Evan Evans
Film Scoring Academy
http://filmscoring.academy
Posted on Mon, Oct 18 2004 19:06
by evan evans
Joined on Tue, Jun 17 2003, Hollywood, CA, Posts 2058
Leon Willett wrote:
Haven't you watched the film Grease? They put lard in their hair man Stick out tongue
Ah! No I never saw that film. I mean come on ... should I? LOL. Confused:
Leon Willett wrote:
Here's the deal: to Europeans it can come across badly for someone to blurt out that it's a necessity to live in LA, especially since foreigners are not allowed to work in the US.
That's depressing. Now I feel sorry for you guys.
Leon Willett wrote:
It's just that typically American "there is nothing beyond our boarders" sentiment that often gets jumped on by us Europeans.
Well you guys just have a hypersensitivity to that then. Look it up. That is the problem here. Because that is not what I was inferring, saying, implying or anything. If you guys were just open, you could read my post for it's merits, and not read implied offenses into it because of your hypersensitivities.

The level of opportunity in LA, is probably far more than you guys realize. It's an entire industry, with multiple competitors, in every aspect of music making. If you were to live in New York, the next best place to be in the USA for instance for scoring or dramatic music, your opportunity to make money and refine your skills drops by almost 20 to 1. Now I know there are hotspots in Europe, Asia, Australia, etc., where one can be fortunate enough. This I understand. And in LA the opportunity is even greater.

But I guess you understand that, as do all of you, as this is where your hypersensitivity comes from. I was not aware of this condition that you all have. Had I been, should I have phrased what I said differently? Are you an advocate of unfree speech? in any event, I did not mean to offend. Rather I think you meant to defend.

But I am not against your notions.

Peace.

Evan Evans
Evan Evans
Film Scoring Academy
http://filmscoring.academy
Posted on Mon, Oct 18 2004 19:11
by evan evans
Joined on Tue, Jun 17 2003, Hollywood, CA, Posts 2058
Fred Story wrote:
I found the comments from our European friends interesting, too. I'm afraid I agree with their words about our American perception problem.
I have not seen this or witnessed this sentiment from any American friends of mine. Or if I have it was not unjustifiable.

Evan Evans
Evan Evans
Film Scoring Academy
http://filmscoring.academy
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