Every aspiring film composer who is passionate about songwriting dreams of composing the hit song for that top grossing film that will immediately bring the movie scenes to mind. Think John-Williams, one of the greatest film composers in the world, five times Oscar winner, and the composer for more than 80 movies. These movies include some of the top movies of all time such as the Star Wars trilogy, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Jaws, ET-The Extra Terrestrial, and many more. If you hope to become a famous film composer, chances are you love films and enjoy music. But as with any major achievement, the road to your goal is not always easy. Even John-Williams spent ten years learning the skills involved in professional songwriting.
Getting started with songwriting
If you would like to be like John-Williams, here are a few pointers to get you started in your passion as a film composer or pursue a songwriting career.
* Enroll in a school that offers a film scoring program where you can learn about the various aspects of film composing while interacting with fellow aspirants working on film projects.
* You may not get to be the film composer for a feature film right away, but beginning your songwriting experience with commercials, documentaries, trailers, and similar projects is a good start. By working on a variety of projects, you will be able to build a strong portfolio that you can approach directors or film producers with.
* Begin building your network with prominent people in the film industry who can refer you to directors who are looking for them. John-Williams began his stint as a film composer working with Bernard Herrmann who scored the memorable music for Psycho.
* As you work on different projects, create demo CDs of your work that you can distribute to prospective directors.
* Technology has made it easy to telecommute and collaborate on a global basis. But it still makes a big difference to physically be located where the action is happening. This means being close to other ones, directors, and music editors.
* Persistence is the most important thing for somebody who wants to be a film composer or excel in songwriting John-Williams is an excellent example. When you have the talent, qualifications, and contacts along with the right opportunity, you too can come up with an immortal music theme.
Getting ahead as a film composer takes time, connections and flexibility. You may have to take up other jobs along the way. John-Williams studied piano at Juilliard after which he went on to play jazz piano in New York clubs.
Focus on composing music for music’s sake. Let your sole aim be to create good music, just like John-Williams. Above all, continue to practice your songwriting skills. The money and fame are sure to follow when you are recognized.