Getting Right Before You Write!

I was asked not too long ago by a Producer/Director (Jody Rawley) of a film that I scored called "Scramble" if I would be interested in writing a series of articles about film scoring. 
Although I do have expertise in writing, it is mostly of a different nature. However I love a challenge and so began the thought process behind these articles. 
Now with any article that can be deemed viable, there has to be credibility behind the author's words. It can't be based upon believed notions, but upon experience, trial and error, work that shows effort, and a continued good working relationship with past and current clients. 
As a professional composer I have worked on many projects, with many companies like: Disney, Kyocera Camera, Public Storage, Infiniti (Yes the Car Company) and great deal of great independent film makers that have helped me learn a great deal. 
Does this make me the end all be all of film scoring? Absolutely not, however I do offer to you for consideration, experiences that can be very helpful to anyone (and I do mean anyone) who either is a professional, is a hobbyist or just starting out as a composer.

Now we’re finally at the meat of the article and I'm about to give you an explanation behind why I titled it "Getting Right Before You Write"  Basically being a composer, if you didn't know already, is a career not a job. It doesn't have an application you can fill out in order to be hired. I would be very taken aback if I ever met someone who did fill out an application and was hired. For now I just consider it a unicorn…doesn't exist.  Anyway not to get you down, but with this general fact if you know the odds are not in your favor how do you navigate through the proverbial waters?

Well the first thing any composer has to hands down do is ask themselves one simple question? Why am I a composer? As cliché as that question might sound it's absolutely imperative to know the answer. And no the answer can't be, because you're good at it. 
Did that throw you off? I know plenty of talented composers -a few that are even better than me- that are not successful with their talents. I also know some composers that are only okay yet seem to do great. What's the difference? Well at some level these people asked themselves the question whether they knew it or not, why am I a composer? ….. and the answer is this. I am willing to persevere during the lean times, overcome harsh criticism, keep an open mind with regards to what people think of my music, keep working and striving to become better, and the most important: feel completely at a loss if I weren't able to compose. I mean if living meagerly means you get to write everyday then that in itself is a success. 
I think it's very important for the composer to find joy and contentment with just composing. If you keep writing and striving then all that extra good stuff will come. I'm sure by now if you've read this far you might feel as though this is rhetoric, but I know that without knowing whether or not you're up to the challenge, then all the technical knowledge you learn will be for naught, because you might not be willing to wade through the muck, MOSTLY LACK OF MONEY, to really establish yourself. Besides it's a slight relief to not have that extraordinary pressure on you right at the beginning, and those lean times can really have a profound effect on your composing. Your perceptions will change and like any great composer, you'll have this wealth of experience to draw from, if you stay positive, when you decide to sit down and write. 
It also makes for a good story when you're at some Hollywood producers’ mansion at a wrap up party for a movie you just completed…….