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Thread: How to start composing music for movies?

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    Recruit, Pianissimo
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    How to start composing music for movies?

    Hi, my name is Kasie and I have a really good friend who is an up coming music composer. He wants to compose music for movies and things, but doesnt know how to go about doing that. :/ Does anyone have any information that could help him.us out in this area? Thanks a bunch! -Kasie

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    Administrator Frederik Magle's Avatar
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    Re: How to start composing music for movies?

    Hi Kasie and welcome to MIMF.dk, I've moved your post into a thread on it's own (and made a suitable title).

    Well, you need to give us a little more information. For instance, what is your friend's previous experience composing music? Is he a complete beginner or does he have musical experience in other fields than film music? I need to know where his starting point is in order to give advice/suggestions on what to do next.

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    Re: How to start composing music for movies?

    My friend is almost 15 and he has composed several songs. He composed and arranged a song for our Mills Middle School Advanced Band and we played it for one of our concerts and we also played it at the 8th grade graduation ceremony. And he is now working on arranging a piece for the Cordova High School Orchestra. Thanks! -Kasie

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    Vice Admiral of Notes, Dots & at times also Slurs corno's Avatar
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    Re: How to start composing music for movies?

    Hmm... how has he come about composing so far? Has he had any teachers? Does he play an instrument? Or is he a pianoplayer/singer who's started to write for band and orchestra?
    Is your definition of "song" the same as "a musical piece" in general (pianosonata, symphony, violin piece and so on?) or "a song" as a lyrical piece of music which you sing?

    Has the band director commented on his work in anyway? is he/she has, how so?

  5. #5
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
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    Re: How to start composing music for movies?

    Kasie,

    I live near Hollywood, California, where many of the movie scores are composed. It used to be that people would spend months slaving over hand-written scores. Next, they used composition software. The big thing now is the "one-man orchestra". The software and samples are so good that it allows someone without access to a performing orchestra to compose for, and create a finished product of, all the instruments.

    But here's the catch: what I, and most others, want from orchestral scores, is for the emotion of the movie to be augmented; to give me a way to access the feelings that the director is trying to evoke.

    That takes a strong understanding of orchestral instruments, tempo, dynamics, etc. No doubt your friend has software to do this, and it sounds like he has a good understanding, and passion for, this kind of music. But proper training is crucial.

    If he really thinks he's ready, have your friend look to the local universities for film students that would like a score for their projects. Usually they'll have no budget, but he'll get a clip for his reel. With a few of these under his belt, he can send his reel (okay, CD-R), to managers/agents in Hollywood. (Or the film-making hub of whatever country he's in). There's a great directory that I've used to pitch music to music supervisors of movies - I have two songs under consideration right now, and have pitched others.

    In summary, 1) You have to have a quality product first, or they'll write you off, because competition is fierce and plentiful; 2) You have to have a demo reel before you start pitching; 3) Don't give up in the face of rejection!

    Hope this helps!

    Claire

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