It is not uncommon to hear composers gripe about how “they” (producers, studios, filmmaker) don’t respect them.

This has become a popular mantra in conversations, posts and memes.

Some composers go on and on with how greedy and dumb those “they’s” really are.

“They” are often painted as exploitative fools who have no knowledge of what goes into creating a score.

The composer complaint is “We don’t get no respect.”

Well, to get respect, one most also give it.

Before lambasting “them” about their lack of understanding and respecting of you, think how you contribute towards understanding and respecting “them.”

It is fairly safe to assume that those who make films, tv shows, plays and games care deeply about what they are working on.

They have probably devoted their time, money, and resources into the majorly uphill battle of creating something.

They have probably taken enormous risks, overcome extraordinary odds and made enormous sacrifices to get to the point there is a film, TV show, play or game for a composer to even work on.

They probably have to possess a wide-range knowledge in so many fields.

They need to know how to work with writers, directors, studios, casting directors, actors, production designers, editors, costume designers, location managers, accountants, cinematographers, sound designers, CGI artists, crews, post production houses, marketing departments, Unions, make up artists, special effects people, distributors, publicists, second unit crews, stunt people, transportation departments, sound mixers, etc.

Stop and reflect upon how amazing that is to accumulate that much knowledge about working with people with so many varying fields of expertise.

That alone deserves a mountain of respect.

Before you can expect empathy and respect for what you do, how much do you know or care about what “they” do?

Have you ever even tried to walk in their shoes?

How many film sets have you worked on?

How many television shows have you budgeted?

How many plays have you joined in developing from scratch?

How many games have you helped develop?

How much understanding do you have of all the other people on the production team outside of those in your contribution of making the music?

What do you know of their backgrounds, struggles, risks, sacrifices, hardships, pressures and challenges?

How are you respecting them when minimizing them dismissively by calling them “bean counters” and “suits”? How are you respecting them when complaining about them publicly minus so many details and without much context?

How are you respecting them when you don’t bother to really know or understand them.

If you really want “them” to understand and respect you, start by giving “them” the same level of understanding and respect you seek for yourself.