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Tons of Talent, not many Jobs
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Tons of Talent, not many Jobs

Fair question that I suspect has been asked before in other sections, but perhaps not specifically regarding sound design and scoring for film, games, and media in general, as it relates to the industry and Jobs.
I'm unemployed after several years working an office day job. I've done music production and sound design as a side gig for the past 15 or so years. I think to myself maybe I should make one last attempt to get into the field I'd truly want to be in. So, I register on a few forums for game developers and indie film makers hoping to find some useful information about industry contacts, good resources, portfolio advice for sound designers and composers, etc.

What I discovered is there are a LOT of composers, producers, and sound designers out there. Many of them are willing to work for FREE! There's a TON! And they don't seem to have much going on for work (like me, minus the kids and wife perhaps). At first, seeing all the posts, I thought maybe I'm just seeing alot of posts from younger guys calling themselves producers or sound designers when they're not quite up to par - but here's the real kicker; most of the portfolio pages I checked out (and I saw dozens today) are extremely impressive, at or near professional quality. definitely for games, some perfectly fitting for the big screen. It was a humbling realization for me. I didn't think there'd be so many. software. easy, powerful, game changing. It's all because of the software we use.
It would seem that this field is hugely over-saturated with talent, and not enough paying jobs for it. forgive me for being so Naive if this is indeed the current state of the industry. It has been a very hard day.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyLoops View Post
Fair question that I suspect has been asked before in other sections, but perhaps not specifically regarding sound design and scoring for film, games, and media in general, as it relates to the industry and Jobs.
I'm unemployed after several years working an office day job. I've done music production and sound design as a side gig for the past 15 or so years. I think to myself maybe I should make one last attempt to get into the field I'd truly want to be in. So, I register on a few forums for game developers and indie film makers hoping to find some useful information about industry contacts, good resources, portfolio advice for sound designers and composers, etc.

What I discovered is there are a LOT of composers, producers, and sound designers out there. Many of them are willing to work for FREE! There's a TON! And they don't seem to have much going on for work (like me, minus the kids and wife perhaps). At first, seeing all the posts, I thought maybe I'm just seeing alot of posts from younger guys calling themselves producers or sound designers when they're not quite up to par - but here's the real kicker; most of the portfolio pages I checked out (and I saw dozens today) are extremely impressive, at or near professional quality. definitely for games, some perfectly fitting for the big screen. It was a humbling realization for me. I didn't think there'd be so many. software. easy, powerful, game changing. It's all because of the software we use.
It would seem that this field is hugely over-saturated with talent, and not enough paying jobs for it. forgive me for being so Naive if this is indeed the current state of the industry. It has been a very hard day.


So....get another day job.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyLoops View Post
Fair question that I suspect has been asked before in other sections, but perhaps not specifically regarding sound design and scoring for film, games, and media in general, as it relates to the industry and Jobs.
I'm unemployed after several years working an office day job. I've done music production and sound design as a side gig for the past 15 or so years. I think to myself maybe I should make one last attempt to get into the field I'd truly want to be in. So, I register on a few forums for game developers and indie film makers hoping to find some useful information about industry contacts, good resources, portfolio advice for sound designers and composers, etc.

What I discovered is there are a LOT of composers, producers, and sound designers out there. Many of them are willing to work for FREE! There's a TON! And they don't seem to have much going on for work (like me, minus the kids and wife perhaps). At first, seeing all the posts, I thought maybe I'm just seeing alot of posts from younger guys calling themselves producers or sound designers when they're not quite up to par - but here's the real kicker; most of the portfolio pages I checked out (and I saw dozens today) are extremely impressive, at or near professional quality. definitely for games, some perfectly fitting for the big screen. It was a humbling realization for me. I didn't think there'd be so many. software. easy, powerful, game changing. It's all because of the software we use.
It would seem that this field is hugely over-saturated with talent, and not enough paying jobs for it. forgive me for being so Naive if this is indeed the current state of the industry. It has been a very hard day.
I would guess this is about right. There are a lot of quality writers out there and not enough work going round. I think. I don't know what to suggest really, I'm sure there are people who gave it everything and made it, and people who gave it everything and didn't. But if you really love doing it, maybe just focus on writing / creating without feeling too demotivated?
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Lives for gear
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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bgood's Avatar
It’s definitely not the “plan b” when you lose your day job.... work on writing and recording tunes to build up your library while you look for another day job...
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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s wave's Avatar
Like all flooded in demand industries... if it matters that much - if it's in your fiber - the only choice... is to create a job.

