score How Do You Find Composers?

Stick around this thread for a while; already several composers on it. Maybe one will offer you some links to their work.

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Actually, may not have been clear on this, but I am actually a composer myself. The company that I co-founded has worked on some major projects, but they all seemed to have come from luck. We have a lot of contacts with bigger name composers, so we've been given work that they had to turn down. Now that we're looking to expand a bit, I was curious about ways to start relationships with more directors.

Though it's really great to hear a non-composer's thoughts on the music. The diegetic music discussion was fun to read. Actually, in my school we called it source music. Took me a second to make the connection.
 
hough it's really great to hear a non-composer's thoughts on the music. The diegetic music discussion was fun to read. Actually, in my school we called it source music. Took me a second to make the connection.

I don't know about moonshieldmedia, but I have been composing film and ad music, since 1984. I stick to mostly paid work, but I do the occasional indie, if it interests me (such as the slasher movie I mentioned). Just as with filmmaking, I am a fan, first - I collect movies and scores, so I like talking about this from that perspective. Yes, very interesting discussion! I work a lot with synths, sampling and waveform modulation. I often use a vocoder.

Anyway, the diegetic/film realism discussion got me thinking of different approaches, such as sampling onscreen elements (or creating them, via foley) and making ambient or rhythmic patterns. I recently saw an indie horror movie that used the sounds of marbles (or BBs) rolling across wood. The mic placement was close enough to catch the resonance of that wood surface, which was very effective. Something like that could part of the onscreen action, background or off-frame.

A great example would be the opening of EVIL DEAD, where the car approaches the cabin. While driving down the road, you hear a "bump..... bump...... bump." You think that the sound editor or composer is using this sound as some wierd beat. Eventually, they pull up and you see the swinging porch bench, hitting the wall. As soon as they step onto the porch, it stops. Brilliant and simple!
 
moonshield, I'm pleased to say I've seen all the movies you mentioned. I
recall "Menthol" using some underscore. But I saw it at the SBFF over a
year ago. "Computer Chess" and the Haneke films are good examples.
I guess I'm just not seeing the trend you are.

I was at that same Menthol screening! The director is a friend of mine. And I think you might be right, there's undertones on one particular scene in the climax. I remember him telling me he caved and decided to add them at the last minute.

I still haven't thought of any new examples, but as someone above mentioned, all of the Dogme 95 films follow that as a rule. Maybe it's not as current of a trend as I thought, but I do stand by my statement that films are becoming quieter. Alcove mentioned films are actually getting louder, and he's right when you're talking about the mix itself, but I'm talking about overall use of music. If you watch movies from the 80s and 90s there's music pouring over every scene at different dynamic levels. Even scenes where it's just 2 people casually talking there'll be some light strings of whatever in the BG. Nowadays, most directors and composers leave those scenes completely to the sound designer and only come it with loud music when necessary.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
Small world!

In general small indie films do not need a big orchestral score so they aren't as
"loud" as a big budget action films. So it's reasonable to say small indie films are
quieter than studio films.

I still haven't thought of any new examples, but as someone above mentioned, all of the Dogme 95 films follow that as a rule.
I wouldn't call the Dogme 95 movement modern - it ended 10 years ago and
according to the website produced only 35 films. But I'll give you that; films
that prescribed to that manifesto would certainly fit your criteria.

BTW to Scoopicman and Dready: I don't think initiativeaudio was asking how
can he find composers. I think he was asking producers how they find composers.
What do they look for, where do they look.
 
Maybe initiativeaudio would like to know it, to find much more better self-promotion sites on the web. ;)

In my case, i thought that the most (indie)directors don´t look for a special composer. Music isn´t that important for the most directors. Maybe if a movie goes bigger with much more budget and a better cast.


"In general small indie films do not need a big orchestral score(...)"
Well, thats right. A composer should always say this to the director, if its not fit to the movie. But you cal also create a big score without any orchestral sound. Everything is possible :D
 
Random suggestion: If you're looking for young, talented composers, go to the IMDb page for a movie or show whose score you like, and contact the *additional music composers.* They're young, they're hungry, you already like their work, and they're waaaaay cheaper than the person with the main music credit.
 
I'm facing a similar challenge: how do I find directors and filmmakers? I'm a composer, and I want to meet people making films. So far I have reached out to my network, posted in online classifieds, browsed jobs offered/wanted boards, joined meetups, but it all feels like shooting in the dark. I imagine we might be going through the same thing.

I would really like to meet more student filmmakers, or filmmakers recently out of school, so maybe the same can be said for filmmakers looking for composers recently out of school too. I think about director/composer relationships, like Burton/Elfman, Abrams/Giacchino, etc, and I feel like they grow over time, from when these creators start in their career. If goal is to work on short films and features, as opposed to commercial and corporate work/sync opportunities, connecting with new directors and composers seems like the way to go.

I also feel like it depends where you are located. Here in nyc, it seems every request for composer post has at least 200 replies, so it feels daunting to try and add your voice to an already saturated market. It a smaller city, I imagine the opposite is true, it's probably hard to find somebody local who meets an expectation of quality and skill.

