Film Scoring FAQ’s

“Why should I work with you?”

Tracking the epic brass parts for "Malice."

Other than absolutely loving my music, here are a few practical reasons why you might seriously consider working with me on your film project…

  1. I’m a great collaborator. I’ll come up with great ideas, suggestions, and approaches you may not have thought about. At the same time, I’m open to hearing your ideas, suggestions, and approaches. The end result will be something better than either of us could have produced on our own.
  2. I have an attitude of service – not ego. My job is to serve you, the film, and the film’s audience by contributing to a great work of art and entertainment. It’s not about me… it’s about the project.
  3. I’m about as chill as you can get. You’ll find I’m laid back, down to earth, and easy to get along with. You won’t have to worry about any ego trips. But I also have a strong self image, so you won’t have to worry about delicate sensibilities, either. Again, it’s not about me.
  4. I know what I’m great at and what I’m not. Success is a team effort. I’m great at composing. I’m great at working with live musicians. But I’m in no way an audio/mixing engineer. What that means is, I don’t try to half-ass something I’m not good at. I’ll work with someone else whose strengths compliment my own. That means you’ll get a much better sounding score than one who tries to be a “jack of all trades”.
  5. You will get the best possible score within your budget. I know how to make a buck go far without getting cheap. (I do believe in treating people fairly.) I know where the limitations are, and I’ll not only write the best possible score within those limitations, but make the most of the production budget to produce the highest-quality recording possible.
  6. I care greatly about the craft. There are many out there trying to be film composers without adequate musical training, an understanding of film scoring, nor intuitive dramatic sensibilities. Even composers who write great-sounding music may not make the best film composer. With me, you’re assured of having a great sounding score that perfectly fits your film – both from an aesthetic and technical point of view. (See video demos.)
  7. I’m a perfectionist. I don’t believe in half-assing my way through a project. If I’m on board, I’m completely on board. I care greatly about all the little details that make a project great.

“What are your rates?”

Right now, I’m focused on building an amazing demo reel that will knock the socks off any discriminating director or producer. So what I’m looking for are amazing projects with high production values to be a part of. For the moment, my fee is less of a consideration.

However, what IS important is that there is enough of a budget to cover production costs. Just as it requires cash to produce a film (you need crew, equipment, etc.), it also requires cash to produce music. I need to hire musicians, studios, and engineers to produce a high quality, professional product.

If you don’t have a lot of cash, just remember: “where there is a will, there is a way.” For example, there are websites like www.kickstarter.com, to help raise funds. You might have an asset you can sell… friends, family, or fans who could lend or donate money to the project. Perhaps you could sell a “Producer” or “Executive Producer” credit. Be creative, be open, and the resources will come.

“I love your work, but I have a very small budget. How could we work together?”

Tell me about your project. Show me what you’ve got. If I love it and feel we’d be a good fit, we’ll figure out a way to either 1) make the budget work… or 2) raise more funds for production costs. Let’s be creative!

“How long will it take to score my project?”

That is a function of 1) What other projects I’m working on… 2) How involved your project is… and 3) Your budget.

Depending on the complexity of the music, I can write between two and five minutes of music a day in notated form. Then, it needs to be produced: that is, sequenced, recorded, edited, and mixed, which is extremely time consuming.

With a larger budget, I can “grease the wheels” by hiring a team to get it done faster. Short of that, I’m the one doing most of the work. Imagine filling every role in your film production from grip to actor to director! That should give you a sense of the tremendous amount of work involved in producing music!

“What kind of studio setup do you have?”

I compose on a Mac computer using Sibelius 7 (Music Notation Software), Logic Pro 9 (Sequencing & Audio Recording), and my sample library. It’s a pretty basic setup, but it gets the job done.

For recording live musicians, I rent appropriate facilities, which I find produces better results and a MUCH better sound than trying to duplicate a professional recording studio on my own. (My talent is composing, not audio engineering!)

“What motivates you as a composer?”

Some composers are motivated by money. Others are motivated by fame. Others by ego. I am motivated by the simple desire to create, and the sheer joy of working on a worthy project with an amazingly talented cast & crew. I want to work with the best in every field. I’m also motivated by a strong desire to have my music performed by the best musicians in the world–L.A.’s studio musicians! (Which is why I would often rather hire more musicians than pocket the extra cash!)