Have you ever wanted to be a part of a movie? Did you dismiss the dream because you couldn’t act or didn’t have the command to be a director? Well, there’s good news!! Those are not the only two jobs in filmmaking!
In our blog series “Behind the Camera”, we are going to highlight some out-of-the-box careers in filmmaking. We hope this inspires you to rekindle your dream of working on a film knowing that you can use whatever skills come naturally to you!
Music composers are responsible for the film score of a movie. They work alongside the director to create music that flows seamlessly with each scene. This work is not easy—the music must fit the mood, create a unique sound, and be exactly the right length of time.
The duties of a music composer can vary from project to project. Some general tasks include: collaborating with the director and producers of the project to come up with a seamless sound for the production, watching the rough cut of the film several times to figure out what the emotion of each segment should be and exactly where to start and stop each piece of music, and writing the original scores. The music composer ends up writing enough music to cover about half the length of the film by the time they are done.
Other duties of the music composer include: creating notes and rough scores of the music to give to the musicians, helping hire musicians, conducting, and providing guidance during the editing process of the score/film.
Most music composers have formal training. To be successful in this field, you not only have to know the technicality of music, but also be able to apply it to a feature film. Experience is gained by getting a degree in music composition or taking classes in music theory.
The Music Editor
The music editor works with both the director and the music composer. Their job is to help create the seamless connection between the film and the soundtrack. Music editors are responsible for all of the music incorporated into a film. This means that they keep track of the original scores as well as the bought-in music.
They create a re-write of the script for the music composer focusing solely on the musical/emotional aspect of the story. The music editor also creates a “click-track” or a series of audio cues to help the musicians maintain a synchronized tempo throughout the musical piece to match the scene cuts. The music editor also works closely with the picture editor to make sure that all aspects of the picture and music of the film work together.
Music editors are responsible for making sure that any original pieces are submitted to the ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers). This ensures that royalties are paid anytime someone uses the piece of music.
Most music editor positions require a degree in Sound Technology or a degree in Music.
The first contact between the music and film world, the music agent is responsible for connecting directors and producers with the perfect composer for their film. They are in charge of making sure that all of the contracts, paperwork, and payment are processed accurately. They also work as the liaison between the composer, music supervisor, musicians, director, and producers.
Music agents promote their clients, manage their client’s reels/websites, and finalize deals for their clients. They also may help with negotiating record releases, DVD releases, and keeping the press informed about a film/soundtrack release.
Most music agent positions do not require any formal education but previous experience in business and sales is beneficial.
Even if you are camera shy—there is still work in the filmmaking world for you! Discover what you love and then find out how it applies to filmmaking. The possibilities are endless! Stay-tuned for more blogs about filmmaking careers behind the camera.
Making a movie and looking for a music composer? Click here to read about how to select a music composer for your project.
To learn more about music-related careers in film, click here.