I am writing this question because in my classes at UCLA Extension, my students have asked me this a lot over the years. It sums up one of the questions I get the most. I do tell everyone who asks me that everyone’s career “path” is different and just because something worked for someone does not necessarily mean it will work for you, but I would love to hear your opinion on this.

Here is the hypothetical. There are two composers up for scoring a smaller $10M drama film. From the perspective of an agent who makes deals and talks with music supervisors and studio folks who are looking for composers, which one below is perceived to have a more impressive resumé and more “experience” in the eyes of a producer/director to get hired as the composer on their film? Assume both are “at the table” for whatever reasons and their submitted demos were equal in quality and presentation. (I know there are a lot of reasons that could go into any hire…but both resumés below definitely show a distinct path different from the other.)

You have stated that it is all about gaining experience. Who has more experience? Who could you as an agent “sell” better if you were in a room with the decision makers on this film? Here are their proposed credits…ALL completely made up for this example, references to films are not meant to imply any particular person….just the type of credits they have.

Composer A:

2016 As You Are (Sundance Special Jury Award) – Composer
2015 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Sundance Jury Prize Best Feature) – Composer
2015 The Witch (Feature) – Composer
2014 Undecided (TV Pilot) – Composer
2013 Swinging With The Shermans – Composer
2012 Reactionary Measure (Feature) – Composer, Orchestrator, Conductor
2012 Eight Hours In (Winner Best Picture SXSW) – Composer
2011 An Inside Job (Magnolia Pictures) – Composer
2010 Empty Shell (Short Film) – Composer

Composer B:

2016 Captain America: Civil War – Synth Programmer, Additional Music (uncredited)
2015 The Birth Of A Nation – Score Coordinator
2014 Day of The Dead (Short film) – Composer
2013 Man Of Steel – Synth Programmer
2012 Dark Knight Rises – Synth Programmer
2012 Madagasgar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted – Music Programmer
2011 Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows – Scoring assistant