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Kickstarter Project for Music Jotter begins May 10th. Write music on the web or desktop computer.
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How To Start Composing For Film?


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I'm a big enthusiast of film music I listen to it all the time. I'm studying classical piano performance in a conservatoire (music college) but I find myself listening to more film soundtracks than classical music. I have realised that composing for film is what I want to do for a living. I have tons of ideas and inspiration but I'm get very frustrated as to where to start.

My questions are : how to start composing? Eg which software to use? I often have millions of ideas in my head that sound extremely good, and also sound good when I play it on piano but I have an one and only software Sibelius 7 which can't produce the sound I want. I'm fascinated by the dramatic use of brass and electronics which can't be created using Sibelius.

Alternatively I can record my composition by an orchestra.. But where do I get an orchestra? Generally you have to be an already good composer to have to opportunity to use a real orchestra, even if I have recorded I still need post production work..

It seems very discouraging to me that in order to create music one has to already be good at it.. I'm thinking of applying to study composition for film for master degree but seems really impossible because there's no specific composition for film course to study before hand.

So my question is very simple yet complex: how to start? Please let me know if you have any advice

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Kickstarter Project for Music Jotter begins May 10th. Write music on the web or desktop computer.
Has Midi Scrubbing & Easy Tuplet Entry.
Get BIG discount as a Kickstarter supporter. No monthly subscription fees. Follow the campaign today!

Fear not, and don't be discrouraged! You don't have to be good at music to get started. You need only money and persistence, and the willingness to think long term. For less than $4000 you can buy the hardware and software needed to make film music. I'm talking everything. Complete. I would suggest Digital Performer from MOTU as your recording platform. Many film composers use it, as do I. Danny Elman, James Newton Howard, Thomas Newman, etc. Then buy an orchestral sample library. With these you can experiment and get immediate feedback to your ideas. And with great sound it will motivate you more than Sibelius. Once you get these fundamentals, there are ways to get films to use for you to practice. Good luck and feel free to contact me via message. However, I don't get email notifications from this site anymore, so a response may not be immediate.

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I'm thinking of just getting a sample clip from a film, preferably with a bad score, getting rid of said score and writing my own for it... (interesting idea for a potential future competition / challenge...?)

Anyone perhaps know of any edited scenes of movies where the other sound types are still present but without the score / soundtrack there?

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Isn't that a thing on youtube somewhere?  Movie scenes that become totally awkward with the soundtrack removed…  

 

Here's a Star  Wars one.  https://youtu.be/G5z2ECXo33s  Music stops after 15 seconds.

 

Here's Psycho, the shower murder scene, first with music, then without it… https://youtu.be/81qweiWqyTU

AMAZING :D

Who's up for a Psycho shower scene scoring competition later in the year sometime?

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  • 6 months later...

Well, I'm an amateur composer but I do know a thing or two about video editing. Adding music over video is relatively easy to do, but you have to use a video editing software to do it, one like adobe premiere or adobe after effects, you may also look for free or cheap software, like windows movie maker for example, although sometimes it does get more annoying with free software. Then, some may also want to load the video as they compose so they can see the action while they think the music. I don't know about Finale or Sibelius, but I'm sure most DAWs (like cubase) have that option.

 

Anyways, just my two cents.

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