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Grad students in film scoring


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This may be a long shot, but is anyone in here in a program focusing on film music composition, theory, and/or production? What are the courses like and what are you hoping to do with the degree? How did you get started on a portfolio/what material did you submit upon entrance to a program like this?

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  • 2 months later...

I actually just finished the NYU Film Scoring Master's. It definitely focused a lot more on aesthetic choices, as well as somewhat on the logistic/production side of todays world, where film composers self produce most of their stuff with sample libraries. If you aren't super solid on some combination of classical music theory, electronic production, or recording your main instrument (especially if you play something other than piano), brushing up on all of those things will really help. You had a bit of elective freedom, take anything you want in the music/audio umbrella. I'm aiming to become a TV or game composer, but for now am looking mainly at commercial work, probably gonna get a side job in editing or publishing. For my portfolio, I had a few things I had made that were, in hindsight, pretty low quality in presentation though the ideas were there (I literally sent Finale output haha). The best thing I did was to write a serious piece for a conventional ensemble (string quartet) and have it recorded semi-professionally by some friends. If it's not too difficult and especially if you know someone, you can pull that off for less than a grand. Most of these places are looking for some combination of technical musical skill, clearly demonstrated academic achievement, and artistic voice/identity, so just make sure you try and get that across. Though I'll say academic achievement is lowest on that totem pole, more of a compensation if you're not outstanding in the others. Feel free to ask me some more specific questions!

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