If you can do what not many others can do... you will be in demand. If you do not have that quality you must get it. - what can I offer that no one else can offer?

Not always the words that people want to hear...
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Lives for gear
I got out of the composing business when my first band was offered a "Reunion deal" (Not a smart financial move) a couple of years ago...but prior to that, I was fortunate to be composing for a group that got direct cue orders from production houses.

We got the orders, we wrote to spec, the cues would all be used, front and backend. The backend I continue to make from those years is significant (To me anyway... Danny Elfman wouldn't be impressed)

I noticed some disturbing trends in the business just prior to my "Mid-life crisis" sabbatical. Libraries like Extream trying to destroy the middle class, the proliferation of "Stem orders" as opposed to "cue orders" (I told the guys I worked with, "you realize they want these meticulously labeled stems so the editors can slap cues together and they don't have to pay us for a new order right?")

And then all the B.S with P.R.O's...Blanket licenses, insulting royalty rate increases to buy support for upcoming consent decree litigation...I didn't like where things were heading.

But anytime I poked around to see what was up with the "Online libraies" and the low-end of the business, all I saw was a wasteland.

I wondered why composers would do that to themselves, by giving people music for pennies, or nothing, you are essentially announcing that YOU are worth nothing.

"Well, you have to start somewhere" Sure....start SOMEWHERE...don't start NOWHERE then start walking backward.

If no one is willing to PAY YOU for your work then it is NOT your work, whether it's you or the business is irrelevant. If your product is deemed "worthless" then you need to start selling something else...or make YOUR product so damn good that people are WILLING to pay.

But whenever you slave yourself out and give it away for free, you are making your odds of getting paid WORSE.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee View Post
I got out of the composing business when my first band was offered a "Reunion deal" (Not a smart financial move) a couple of years ago...but prior to that, I was fortunate to be composing for a group that got direct cue orders from production houses.

We got the orders, we wrote to spec, the cues would all be used, front and backend. The backend I continue to make from those years is significant (To me anyway... Danny Elfman wouldn't be impressed)

I noticed some disturbing trends in the business just prior to my "Mid-life crisis" sabbatical. Libraries like Extream trying to destroy the middle class, the proliferation of "Stem orders" as opposed to "cue orders" (I told the guys I worked with, "you realize they want these meticulously labeled stems so the editors can slap cues together and they don't have to pay us for a new order right?")

And then all the B.S with P.R.O's...Blanket licenses, insulting royalty rate increases to buy support for upcoming consent decree litigation...I didn't like where things were heading.

But anytime I poked around to see what was up with the "Online libraies" and the low-end of the business, all I saw was a wasteland.

I wondered why composers would do that to themselves, by giving people music for pennies, or nothing, you are essentially announcing that YOU are worth nothing.

"Well, you have to start somewhere" Sure....start SOMEWHERE...don't start NOWHERE then start walking backward.

If no one is willing to PAY YOU for your work then it is NOT your work, whether it's you or the business is irrelevant. If your product is deemed "worthless" then you need to start selling something else...or make YOUR product so damn good that people are WILLING to pay.

But whenever you slave yourself out and give it away for free, you are making your odds of getting paid WORSE.
Yes, I think they did a whole South Park episode on that...
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Mrx
Gear Addict
 

Many composers, me included, do other music related things on the side. It's always useful to have another side gig especially if it's flexible and something you enjoy. You're then free to build the composing side up gradually without having to do freebies, online supermarket libraries etc.

I have a friend who had a big worldwide hit some years back, he was 1 of 8 writers. I asked him how it felt to be a hit writer and his response was: it would have been great if it was music I cared for. My point: sometimes there's a downside to be chasing every composer gig in town in the sense that the joy goes out the window and despair sets in.
My advice: enjoy the sense of freedom you have learning and developing. Gradually as relationships build you may start getting a few jobs and things build from there.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohwell View Post
I would guess this is about right. There are a lot of quality writers out there and not enough work going round. I think. I don't know what to suggest really, I'm sure there are people who gave it everything and made it, and people who gave it everything and didn't. But if you really love doing it, maybe just focus on writing / creating without feeling too demotivated?
Oh most definitely. Tons of joy to be had from what I do as a hobby. The tone of my post is admittedly a bit negative, but I often remind myself there's freedom to be had since its not a day job.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyLoops View Post
Oh most definitely. Tons of joy to be had from what I do as a hobby. The tone of my post is admittedly a bit negative, but I often remind myself there's freedom to be had since its not a day job.
Hell yeah there is freedom!

