• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 32

Topic: Part-Time Scoring?

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Part-Time Scoring?

    First of all, I gotta say I love this forum, it is really good, I've made a couple posts and I'm really thrilled with the response I've recieved. It's very cool to have a such nice folks willing to share their expertise and experience. Hopefully I'll be able to help out too, once I get some.

    I'm wondering about film/tv/game scoring; is anyone doing this stuff part-time? I mean, are deadlines, in general, such that someone who's not doing it full-time could hope to provide the kind of service that a director's expecting (by the way, with game scores, is there a director, or someone else you deal with?)? I have a 9-5 day job, and while (I believe) I can write some decent quality stuff, I wouldn't always be able take the director's call in the middle of the day, and it might prevent me from being able to jump on that last-minute change that he needs fedex'd that very night, or whatever. Whenever I read interviews and such everyone always talks about the 'impossble' timelines you have to deal with, so I'm wondering what the reality is for those of us who can't support themselves full-time with composing work. I'm sure there's many different scenarios and it's hard to generalize, but I'm just looking for input.

    What I'm really going after is what area of the biz I might have the best chance at initially, with having a day job and not being in LA. Tall order I know, but you gotta start somewhere....

    Thanks!


    buzz

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Decatur Illinois
    Posts
    901

    Re: Part-Time Scoring?

    I've had really good luck doing this stuff part time while trying to get to full-time status. Mostly doing commercials and educational films. I just landed a game gig but it doesnt really start till January and when it does, it will be full time. If you meet someone who really likes your work, they might be willing to work around you a bit. Most of the people I have worked for have been very understanding. Hope this helps.

    Eric

  3. #3

    Re: Part-Time Scoring?

    Buzz....first of all, if you have a good job, stick with it, scoring ain't what it's cracked up to be....it's not what you think it is, believe me....and if I could go back in time to when I made the decision to be a composer or be a Lawyer, I would have been a lawyer (although that begs the question that if I would have been a lawyer, would I now be writing on a legal forum that I wished I would have been a composer instead?).

    Secondly, you can certainly score part time, but you'll be limited to student films and small independent projects. Those directors will most likely have little or no money with which to compensate you and as such have no right to have you at their complete disposal 24/7.

    Thirdly, you can't be a professional composer part time, it's near impossible....not because of the composition part mind you, but because of the sales/marketing/networking part of it. These things are necessary to the survival of even the most seasoned composer, and they take up a lot of time. When you're not composing (which by the way is the majority of the time) you will be busy tweaking your demo reels, updating your web site, contacting new potential clients, sending out demos, surfing the net for more opportunities, setting up impromptu lunches (location, location, location!), and on and on and on. The thing is that you have to be constantly ready to go, when someone calls you at any given time because you never know where your next big opportunity will emerge from.
    >>Kays
    http://www.musicbykays.com
    Music Composition for Feature Films, Television and Interactive Entertainment

  4. #4

    Re: Part-Time Scoring?

    Wow, midphase, a 'don't quit your day job' response was the last thing I'd have expected from you!! You have done a lot of quite serious work, your stuff is beautiful, first rate all the way! (Are your orchestral mp3 all samples, or real orchestra?).

    But I find your response fascinating...
    >> scoring ain't what it's cracked up to be....it's not what you think it is, believe me....
    Why do you say that? Is it because someone like me doesn't think about all the business/hustling you have to do to keep the work coming in? Or something else?

    >> .. I would have been a lawyer ...
    !!!Why?!!! Again, is it the business stuff? Doesn't the joy of creating music outweigh the negatives? Being a lawyer has lots of negatives no doubt (for one, you have to give your soul to Satan ). Here's a key question: how long did it take you to feel this way? If you sat and worked in a cube 9-5 for a year (like I do) do you still think you'd feel this way? Have you always worked as a composer?


    Thanks!


    buzz

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    357

    Cool Re: Part-Time Scoring?

    Quote Originally Posted by midphase
    ...first of all, if you have a good job, stick with it, scoring ain't what it's cracked up to be....it's not what you think it is, believe me.....
    Hi there. I too am wondering what makes you say that? Do you say that because you feel (and rightfully so) that people for the most part do not understand that there is a business side to this, and that it is not all just writing music? Or are there other things that I am missing?

    Quote Originally Posted by midphase
    .....if I would have been a lawyer, would I now be writing on a legal forum that I wished I would have been a composer instead?).
    Uhh, yeah - prolly!

  6. #6

    Re: Part-Time Scoring?

    Ok, I suppose an explanation is in order. Firstly I would like to clarify that I am not frustrated with my career as a composer in the sense that I have plenty of projects that keep me busy and business is great!

    I simply (and I have stated this before) would like to discourage people from having this romantic and hyped notion of the "composer" One of the first things to go is your passion to write music for the sake of music. Believe me, when you've been stuck in front of a monitor for the past 12 hours trying to score a 20 minute reel in 1 day (did it last Friday), the last thing you want is to compose more music once you're done. I look back fondly at my high school and college days when I would spend hours upon hours writing music and songs for nobody but me and my personal pleasure. I'm sure others will chime in and say that they still find time to compose for the sake of composing (and I occasionally still do), but I am convinced that it is not as enjoyable as for those who do not do this for a living.