All the other suggestions on this thread are good too: IMDB page, paying whatever you can for music = value, cold calling, etc.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I'm visiting my GF in boston. While I'm here I'm actually going to go to meet a composer today who lives here in the city. He posted a thread on indietalk a few months back.

Who knows though! I've never worked with a composer before, it never worked out.

I would also NEVER hire (pay for) a composer that had no samples of their work applied to film. Just straight tracks by themselves don't sell me.

I offered a composer I'm FB friends with an opportunity to rescore a 3 minute short of mine but they said they don't do anything for free. So bizarre, i was actually trying to help him out. Dude has no samples of his work applied to film. But he didn't want any either so I guess he is still getting paid somehow.

Certainly he seemed to have no desire to build a relationship with a nobody like me :)
 
There are loads of film composers out there for sure...trust me, I know - I am one! I think it ends up being more a matter of who you get along with as far as their personality, tastes in film and music, what other things you have in common, etc. I have found the strongest relationships I've built with other filmmakers has been around what other films and film scores we both like.

Obviously, you have to like their music and sense of aesthetic, but working with a composer on a film score, especially a feature, can be a pretty intense collaboration, so it helps if they are actually nice/fun/cool to hang out with and can talk about other things other than just the film's score.

As far as when to look for one, as any film composer would say, the earlier the better. Although the real work can't start until there's at least a rough cut, there can always be conversation about the feel and sound of the film even before it's shot. The more conversation there is about the film - the characters, the story, the visual aesthetic - the better chance of a solid conceptualization of the sound of the score to materialize. And it always is helpful for the composer to get a good idea of the taste and aesthetic of the director - what other films and/or film scores he/she likes, etc.
 
Title pretty much says it all. Where do you look for your composers and at what stage of the process do you tend to start looking. I'm super interested to see what people's habits are, what websites they frequent and whatnot. :)

Also, is original music something that you find worth investing in or are you more likely to find affordable library music?

Hello. Here is my portfolio :) some country.folk happy music :), logos & idents
Thank you for buy :)
http://audiojungle.net/user/jackdew/portfolio
http://www.pond5.com/artist/Michaljospetr
 
I mentioned the term to to a composer friend yesterday as we were
leaving a screening at the Hollywood film Festival. He just laughed and
said the same thing; he hadn't heard the term since leaving college.





I do. I spent that last two day seeing indie films at a festival (3 each day)
and will see 2 today and Saturday. That's why moonshield's statement
jumped out at me. I haven't seen this trend in indie films these days.
Sure, some films use no score at all, but the majority of indie films I see
do.

moonshield, I'm pleased to say I've seen all the movies you mentioned. I
recall "Menthol" using some underscore. But I saw it at the SBFF over a
year ago. "Computer Chess" and the Haneke films are good examples.
I guess I'm just not seeing the trend you are.

Hello. Check my portfolio :) some country.folk happy music :), logos & idents
Thank you for buy :)
http://audiojungle.net/user/jackdew/portfolio
http://www.pond5.com/artist/Michaljospetr
 
I just thought I should post this image to show how ironic this is.



From the sound of it, their music has a lot of potential. Ya'll should give it a listen.


Also, there have been quite a few other composers who have shared their work here and have tried to capture interest, even just in the time since I joined. But I suspect many more have come before that.
_
 
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You can also go to this electronic music forum and listen to various soundcloud cuts. I have been on the board for a few years now, so I can probably help you decide if someone is reliable or not. Many people there release their own albums and some do soundtracks. Most do ambient electronic and have a good sound design abilities. Plus, they are an entertaining bunch from around the world.

http://www.idmforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=82
 
I gained my interest in film because of scoring a 60+ minute feature for an associate. I made the film better because it was a lot of dry spots. She use to buy beats from me. Scoring came natural because I loved playing to whatever is on the TV and I have an affinity for scoring. Likely I'll score my own films. As far as looking for a composer, I'll say take heed to their advice but nothing beats original music in my opinion.
 
Reach out to any of the many top music schools in the country. They ALL have film music courses / departments. Berklee, USC Thornton School of Music, Juliard, etc. They are all dying to write scores for short films for little to no pay. Everyone - like filmmakers - is looking for a reel. Also, YouTube is full of composers posting their work. Search for the kind of music you're into / looking for (action/adventure, drama, dubstep, etc) and search for "tutorials" on how to do these. By doing that, you're certain to find a skilled musician who's posting breakdowns of their own work and get in contact. As a composer myself, this is how I got started in this industry. Just gotta get out there and look!
 
As a composer myself currently working on a short indie film. I'd like to thank communities like this for giving us an opportunity to flex our muscles scoring to picture, it's a real desert out here, as soon as you think you've found an oasis, you realise all the water has been drunk. Many filmmakers are turning to library or stock music which is rather sad, music adds so much to a film, people don't use footage from other people's films to patch together their own story do they? Or do they haha. I'm not claiming to be all-knowing here, but I do know that original music can really set apart one film from the rest, and when you talk to a composer/musician, you'll see/hear their passion for creating music, and your film will benefit too.

As an aside, I'm a composer who is always on the hunt for projects, and unlike some mentioned on here who "never came through", I will deliver if I agree to work on the project. Please get in touch if you need original music.

Thanks for listening.
 
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