So You Wanna Be a Film Composer, Part I: Intro

First, a disclaimer.

If the title of this blog post doesn't apply to you, turn back now. Seriously. It's gonna get nerdy up in here, and, just like how the sausage is made, you don't want to see it.

I'm not kidding. If you're not an aspiring film composer—or at least someone who has a toe in the pool of this little corner of the industry—what follows will be intensely boring. A waste of your time, really. Truly. Try this instead. Or this, or this. Or, even better… THIS.

Still with me then? Can't dissuade you? You're entirely committed to following along with me?


Good. Let's get started.

This is intended as the first in a series of blog posts about the industry of creating music for movies, television, the web, video games, advertisements and all other forms of media. During my career so far, I've been lucky enough to do a little bit of all of the above. Now I'm taking a little break from the front lines to bring you this report on what it's like out there.

What do you get in return for your valuable time and a cult-like devotion to your Fearless Author? A distillation of what I've picked up over the last 20 years… behind the keyboard, in the recording studio and on the street here in Tinseltown. An assorted collection of knowledge, tips and general wisdom about the business, the art and craft of composing, and how to make it through your career without hitting the self-destruct button.

OK, I've planted the flag. We're doing this. Next time around, I'll be re-visiting an idea I originally posted over at ScorecastOnline in June 2009: taking inventory of your strengths and weaknesses as a composer. Getting a sense of where you stand before we launch into our journey together. (the original version is archived here; I'll be making several changes to reflect how drastically the world has changed in six short years).