Possibly one of the most asked questions “I need experience in scoring to get a proper job doing it, but I can’t get experience, as I can’t find anyone anywhere who will let me score for them.”
We’ve all had this problem. Heres a list of sites where you can find jobs online.
Versusmedia – “We’re technology innovators, bringing new ideas to people who need assistance. We help individuals, small businesses, as well as major corporations in various pieces of the entertainment industry. From our one-on-one clientele to our database driven Film Music service, we’re out to help careers get started. “
My personal opinion: I joined this site about 3 months ago. There seems to be a steady flow of jobs offered on here. $30 to join for the year. Worth it for the small price. I have never heard back from anyone who has posted their project on this site. I have applied to approximately 10 projects so far, and uploaded sample tracks for them to listen to, sent an automatic email saying I’m interested, and also personally emailed them – however heard nothing back from anyone- leading me to the conclusion that they are simply using my music without telling me, or not interested.
Film Music Network – A site listing current jobs and placements in the film music industry. Updated regularly with new listings, and you can join their email address for free to get new listings from them via email. You can apply for the listings as a member or a non member. As a non member it costs $5.99 per music file submitted and as a member, it costs $1.99 per music file submitted.
Member ship costs: $11.95 per month
My personal opinion: Haven’t joined it. Might join it in the future as it is a lot cheaper to submit music if you are member (As a member pitching 10 tracks would cost $19.99 + $11.95 a month versus $59.99 for pitching 10 tracks as a non member) If you are on the lookout for appretice jobs with composers in LA etc. it can be a good place to look – some jobs pop up on it now and again.
On a sidenote, it really just shows how much the film music industry has changed in the last number of years – YOU now have to pay to pitch your music – used to be the other way around! Seems a little backward, but I suppose everyone is out to make a quick buck nowadays.
Taxi – “If you’re trying to land a record deal, nothing works better than hitting the road, playing hundreds of gigs, and selling thousands of CDs from the trunk of your car. If you’re a songwriter, moving to Los Angeles, New York, or Nashville and “paying your dues” is often the best way to go. But, can you just walk away from your life, your job, your family, and your mortgage payment? Okay, that might be tempting, but let’s get real! You need a vehicle to help you get your music to the right people. TAXI will help you do that no matter where you live. “
My personal opinion:: It seems to be a hugely popular resource, but $300 a year is quite a lot of money to invest in this unless you are looking to get your music placed in tv, rather than looking for specific scoring jobs. I haven’t joined, but may do when I get back from travelling. I suppose its good to have your name out there in as many places as possible. There does seem to be a lot of success stories and it could be a good way to get your foot in the door with some companies if they do use your music and like it. They have an active forum, but last time (about 1 month ago) I tried to join, I was told they couldn’t accept more people on the forum at the moment. You can get a nice introduction pack with some good info in it for free if you sign up on their site for a free pack – doesnt cost a penny – might be worth doing that before paying over you cash.
Mandy: “In 1995 we were the first database of film/tv technicians and facilities on the web; we now get over 6 million impressions per month, and are listed in the first page in a Google search for film production. We offer five channels for tv/film production professionals“
My personal opinion: I haven’t tried Mandy, but a quick search of it shows up a lot of scoring jobs. It appears that a large number of requests for composers to score for films are placed on here, and if you check back each week, more are up each time. Its a great place
Humtoo – “(Humtoo)…is a meeting place that enables music makers to get their music into the hands of content creators quickly and easily and to make money from that music – regardless of where the music maker or the content creator are based. It is a meeting place that enables content creators to find the music they’re after and to forge relationships with music makers from all over the planet. It is an ever-growing community which is constantly developing new ways to connect music makers and content creators.“
My personal opinion: Its a great idea for a website – its well laid out, and definitively encourages competition between composers. Its free to join, and some projects pay money, while others pay in products. For example, I recall there was one project here for the “Tango” desk by Smart AV requiring music – they paid the winner with a free tango desk
Worth joining up to the site and seeing how you get on. If you have enough free time after work, you could even do it as a hobby if you’re not interested in scoring as a full time job.
