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Advice on studying music for film or filmmaking? Please help!
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Old 29th May 2020
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Advice on studying music for film or filmmaking? Please help!

Hi!

It’s the first time a make a post here; I hope you can help me guys! I’m in a crossroad in my life right now. I just finished a major in business administration (I was forced to...) and now I want to follow my passion: music and film.

I have been composing and recording for small projects (shortfilms, publicity for social media, projects of my own, etc) as a freelance for over 5 years now. I’ve been taking online courses and learning everything I can by my own about composing, orquestration, mixing, etc. I play the piano and guitar for over 10 years.

I want to make a career in the film/tv industry, and it would be even better if its in the music composition field. So, the questions is:


Is it a good idea to enroll in a film career instead of a music composition for film career? Some of the pros I see of taking such decision:
- I will meet lots of potential directors, producers, etc, and I could offer my job as a composer directly. It’s like having access to lots of contacts.
- I love directing and editing, so I wouldn’t mind landing jobs like that.
- I’ve read that the music business is too tight; and maybe studying film would give me more options in the future.

The biggest con I see is that I would not have all the “theorical” background that a composer learns in a formal career, thus being in disadvantage of others.



I need to decide this in order to make my future plans ✌; because studying music would mean a different school, different city, etc.

I hope you can help me guys! I would appreciate it a lot!
Old 29th May 2020
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Hi there!

FWIW...The biggest problem is the fact that music/film are perhaps the hardest industries to make even a living wage in. You have to be realistic. Priorities must always be living, eating, a home and paying bills surely? You've just been studying and now want to go and study some more with nothing guaranteed at the end of it. IMO that is a backward step.

I would strongly recommend not doing music/film at the moment and focusing on using that business administration qualification to get a good job. Once you do that and get an income, place to live etc. you can then build up your other interests on the side and develop them (as you seem to be doing successfully) whilst having the security of a regular income. This is the way alot of media professionals do it. It is very hard, especially as now there are so many hugely talented people competing with you for a slice of a very small cake.

IMO.
Old 29th May 2020
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by lornemalvo View Post

I would strongly recommend not doing music/film at the moment and focusing on using that business administration qualification to get a good job.
This. It may not be what the OP wants, but in his/her field of study there are always jobs- many that pay very well.
Old 30th May 2020
  #4
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Why not do business administration for a film studio? You'll likely have the opportunity to actually MEET the people who can move you forward. Then again, often creative people tend to pigeon hole you for how they first meet you - and they very well might only think of you as a business person after they meet you.....

I'm going to be a bit presumptuous, and presume that you eventually want to earn your full time living at this, be able to support a family, buy a house, etc. - and sustain it over the better part of a lifetime.

If so, the bottom line to making enough money to live on by doing the things you love....you will have to :

a.) be in the right location at the right time (LA/Hollywood?);
b.) have incredible talent to compete - top 5% of the talent pool minimum;
c.) be willing to do styles, music, jobs that you DETEST that make you see "business administration" in a golden light - and do them well;
d.) have not only your education dialed in, but also REAL WORLD experience that will qualify you to compete at the top of the film music game - which is incredibly difficult and changing monthly;
e.) have enough money or means to survive for a decade or so while "getting discovered"; and
f. ) be in the top 1% of the most "lucky guys" in Hollywood.

That's of course after you know how to do what you need to go to school for. You're shooting for the eye of the proverbial needle. Don't be unawares....


But on to what you no doubt really want to find out about - how to do it, and what to do next. (BTW, this is tried and proven, but not the method I would take.)

Pragmatically, if you're in the US, or the EU or even China - IF you can get in, USC is the place to be. At a mere $55k or so per year year, you will get the tools you need - albeit at a huge cost. You'll be another $100-200k in debt though, unless your parents are rich and will float you.

You WILL get a good education and some minimal experience if you are intuitive, paying attention and focused - then, after you've graduated, you can look forward to "being a degree'd professional". Most USC film music grads I've run into are making roughly $15 per hour ghosting for other name composers and scrapping for little projects of their own. If you have zero other expenses and put every dime you make towards the debt you've accrued, you should be able to pay it off in 10 years or so.

I was in the film music business for 20+ years (that's where my perspective comes from, not from internet learning or guessing), and I still don't get how some folks land agents, and other EXTREMELY talented and experienced composers end up being a Barista at Starbucks.

I guess that's the essence of Hollywood, right?

Make wise decisions based on the realities of your life and you'll be on your way. Best of luck.
Old 30th May 2020
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by da_pt1995 View Post
Hi!

It’s the first time a make a post here; I hope you can help me guys! I’m in a crossroad in my life right now. I just finished a major in business administration (I was forced to...) and now I want to follow my passion: music and film.
What's your main musical instrument?
Old 2nd June 2020
  #6
Gear Head
 
Ovee's Avatar
 

I think what drBill and others wrote about full time job is a really important thing. Each one of us must eat something, so we must earn money. If we can't find job connected to music production, maybe it's great to found a job, that can help us somehow in the future.

Basing on my own experience, I've worked full-time job almost 3 years in a HQ of a big fashion company (owner of few brands, selling their clothes in many countries). My job wasn't connected to music at all, BUT I've met new people. I have many new friends until today, they are photographers, clothing designers, graphic designers, fashion buyers etc. They are also freelancers beside their full-time job. They are working with many brands around the world, some of them also found new job in other, well known brands. These brands have their Marketing Departments responsible for marketing materials. You see where it's going. Working with so creative people gave me great friendships, which can benefit for all of us.

If you don't have possibility to go and work around audio right now, try to find something, that can be helpful in the near future.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Money doesn't seem to be a problem, so just go to Berklee IMO...

most of the ppl at the regular film school won't stay in the business, if I'm right, and you'd be more prepared to do what you want the most, which is music for film, at Berklee. contacts there too
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