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Topic: You guys that do this for a living...how did you get your first job composing?

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  1. #1
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    You guys that do this for a living...how did you get your first job composing?

    Hi there.

    I am interested in knowing how you guys (and gals - hey...are there any? ) went about getting your first paying gig scoring. Be it a small indie film, tv, HBO pilot, game, commercial, whatever. What did you do, what route did you take? Did you have to make call after call, attend party after party, send out demo after demo? Did something just fall into your lap by luck first time around, which then led to something else?

    Anyone care to share some stories?

    Cheers.

  2. #2

    Re: You guys that do this for a living...how did you get your first job composing?

    I am not doing it full-time, maybe 50%.

    I made a demo CD with 8 tracks, that had a wide variety of "film type" music. It was of course as polished and professional sounding as I could make it with a nice clean looking lablel that says I mean business.

    Then a website with a bio, and some sound samples.

    A business card and promotional material.

    I sent 20 Cd's and letters to production/advertising companies.

    Out of the 20:

    10 people said "They hadn't seen it yet. I'll call you when we listen to it". They of course never call back.

    5 said, "We have the CD. We will add it to our files and call if we have something for you." They of course never call back.

    5 gave quite positive responses and was able to get meeting with 3 of them. The other 2 never managed to slot me in to their busy schedule.

    My first job came out of one of those three meetings from a guy who happened to have a story board on his desk for a 45 second TV commercial and he asked me for a quote. He liked my quote and gave me the job.

  3. #3
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    Re: You guys that do this for a living...how did you get your first job composing?

    What - all the rest of you are unemployed?

    lol

  4. #4

    Re: You guys that do this for a living...how did you get your first job composing?

    I write mostly for games, and I got really lucky getting into the industry. Having past experience playing and touring in a successful band, I emailed an owner of a game company, sent a demo, had a meeting, and one month later was the audio director at the only company I had contacted.

    I guess it's not really a typical "I busted my ~~~ for 10 years and then finally got a break" story.

    I'd say most of my current work comes from networking and my work on previous projects leading to new ones.

  5. #5

    Re: You guys that do this for a living...how did you get your first job composing?

    Quote Originally Posted by RiffWraith
    What - all the rest of you are unemployed?

    lol
    I think they're employed but worried about staying that way...

    I'd tell you my story but I don't have one, still waiting for that first job! (Haven't actually looked yet, not quite ready yet). I'll let you know when I do though!

    buzz

  6. #6

    Re: You guys that do this for a living...how did you get your first job composing?

    Quote Originally Posted by RiffWraith
    What - all the rest of you are unemployed?

    lol
    I don't think you'll get a whole lot of feedback on this topic from working composers. It's a very, very competitive business and it just isn't sound business practive to invite or encourage competition. Sorry, just the way it is.

  7. #7

    Re: You guys that do this for a living...how did you get your first job composing?

    Quote Originally Posted by wja
    I don't think you'll get a whole lot of feedback on this topic from working composers. It's a very, very competitive business and it just isn't sound business practive to invite or encourage competition. Sorry, just the way it is.

    Either that, or they are all too busy working

    Peace

    rikp

  8. #8

    Re: You guys that do this for a living...how did you get your first job composing?

    RiffWraith,

    Thank God I don't have this as my main gig to make a living!!

    At 14 years old I did arrangements for performers in Catskill NY at the hotels that are basically gone today. Ever since then I did the Wedding scene for 36 years and was on the road as the keyboard player and arranger for "The Four Lads" I did land my teacher's JOB with my wife for the DOE of NYC in 1983 and we are looking to retire in about 8 years from September. One thing is certain, I will always have my music abilities post retirement which I am looking forward too. The way that I look at it, is that if want to enjoy your music objectively and not depend on it to pay mortagages and your kid's colleges, get a paying job that delivers you a check weekly. You will always have your music as a first or second wife.

    Back to your inquiry:

    If you want people to notice your scores, get somebody to host your own official website and post to your delight all of your talents. Always buy great sampled instruments for your library!!

    wishing you the best,

    Alan Russell

    Quote Originally Posted by RiffWraith
    What - all the rest of you are unemployed?

    lol
    Please Visit My New & Revised Official Website Below

    http://AlanRussell-Music.com

  9. #9

    Re: You guys that do this for a living...how did you get your first job composing?

    A bit of a funny story really... and I'm sure I've told it to death, but you asked...

    A friend of mine and I decided to start a production company writing jingles or whatever. We got together for a meeting to discuss our strategies. It was about 14 years ago. CDROMs were just getting hot everyone had to have one. We decided that there was plenty of music needed for these new fangled interactive disks, so we opened up the phone book, went ot the first company we saw under "B" which was Broderbund, called them up and had an interview the next week. I was hired for a project soon after, and they asked me to hire someone else for the project, so my friend was in after a matter of months. The rest is history, Broderbund happened to be the publisher for Myst, I ended up working on Riven, and then was hired at Cyan to work on the next set of titles they produced being URU and Myst V. So when someone asks me how to get a gig writing music for games, I just tell them it's as easy as opening up the phone book and let their fingers do the walking! Can't be that hard right?...

    Tim

  10. #10
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    Re: You guys that do this for a living...how did you get your first job composing?

    Gr8 story Tim


    Quote Originally Posted by TLarkin
    A bit of a funny story really... and I'm sure I've told it to death, but you asked...

    A friend of mine and I decided to start a production company writing jingles or whatever. We got together for a meeting to discuss our strategies. It was about 14 years ago. CDROMs were just getting hot everyone had to have one. We decided that there was plenty of music needed for these new fangled interactive disks, so we opened up the phone book, went ot the first company we saw under "B" which was Broderbund, called them up and had an interview the next week. I was hired for a project soon after, and they asked me to hire someone else for the project, so my friend was in after a matter of months. The rest is history, Broderbund happened to be the publisher for Myst, I ended up working on Riven, and then was hired at Cyan to work on the next set of titles they produced being URU and Myst V. So when someone asks me how to get a gig writing music for games, I just tell them it's as easy as opening up the phone book and let their fingers do the walking! Can't be that hard right?...

    Tim

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