When I was publishing Film Score Monthly, I used to get a fair number of emails (and before that, hardcopy letters) from aspiring composers, asking me to listen to their music and/or cover them in the magazine or offer career advice—or just to introduce themselves.
I always tried to be helpful, but way more often than not, their music was underwhelming and there wasn’t much I could do or say. It was kind of depressing.
It’s very much the situation aspiring screenwriters are in—but way, way worse. A script, at least, is something you can present professionally just with a simple piece of software. But creating music is a time, labor and money-intensive process. It’s so hard to try and judge the composition when the production and presentation is so under-financed.
Still, most of what I was asked to listen to was obvious John Williams knockoffs, or Elfman knockoffs...and unfortunately that’s still often the case today. Making music—or art of any kind—is very difficult and needs a ton of talent, skill and perseverance.
So that I am not completely depressing: two of the young (at the time) composers who reached out to tell me about their initial projects, decades ago? John Ottman and Brian Tyler. Also later, if I remember correctly, Austin Wintory. So obviously they had the chops and things worked out pretty well!
As the years have passed, emails from composers have become quite infrequent—and when they do arrive, I refer them to a Facebook group that is a million times more useful than anything I could ever tell people: It’s called Perspective, and the “godfather” is my very old friend, Richard Kraft, a lifelong film music fan and career-long top agent/manager who has always been so generous with his time and wisdom.
In the past few weeks, Richard had a contest on the group to create a melody. There were certain rules as to what the presentation of that melody had to be.
Here is the announcement video of the honorable mentions and the winners:
Enjoy—and if Perspective can help you, please check it out!