Just thought I’d spark the discussion as well as see what your guys’ opinions or wisdom would be with this matter.
What’s the best way to “get heard?” How do you start to network with people Do you live in an area where media is big? (Such as L.A. or NYC ) What software/hardware would you say is “necessary” to actually “make it.”
Just would like to hear some advice from the wise!
I don’t think there are any good or bad ways to do it. Its a really hard industry with a lot of really talented people. In my opinion the most important thing is to actually be good at what you do. That does not mean that if you are really talented you will success but you will at least have good chances to do it. Second you will need to try to get in to the industry, speak to people working with music and try to get your foot in. Audiojungle is a good way of starting! I got a lot of freelance work from here and thats a good way of getting better and more involved in the industry.
When it comes to software/hardware there is no ground rule for that. However there are standards in the business when it comes to recording etc but its not a must have if you are in the starting. More important is that you can handle the software and hardware you have so that you actually deliver something.
Just my two cents!
It doesn’t entirely answer your question, but there is a thread here with some great discussion amongst Audiojungle authors.http://audiojungle.net/forums/thread/custom-work-what-to-do-when-you-get-approached/42915
I’ll now give my thoughts. The quick answer to your question, is that there is no ‘best’ way to get into the industry.
It’s worth pointing out though that almost all the major composers got their shot because they ‘knew a guy’. There are hundreds of great composers who will never get heard because sadly, they didn’t know the person who could help them put their work on a level viewable by multiple people.
That would suggest that networking is important, and it is, but too much emphasis is placed on this word ‘networking’ (in my opinion). If you see everyone you meet as a potential business contact, it’s not going to get you far in the long run (depending on what your ambitions are). Yes, it’s important to meet people, but developing that relationship, especially independently of work, is what will help you in the long run. I see this a LOT at game conventions such as GDC , where there are always 100’s of composers, and I think many of them would sell their grandmas just to work on a game project. There’s no soul/passion in it and it’s really important to have that AND be sincere about it.
Hans Zimmer has all the best gigs, not just because he writes great music, but because he is one of the most charming individuals in Hollywood and does EVERYTHING he possibly can to accommodate the people he works for.
Bruce Broughton – who has worked with Hans before – said that whenever he’s on the phone with Hans, they spend just as much time talking about family and stuff. You might see this as trivial, but this sort of goodwill really adds up over time.
Software and hardware is irrelevant, it’s what you do with it that counts. My answer to people on that question is ‘buy everything you can but when you buy it, LEARN IT ’.
The best way to get heard is to simply write lots of music and do whatever you can to get it associated with something – no matter how small. Film music isn’t REALLY film music until it’s attached to a film.
Try and become an assistant to a major film or TV composer. They always need them. This can be a path to great success for many – see the composer Chris Bacon, who worked for James Newton Howard for many years.
You don’t need to be in LA or New York, especially with the internet these days, but you will certainly help your chances.
It all depends on what your ambitions as a composer are at the end of the day. The top composers on Audiojungle can make a great living and never have to meet anyone!!!!!!!!!! But I can say – not with complete certainty – that being a top author on Audiojungle is probably not going to net you a big blockbuster film – at least not directly. (I feel that this has a chance of changing in the future)! So like I said, it depends on what you want to do.
- You’re likely to get a blockbuster film from Envato if you develop a long-term relationship with a buyer of your file who then becomes a decent director and you work with him/her on their films, but this goes back to that ‘developing a relationship’ thing I mentioned earlier. **
Also, you have to write good music, and when you get your big shot, you really CAN ’T blow it. When you’re doing stuff you have to ask yourself ‘is this really the best I can possibly do.’ Most of the top composers early on in their career – see Brian Tyler / Christopher Young – pretty much went broke because they’d lose money on the score spending money on the live orchestra.
So yeah, make sure your product is top notch!
And when you have a top notch product, you then need to sustain it over a long period of time, and that’s what separates the good from the great.
My answer is not definitive and I hope other authors will offer their own perspectives and opinions.
“Bruce Broughton – who has worked with Hans before – said that whenever he’s on the phone with Hans, they spend just as much time talking about family and stuff. You might see this as trivial, but this sort of goodwill really adds up over time.”
