Are you wondering how to get work as a composer? Here are 5 of our best tips!
1. Networking Events
- First, signup and go to all networking events in your area. Easier said than done for most of us introverts.
- To get the best out of the event, you should not go treating it like a chance to hand out as many business cards as possible. You're there to make friends and have fun, and hopefully be memorable to the people that you meet.
- If you are nervous about running out of things to say, remember that generally people prefer to talk about themselves rather than hear about other people. Therefore if you go with some questions in mind that will get the conversation started, you can let the other person do most of the talking – just remember that it's a conversation, not an interrogation. People will respond much better to someone who is friendly and open, rather than someone who is all business.
- Effective emails are an art. Make sure you read our dedicated blog post about how to write an effective email. Many people starting out will write a generic “Hi I'm a composer, here's my showreel” email and then send it around to everyone and expect to get a response. The problem with this is, there are so many other people doing exactly this that the people receiving the email generally register it as spam rather than a professional email.
- It is possible to get work via email, but you'll need to do it a certain way if you want to see any results. You'll need a subject which will intrigue them enough to open it in the first place, a concise, personal and politely written email, and at least one question or statement which will encourage them to respond.
- There are many forums out there for composers, directors, producers, editors and more. Nowadays, social media is one of the quickest and easiest ways to connect with people and get work, when used correctly.
- The key is to be engaged and engaging, and to put a concious effort in to not only advertising yourself but more importantly helping other people. One of the best ways you can gain peoples trust it to be genuine, helpful and friendly.
- If they ask for advice on a cue/movie edit, recommendations for crew/gear or anything else of this nature, this is your perfect chance to help them out. Maybe they need an editor, and you happen to know a few – why not recommend them? Maybe both the person hiring and the editor themselves will be so grateful that they will also hire you, and if not this time maybe in the future.
4. Mutual Friends
- This is where making friends with film makers and crew at all levels will be beneficial. The more people you know, the more chances you have of knowing someone who has a connection to a project.
- This is why you should put a lot of effort in to meeting new people and building relationships. Spending all of your time working and writing music is great practice, but if you're not getting any projects then it may be a good idea to split your time – spend half of it writing music, and the other half sending emails, making friends and looking out for work.
- You never know who could have a lead to future work, so don't think that meeting people who aren't directors, producers, editors or composers a waste of time.
5. Blind Luck
- On some occassions, you will be in the right place at the right time and land something by pure luck. Of course you can't predict when this will happen, but what you can do is increase your chances of it happening by putting yourself in potentially lucky situations. What are these situations? All of the above, and much more! The more time you spend putting your self in situations where you are interacting with other film makers and composers, in a productive and beneficial way, the higher your chances are of landing a gig.
- It would be a waste of time responding to everything – don't do this. Dedicate a portion of time every day where you will go online and check the groups that you find the most useful. Interact with the posts that really interest you, and don't try and offer advice on subjects that you don't know anything about. Instead, sit back and learn from others who do know, and interact if you have questions.
- This saves you from wasting anyones time, and shows that you can be helpful when you do post. When you are out at social events, set a goal of speaking to at least 3-5 people while you're there. You need to make the trip worth it, otherwise again you are just wasting your own time.
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