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Thread: Is a career in film composition worth it?

  1. #1
    Apprentice, Piano
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Tampa, FL

    Is a career in film composition worth it?

    I am new to the site, and am currently at a crossroad in my life. I'm 18 and have a GED, and want to become a film composer. Its gotten to the point where I can't even watch a movie anymore without getting distracted by the music. Everytime I say I will avoid college and get a typical run of the mill job, I hear a motif in a movie that sticks in my head that makes me hum my own variations and whatnot in my head for days... which ultimately makes me want to compose for films. I don't have music experience at all.. I tried taking piano lessons in the past, and never got very far because of homeschool issues with my parents. I have such a love for music, that sometimes I wonder if it will cloud my better judgement on whether I could pull this off.. The money, schooling, and hardships I read of seem so daunting.. I dropped out of school because I felt like I knew what I wanted to do - and it involved music, not the required crap they wanted of me. Now I look at college and I now have yet again "required courses". I don't know what I'm more afraid of, taking that next step and actually following through with something for once, or not doing anything and regretting it later.. Anything on the subject would help... thoughts, trials, anything.. I know some of you are composing now - so advice would be great. thanks!

  2. #2
    Midshipman, Forte elfspell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Thessaloniki, Greece
    Hello my friend. I am new here but your topic struck my attention.
    Reading your thought on that matter it reminded myself some time ago.
    You should be chasing your dreams but never forget to fill your stomach. It is how fortunately or unfortunately reality works. Some people are fit for a kind of labor lets say engineering for example which makes them very happy but when they sing its like scratching metal with your nails; and some other people when they sing you melt with their voice but even the though of a single bolt gives them allergies. Both of them they are artists on their field. And everything works in a harmony.
    Introducing now another inevitable variable the SYSTEM.
    The SYSTEM supports people that supports IT. It is unfortunate in the way that IT is not fond of individuality and free thinking except (as it is said before) it is for "supporting IT" reasons. So do not be mistaken that you will be "helped" to express your feelings through ART (whatever it might be: music, drawing, sculpturing, piercing your knob [believe me I saw that and he claimed it was art but.. who knows]) for "free". You must support the System anyhow to be supported later from It. You have to produce work in some fashion to get the opportunity to "sell". It is Industry (and that's why it is called "Music Industry"). Anyway.. I could go further but you will get your own cosmogony through your experience
    Just want to say to keep in mind I do not know where are you from but -I am sure all forum mates will agree- promoting your music in the film industry is a very very difficult business. If you are not acquainted to a film director/producer then things are getting even harder.
    Your music must have something that will make it "special". By all means and no offense all music is "special" for every composer (i treat my compositions like children of mine and cannot distinguish which is better). But by meaning "special" I mean your music must "do something" for the System to be noticed and distinguished by It. Attract people, make them dance, make them sleep, make them cry, fit here, fit there, be synchronized with this, add that emotion..
    So.. in less words.. it needs lots of WORK and COURAGE. And it is not a goldmine! But it is beautiful. You are involved in the essence that in my opinion make the whole universe dance and move around.
    You could find a job other than music and still composing, as we say in my country "bring bread on your table", stand by yourself on your two feet and you will see that some things will come along with you. Start meeting people, actors directors, producers. Maybe create a band with your friends. Watch movies and listen to innovative ideas.
    Most important do not be afraid.. in this lifetime you only live once

  3. #3
    Duckmeister teddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    If you have a genuine love of music, and any ability at all, you will learn to play an instrument as a first step. This will be a real test of your ability (be it easy or hard) and whether you are able to express yourself musically. You probably already know which instrumemt you favour, and as I am sure you realize, it does not have to cost much. My first guitar cost the equvalant of £25.00 in todays money. Tuiton is preferable to home study. There is nothing like having somebody to keep you on track and set standards. Two months from now you will know whether you are a musician or not, and whether it will be worth the years of hard work ahead of you. I wish you luck with it. There are many clever people on this forum who can advise you. But I do stress. FIND OUT NOW, NOT TOMORROW. If it turns out that you have no ability at least you will have tried, and maybe it will just be a hobby, as it is with me. I NEVER play in front of anyone else. I an so bad t it, but I enjoy it. At least you will have given it a good try, rather than just thinking about it.
    I wish you luck


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