    I also want to make it absolutely clear that as a pro composer, you spend the majority of your time (as calculated on a monthly basis) not composing but going to meetings and doing the marketing/calling/sales stuff.

    I could also go into a major diatribe about how producers and directors crap all over your artistic choices and quality becomes secondary to budgets, deadlines, and cool credits, Kid-Surf would probably be a good one to chime in here, his insights always seem right on.


    There are obviously rewards for those willing to stick it out and suffer on their journey, but I believe that it is important to understand exactly what you're getting yourself into.

    Lastly, I am (and always have been) fascinated by law, I love reading contracts and dissecting them, I love to find loopholes and weaknesses in the way things are worded, and hence my statement about being a lawyer. I am sure that if I had decided to become a lawyer I would have at some point regretted not following my dreams to compose.
    >>Kays
    http://www.musicbykays.com
    Music Composition for Feature Films, Television and Interactive Entertainment

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    312

    Re: Part-Time Scoring?

    IMHO, the key to happiness in this area is to consider art (personal expression at one's highest level) and commerce as separate pursuits. The music business, like all others, is treated as business music, or business that involves music. What I am offering is my knowledge and skills as a composer; ability to program samples, and success with managing the business details of projects so that I deliver the highest quality "product" on time and within budget constraints.

    The goal is to work toward a position where you can marry art and commerce as often as possible, and work with clients who have artistic sensibilities and value what you offer as an artist. When not possible (read: frequently), try or at least include some bits of artistic expression in your work for hire.

  8. #8

    Re: Part-Time Scoring?

    Quote Originally Posted by midphase
    Ok, I suppose an explanation is in order. Firstly I would like to clarify that I am not frustrated with my career as a composer in the sense that I have plenty of projects that keep me busy and business is great!

    I simply (and I have stated this before) would like to discourage people from having this romantic and hyped notion of the "composer" One of the first things to go is your passion to write music for the sake of music. Believe me, when you've been stuck in front of a monitor for the past 12 hours trying to score a 20 minute reel in 1 day (did it last Friday), the last thing you want is to compose more music once you're done. I look back fondly at my high school and college days when I would spend hours upon hours writing music and songs for nobody but me and my personal pleasure. I'm sure others will chime in and say that they still find time to compose for the sake of composing (and I occasionally still do), but I am convinced that it is not as enjoyable as for those who do not do this for a living.

    I also want to make it absolutely clear that as a pro composer, you spend the majority of your time (as calculated on a monthly basis) not composing but going to meetings and doing the marketing/calling/sales stuff.

    I could also go into a major diatribe about how producers and directors crap all over your artistic choices and quality becomes secondary to budgets, deadlines, and cool credits, Kid-Surf would probably be a good one to chime in here, his insights always seem right on.


    There are obviously rewards for those willing to stick it out and suffer on their journey, but I believe that it is important to understand exactly what you're getting yourself into.

    Lastly, I am (and always have been) fascinated by law, I love reading contracts and dissecting them, I love to find loopholes and weaknesses in the way things are worded, and hence my statement about being a lawyer. I am sure that if I had decided to become a lawyer I would have at some point regretted not following my dreams to compose.
    Gosh Kays, you and I never seem to agree

    First of all, even with all the pressure, crappy budgets, and micro-managing and sometimes idiotic directors/producers I still find so much joy in the challenge of putting music to picture, even bad picture.

    But you are correct in that it is not romantic and 70% of my energy is indeed put into trying to get the next job.

    BTW, will you check out my next contract and save me the attorney fees?
    Composer, Logic Certified Trainer, Level 2,
    author of "Going Pro with Logic Pro 9."

    www.jayasher.com

  9. #9

    Re: Part-Time Scoring?

    I'm doing this part time and so far so good. My day job is an Avid video editor, and at night I come home and write for documentary films, TV shows and a few jingles. I use to do music full time, but right now I'm enjoying the freedom of a steady pay check, and money on the side from my composing work. I think you can make it work for you.


    Cheers,
    Deigratia

  10. #10

    Re: Part-Time Scoring?

    First of all, even with all the pressure, crappy budgets, and micro-managing and sometimes idiotic directors/producers I still find so much joy in the challenge of putting music to picture, even bad picture.

    But you are correct in that it is not romantic and 70% of my energy is indeed put into trying to get the next job.

    BTW, will you check out my next contract and save me the attorney fees?
    Hmmm...I don't think I ever said I don't enjoy it.

    I think you and I are also in slightly different places, from your web site it sounds like you've been doing this for a long time (while you were busy scoring Little House on the Prairie, I was busy with elementary school) and as such you are probably able to better filter your clientele and leverage your experience and connections to get more "respect" in your artistic decisions. Your idea of a bad picture is probably different than mine.


    I also think that if you started in the 70's, your challenges for getting your foot in the door were decisively different than what a young composer would experience today. As a member of the SCL, being able to talk and listen to many members, I am always amazed at how radically different the experiences of composers can be.

    As far as contracts go....I'll take a look at them for you no problem, as long as you promise not to sue me when I screw things up!
    >>Kays
    http://www.musicbykays.com
    Music Composition for Feature Films, Television and Interactive Entertainment

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •