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Old 8th September 2015
Gear Nut

What would I need to do to write for Film/TV/Radio/Media?

I'm serious. Reading a couple of posts here it's clear there's this whole industry I know nothing about. It doesn't help that, like many industries, if you aren't "in the know" it's difficult to learn about because just learning the lingo can be daunting/confusing/offputting.

Can I be a small fish?

Let's say I'm not looking to make millions or even thousands.

What's the bare minimum I need to put sound to something like a little local documentary film, or maybe get a gig writing the intro theme to a local news show or something?

I've got a synthesizer (modern Roland with great sounds).
It's got a sequencer, and I have a computer with sequencer as well.
I know how to use them, quantize, multi-track and so on and so forth.

Do I need some kind of software like Final Cut Pro to be able to import the film to then import into a sequencer (I would assume so)?

And then I'd need a computer to run that of course (computer I have now wouldn't cut it). What else, portable drive for transfer of said video file?

What's the delivery method - I would assume someone involved with the film is going to be mixing dialogue and sound with any music added in - do they prefer a multi-track audio format or just a stereo (or must it be surround nowadays) mix?

Do I just send them the file and they sync it up (or cut it up) how they see fit?

Do people work without video? i.e. does someone say "I need 30 seconds" and that's what you give them and they import it. Do people ask for, or do you provide multiple options in case something you make doesn't fit with their vision, but if you had a couple of options they might pick 1 of 3 or something?

One of my colleagues did a score for a Discovery Channel show - and I know it boils down to contacts and who you know, but he's a jazz player who travels around and someone recommended him and I know he used like a synth and had to buy a SMPTE or other time keeping kind of device but I don't know that he necessarily had any great computer and DAW to do this.

But I'm thinking so much more can be done "in the box" now...

I'd go so far as to maybe take some videos and strip the audio from them, and then add my own music as examples and try to hawk them to local film-makers. I'm classically trained, as well as a pop music person, and I work in many genres and I can "fake" a lot of other genres, so I think I could provide a decent variety - you know if someone wants something "classical sounding" or "techno sounding" etc. Jack of all trades and master of none though.

At this point, I don't have any hopes or even delusions of being famous or even making a living off of it. It would be like my gigging in bands over the years - walking around money. But I'm getting older and gigging isn't going to be tenable for much longer so I'm looking for something to replace that creative output, and walking around cash, and, maybe have something with my name on it with maybe at least a little more longevity.

Is this like gigging, where I need to invest in all this gear, do everything for practically free, with little return on investment? If so, I've done that already, so it's not that bad, but investing is the difficult part.

Or is it a "if you're not serious about it, you shouldn't even get into it" (which I could say about gigging musicians but that never stops people from trying - or failing as it were).