Simply Hired : “Building a good search engine is sort of like writing a good haiku. Coming up with one that works well may require repeated and thoughtful effort. But crafted properly, the result can be incredibly simple and effective, even enjoyable.
Simply Hired is a vertical search engine company based in Silicon Valley, and we’re building the largest online database of jobs on the planet. Our goal is to make finding your next job a simple yet effective, enjoyable journey. We can’t always promise you’ll discover your dream job, but we’ll give you the best chance possible to get a bigger paycheck, a more considerate boss, or a shorter commute.
…..along with simplicity, we’ll make it possible for you to see every opportunity out there. If your cousin is looking for a part-time job working the evening shift at a pickle factory 300 miles west of Texas, we’ll help you locate that one-in-a-million job waiting for her in Albuquerque. Our tools will turn everyone into an expert at finding the needle in their own personal haystack.”
My personal opinion: One of the best search tools out there in my opinion, when it comes to finding intermediate level scoring jobs – ie. people starting to get a name in the industry, and who actually have a budget to pay you from (even it if is small). This site searches a load of other sites – Mandy, Talent6 etc. so you don’t have to
The Composer Collective: “The Composer Collective is comprised of cinematic composers dedicated to creating dramatic scores of the highest quality for film, television, interactive and commercial media. We group composers into innovative and productive workforces, giving the film industry a much-needed resource for intelligent music at never-before-seen productivity levels. This service is known as TeamScore™. Choosing TeamScore™ puts you on the front lines of the film business as it changes and adapts rapidly to the demands of distributors and consumers worldwide. Contact us to create your best music score, unthinkable by any individual standards, now possible with the composing talent of TeamScore™.“
My personal opinion: Worth at least signing up for free email updates (here). I think what they are doing is completely devaluing the entire industry, but each to their own. For example, one project they advertised pays “$15-$30 per minute of final placed approved music” plus royalties. Most professional composers I have interviewed have said they can compose around 2 minutes of music per day. Say the project calls for 5 mins of music – thats about 3 days work – amounting to an almighty $45-$90″ for 3 full days of work. There is a different between scoring for free on a student film, and scoring for such a low price on a semi-professional tv series/film etc. They have a budget, and now feel they can get away with paying a tiny amount to composers, as so many as desperate to get their foot in the door. Of course thats just my opinion. I haven’t joined the site, and I don’t think I will – but don’t let me put you off – its worth trying if you don’t mind working for this amount.
Talent 6: “Talent6 is one of the best places for models, actors, extras and musicians to connect to Casting Directors and Photographers. We provide our members with hundreds of high quality casting calls every day and help them achieve their goals, whether that’s getting famous or just making some extra income. Our success in achieving this objective has made us one of the fastest growing casting sites. Talent6 originated its name from “Six Degrees of Separation” to help people connect to one another. Our goal is to help our members connect with industry professionals and exciting entertainment opportunities. Talent6 posts thousands of new casting calls for every imaginable job in show business every week. After creating online portfolios containing basic info and pictures as well as video and audio clips, members can browse through these available casting calls or get discovered by over 1,000 Casting Directors and Photographers searching for just the right faces.“
My personal opinion: Good website with plenty of ads on it from directors asking for composers for their projects. I haven’t joined up to Talent6 yet, but I will definitively be doing so in the future. The projects posted on here range from unpaid entry level films, to intermediate and small paying films. I haven’t seen many films posted on here that have large are even medium sized budgets, but it definitively seems like a great start as the people on here seem to have funded projects, and most of them I have seen all eventually get sent off to the festivals.
