Discussion in 'Working in the Industry' started by ptram, Jan 22, 2018.
Makes a lot of sense. It's a business. And being a media composer is a better description for reasonable career than a bigtime Hollywood film composer.
Let's not equate making a living via YouTube with writing music for YouTube productions. There is practically $0 in scoring YouTube stuff. There is quite a lot in making your own content and monetizing it. However, that too is changing and getting harder, thanks to Google's ever-stricter and draconian policies.
Games right now are very much a "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times" situation. Yes, more indie games are being made than ever. They too unfortunately follow the "95% of everything is crap rule." AAA games are using orchestras and have higher music budgets than ever -- and are ruining their reputation with bullshit business practices. Just saying "there's lots of demand" misses so much of the context that it's basically a useless statement.
Independent film makers still make no money on the whole. From where I'm sitting, the indie film world is the same as it's always been, financially speaking. I love it and prefer to work in it (and the games industry), but come on. Pretending like there's a bunch of money to be made in something that by definition doesn't have a reliable source of financing is dishonest.
Location is irrelevant for doing the work (to a degree -- time zones are still a thing though and can make collaboration difficult), but in no way is it irrelevant for getting the work. Chillbot is 100% spot on with this.
Sure, but if you don't buy a lottery ticket, you don't even have a chance of winning (even if your chance is only a fart in the wind). Ludovic Bource didn't expect to score a Gammy winning film, and is a prime example. You don't need to live in LA to score blockbusters. Luck and networking are a composers best friends....you don't even need to go to "film scoring school" (whatever that is).
There is even a masters degree available here in film scoring
When I decided on my future way, I arranged a meeting with the director of the film scoring programme to discuss with him my way. I brought some scores and Audio to show him to get an opinion as well. His comment was mainly:
- You got potential, but your stuff needs work
- You're already 31, a 5-year fulltime programme might not be the right thing for you
- If you're interested, we got certificate programmes
- Jump on Online courses, most are not that good, but even the worst courses have at least one nugget of knowledge waiting to be discovered
- A Masters degree in filmscoring gives you pretty much the same chance to work as the way with online courses, only that here you can build up a portfolio with real instrumentalists (which are, of course, students themselves - good instrumentalists, but as a whole not comparable with a professional film orchestra of LA caliber)
After that talk, and the very much appreciated honesty of the programmes director who didn't just advertise the school, I decided to go my way as he proposed - get my skills up, take online courses or other education, and I'm almost in the same spot as a young graduate, while still being able to work my dayjob and have stable finances.
A year later, I saw him by chance at a bar and had a quick talk to him - and asked him about the film students. His words were:
- The contacts you make from filmscoring with these undergrad directors for their bachelor's or master's project are that - a project
- Very few of those future directors apparently "think back" who scored their projects in school - they look further for different reasons
- most directors start working on contract as well - maybe one out of ten can begin directing his own film, the rest do ads, corporate shorts etc.
We are not the only ones who are struggling - and as I said in an earlier post (I think) - it depends highly where you want to work. Hollywood Blockbusters? IMO there is no other possible location than LA itself. If you don't want to go for Hollywood Blockbusters? I think there are more possible locations. Desplat also has scored a lot of movies in France before he went the Hollywood route.
@MatFluor thanks for that post, interesting to hear about your experience with applying to that program. Sounds like to chose the right route, plus you don't have the huge student debt...I assume that program wasn't cheap.
Standard costs - I would estimate about $10k for the masters degree? (Switzerland, different system with that stuff).
I could now enroll, I put enough money aside. But that would mean, quitting my current dayjob, and no money to go self-employed after the programme. I'm building up my financial bed - and next week or so I'm starting with EIS - so education is going fine
"When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss Music. When musicians get together for dinner, they discuss Money."
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