Schools Training

Scoring Your Student Film

26 SEP 2013
Career Path : Arts and Entertainment

For many film students, finding a composer to work with on your first project can be a challenge. The time to begin your search is during the pre-production stage as you begin to build your team.

Getting Started

The first step in finding someone to score your student film is to know where to look!

Most schools that offer film production programs have an office dedicated to student affairs. This is a good place to start. They can help you to post notices around campus and they may also offer academic advisement or career development resources that can point you in the right direction. Here are some additional ideas to help you get started with your search:

• In addition to student affairs offices, many schools offering film production programs may have close relationships with other schools that specialize in audio engineering courses. By working through your advisor, you can place ads or flyers in these schools to attract your composer. For example, some audio engineering schools have a Music exchange programs that connect film makers with composition majors. Speak with your advisor to see if your school has any reciprocal programs.

• Visit and search online music and social networking sites like NuMuBu, ReverbNation, MySpace and Facebook. Many musicians have pages on these sites (and others) that can give you a good idea of what they’re into musically. You can listen to their work and see if it fits with your vision. For many composers, the opportunity to work on a film project is very exciting and challenging. Some sites offer forums where you can place ads. Often there is no charge and it’s a great way to network and solicit help for your project.

• Attend film events and network. In Boston, New York and several other cities there is an event called the 48-hour Film Festival. It pairs filmmakers and composers together with the goal of creating a complete short film in 48 hours or less. All of the projects are shown during a two day film festival and the teams are often present. It’s a great opportunity to network with other filmmakers, composers, and technicians and generate interest in your project.

If you are short on time, or attend film production programs located in a more rural setting, it’s possible to find and collaborate with a composer online. If you’re really pressed for time there are also many sites online that offer original, royalty free music that can be used to create a basic score, or as a placeholder until you find your composer. You might even consider a work collaboration for a person in one of the many audio engineering courses scattered across the country.

Scoring your student film can be a challenge, but it can also be an experience that will create enough excitement to drive you forward into your career. Planning ahead, and knowing where to look when building your team will make the job easier, more productive and a lot more fun.

Visit Trebas Institute for more information on all the work that goes into a student film.

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