Craigslist: “Local classifieds and forums for more than 550 cities in over 50 countries worldwide – community moderated, and largely free.” A sub-site for each country, its a hugely popular site, and has 50million page views a month
My personal opinion: I haven’t tried it, and I probably won’t. One of the tips listed on the site is “DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON – follow this one simple rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts on craigslist.” It sounds about right – I have interviewed one or two composers so far, who have said that they did projects on craigslist only to find that the “directors” asked about 4 other composers to write music for them aswell, then took their music and never replied to them. Its quite shady overall in my opinion, and I’d avoid it for scoring jobs at least – unless as the tip says – you can find someone on it who is local to you, and you can meet
Broadjam : “Broadjam is an international web community dedicated to independent musicians and their friends. Find new independent music, join a music social network, and collaborate with other indie artists and fans. Broadjam members can enter song and music contests, submit songs for TV and Film opportunities and much more.“
My personal opinion: I haven’t tried it, but there does seem to be a number of opportunities on there. A lot of them that I can see are “R&B”, so I don’t know how relevant it is to actual “scoring” – or maybe it depends on your definition of the word. Worth checking out the list each week anyway – you might find something you like on the list, or something that is relevant to you and your style.
Stock audio websites – Having your music on websites like Audiojungle , Partners in Rhyme , Revostock etc. that sell “stock audio” is a great idea, I feel. Not only is it a great way to start off in the industry if you are interested in composing, it gives your music exposure. Clients who buy your music on stock music sites can turn into potential future clients who may contact you if they need more of your music. I myself have had a number of people contact me after they bought some of my music on Audiojungle and asked me to do some custom work. Even if they ask me to edit a track of mine for them, I get to keep the project on my records and add it to my demo reel – its win/win
Forums . Being active on forums is a very important part of having an online presence. Aswell as chatting with potential clients, you get to learn from others, make friends, find new things etc. If you are active on any forums, you should always add a link or two to any of your sites into your signature, meaning that all of your posts, will have a post to your site on them – attracting visitors to your site – more importantly potential clients!
I won’t give the whole game away by telling you which forums to join (you have to do some work for yourself!) but needless to say there are hundreds of thousands of forums out there which you can join and become active on. Some good ideas of forums to join are:
- Student film making forums: In a few years time, these are going to be the guys who make up the market of professional film makers – get working with students if you are in the early stages of your career, and you are bound to work with one or two who will contact you again later in life for better projects.
- Game development forums: If you’re interested in getting your music into video games, amateur game development forums are a great place to start. Same as amateur film forums – you start at the bottom with the people starting off just like you, then in a few years time you might hear back from them – also you get to use the project in your portfolio.
- Game modding forums: A member on the forum recently said that he worked for weeks on a huge amount of music for a LOTR game mod. Game mods can sometimes have a huge following – especially Lord of the Rings ones, and can be a great place to get exposure for your music. You may not get paid for these mods, but if they are good enough, you may get noticed by some of the big companies.
Networking – I’ve interviewed a few composers now at this stage, and from what I can see, there seems to be a formula. Pretty much every composer I’ve talked to has said that one of the most important parts of the industry is networking. It makes sense – the more people you know, the more chance you have of getting a job – make those people directors/game developers etc. and you have an even better chance. Thats where the internet and social networking comes in. Sites like twitter, linkedin etc. can provide you with a great way of “socialising” with potential clients and people who have done things you are interested in doing. I’ve got to connect with some great composers, directors, game developers and more on twitter, and even though I haven’t got many jobs from it yet (and I don’t mind if I don’t), I have still been able to get invaluable information from these people – be it “how to write a contract for your project” or even getting a directors view on what I’m doing. Well worth getting into the social networking part of the internet if you’re serioues in doing what you’re doing
Google Search: Last but not least, and possibly the simplest of all – “Google Search”. Google is your friend – use it wisely. A quick search of “composer needed” brings up a number of results. Depending on your country, and what google domain you use, you’ll get widely varying results. Its the simplest of all and can’t be overlooked.
So there you have it – the above is a list of sites that I know of, and that I have seen/heard about/tried. Its by no means a complete list, but I’m sure it covers some of the main ones that are out there. Some would say that if you want to get into film scoring, one of the best ways would be to move to LA, and become a composer’s assistant, or orchestrator in one of the large music production companies. However, not all of us can afford to do this at times in our lives – especially with todays economic climate. Perhaps scoring for films online, while keeping your day job/part time job will be the way of the next few months or years until the economic crisis aleviates. Anyway, hope the list helps some of you guys out there who don’t have the time to go searching for sites that list these jobs