This is awesome and I love it. (thank you for sharing this)
I think developing a deep working relationship with people is essential. You can hone your craft until you can’t feel your pointer finger clicking any more, but you have to be able to connect with people. If you can’t, then your work will reflect this. The deeper you connect with people, the better you become at communicating with them (and communicating through your art.
Practice, practice, practice. If you keep composing, and keep surrounding yourself with people (or a lovely community like the people here at AJ), you’ll not only continue to develop your craft, but start to discover more about your own creative self. That can’t be taught, and it’s not a check list. If you want to pursue a life of creativity, keep practicing, and surround yourself with people who naturally nourish that creativity.
As always, it’s a pleasure to read Gareth’s incredibly informative posts. Gareth, you should compile all of your forum posts and get yourself a book deal .
I agree that the anecdote about Hans Zimmer is fantastic. IMO this can apply to any professional relationship. You can tell when people are just “networking,” and it often leaves a bad taste, like you feel you’re being used. On the other hand, real genuine relationships are incredibly valuable, and you never know where they’re going to lead. For instance, my day job is in software engineering, but I can safely say I’ve made more software industry contacts through music relationships than in my day to day work. And if nothing else, it’s enjoyable to get to know people, no matter what rung of the ladder they’re on. Who knows – maybe that guy just starting out that you let open for your band will someday be your benefactor.
I wanted to give you some tips too but once I read what garethcoker said I am no longer of use :))).
Just be perfect at what you do.
What worked for me was using a lot of the modern social networking sites and music networking sites of which there are several established big names.
I live near London yet all my work is US based and my location at this juncture makes no difference at all.
Everything has changed in the last 10 years,literally everything.The rule book which covered the gear you needed,the people you had to meet,music you needed to write,the means of communication,showing demo reels etc is now completely revolutionised.
It still pays to meet people,it still pays off to try typical trusted methods of getting exposure and getting a profile but what we have now,is a media powerful arena i certainly never had in the late 80’s.
It was wall to wall synths and massive samplers and over priced storage and terrible PC power.In fact those were the days everyone ran an Atari ST with cubase 1 long before the world knew Pro tools.
speaking of software,you asked what type was relevant in the field of professional media and i would personally say the king of the pile is Pro tools.Its the industry standard and everyone who works in music,film,tv etc will relate to this platform and its intergration into editing suites and post production suites but thats not to say you cannot happily compete with something like Cubase.
Thats my preferred platform and i have no wish to change that.You can still export everything out so limitations are self imposed not software based if you know what you are doing,which after some sleepless nights,inhaling coffee and such, you will be fine lol.
Getting into TV placement work is relatively easy.There are means now to communicate with these agencies and supervisors.getting into advertising work is much harder but massively lucrative if you can handle the stress of it.its truly insane to do and you will be asked to revise the perfect jingle at least 30-40 times before re editing the first version.
Film score work is the hardest of all not least due to the overwhelming competition and how good people can be now we have PC’s and sounds that exchange 50k in gear. All in one box with a Berklee degree and you have a lot of wannabe writers who would do anything just to be an additional music writer or effectively a modern day tea boy/old school tape opp lol. Most of us have taught ourselves and not having the language of music to fall back on makes this whole journey a lot tougher.its ok if you ARE Hans Zimmer,but for most mortals,its double the work every step of the way.
The bottom line is IMHO ,you can achieve anything in this industry if your work ethic is boundless,you laugh at sleep,chuckle at lunch and dont blink. if you are willing to work with people,become that people person.no one likes a git and Hollywood etc is no exception.if you dont play ball from level one,you will bounce as soon as you start working.
if you dont love what you do,,....well.its a self forfilling prophecy,as you will know the road that leads down.you need to be writing till your head explodes or something near this minus the clean up situation.
RussellBellMusic speaks the truth.
He found a much more articulate way to say everything I sort of said but didn’t phrase as well – Nice post.P.S. What a 1st post!
+1 Great to see mr Russell Bell here in da jungle and it’s supercool if he shares his vast experience in the field