Music as a career isn’t for everyone. It can be a rat race with long hours like many other careers.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee View Post
Libraries like Extream trying to destroy the middle class,
Very curious what this is about - could you say more?
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee View Post




I noticed some disturbing trends in the business just prior to my "Mid-life crisis" sabbatical. Libraries like Extream trying to destroy the middle class, the proliferation of "Stem orders" as opposed to "cue orders" (I told the guys I worked with, "you realize they want these meticulously labeled stems so the editors can slap cues together and they don't have to pay us for a new order right?")

Yeah, I don’t understand that. Do editors really think making Frankenstein cues is a good idea? On the other hand, this is already being done by composers when they use services like Splice and such.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Addict
 
Arcana's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohwell View Post
Very curious what this is about - could you say more?
Probably the fact that they hire Snoop Dog, Hans Zimmer, Quincy Jones and Pharrell.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Mrx
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohwell View Post
Very curious what this is about - could you say more?
Probably undercutting everyone else.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee View Post
the proliferation of "Stem orders" as opposed to "cue orders" (I told the guys I worked with, "you realize they want these meticulously labeled stems so the editors can slap cues together and they don't have to pay us for a new order right?")
1) If you are getting paid upfront money for your cues, and someone (anyone) pays you for CueA, and then takes CueA's stems, makes a new cue (with a new title) and doesn't pay you for it, that is illegal.

2) If you are not getting paid upfront money for your cues, and someone takes one of your cue's stems, makes a new cue (with a new title), that new cue/title goes on the cue sheet(s) when that cue is used, (same as 1) above) and you (and the pub) will collect royalties. I actually would not mind that at all, as I am making more money for less work. If that new cue/title purposely does not go on the cue sheet(s), that would be illegal.

Cheers.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrx View Post
Probably undercutting everyone else.
I think at this point, every lib is trying to undercut every other lib.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
I think at this point, every lib is trying to undercut every other lib.
Yes, that is the strategy. I am opening a new music library called “F*** Me, Pay You Cues”, in which I will pay the clients to use my music after collecting payments from the composers. Gotta please the clients, right?
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 
s wave's Avatar
Its like some bars. the band has to pay them to play - but it is exposure... crazy trade offs...
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Lives for gear
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee View Post
I got out of the composing business when my first band was offered a "Reunion deal" (Not a smart financial move) a couple of years ago...but prior to that, I was fortunate to be composing for a group that got direct cue orders from production houses.

We got the orders, we wrote to spec, the cues would all be used, front and backend. The backend I continue to make from those years is significant (To me anyway... Danny Elfman wouldn't be impressed)

I noticed some disturbing trends in the business just prior to my "Mid-life crisis" sabbatical. Libraries like Extream trying to destroy the middle class, the proliferation of "Stem orders" as opposed to "cue orders" (I told the guys I worked with, "you realize they want these meticulously labeled stems so the editors can slap cues together and they don't have to pay us for a new order right?")

And then all the B.S with P.R.O's...Blanket licenses, insulting royalty rate increases to buy support for upcoming consent decree litigation...I didn't like where things were heading.

But anytime I poked around to see what was up with the "Online libraies" and the low-end of the business, all I saw was a wasteland.

I wondered why composers would do that to themselves, by giving people music for pennies, or nothing, you are essentially announcing that YOU are worth nothing.

"Well, you have to start somewhere" Sure....start SOMEWHERE...don't start NOWHERE then start walking backward.

If no one is willing to PAY YOU for your work then it is NOT your work, whether it's you or the business is irrelevant. If your product is deemed "worthless" then you need to start selling something else...or make YOUR product so damn good that people are WILLING to pay.

But whenever you slave yourself out and give it away for free, you are making your odds of getting paid WORSE.
Hey can I ask what band you were/are in? Thats really interesting!
Old 1 day ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Cornish1999's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnFulford View Post
Hey can I ask what band you were/are in? Thats really interesting!
Black Lace?
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