Almost a year ago Richard Kraft decided to offer a Masters Degree in Comedy Scoring. The certification was quite easy to get, the only condition being to analyze the list of 40 clips from comedies that Richard had compiled. As soon as I saw this opportunity I knew that I had to complete this challenge! The first reason was that I was going to score a comedy and I wasn’t feeling comfortable with the style. Richard had already done most of the work by compiling the clips and I wanted to take advantage of that. The other reason was that Richard had recently invited three members from this group to LA as a way to thank them for their work on the composers/agents database. I didn’t know what to expect but it was obvious to me that he had something in mind. The possible positive outcomes to required effort ratio was as high as it could get and I started working. To my big surprise everybody stopped after a couple of clips! So I took my time since I was very busy but never forgot about it.

Very little did I know.

Yes, very little did I know that in December, after analyzing the last clip, I would see my name in a public post announcing that as a graduation gift I was invited to LA, flight and hotel paid, where I would also meet with Christophe Beck, one of the composer whose music I had analyzed. This trip happened last week.

Richard wanted me to stay several days in LA even though his plans for me were only enough to fill one day. Therefore I decided to meet as many people as possible while visiting the city. Before even going to my hotel I already had lunch with a singer with whom I worked before and I kept a similar rhythm during my whole stay. I met with composers, assistants, and directors ranking from people who just arrived, to composers scoring their first feature to people working for top composers and finally Chris Beck himself. I had asked in this group who wanted to meet during my stay and to my surprise the only people who replied where older and more established people. The more successful someone was, the more generous with their time they were! Not a single young and less established composer from this group answered or contacted me but other people such as Adam or Talip did reach to me and I had wonderful conversations with them! To me this was a good reminder of how important genuine human relationships are in this industry.

My last day in LA was quite something! In the morning I attended a session at the Eastwood Scoring stage (Warner Bros). And then I had lunch with Chris Beck at his studio. We spent quite some time talking about life, our way of thinking about signal flow, his fantastic modular synths rig, the film scoring business or my passion for conducting. Chris generosity with his time in the middle of his extremely busy schedule was absolutely exceptional! I wasn’t just meeting a great film composer but more importantly a wonderful human!

But I still had to meet with the person who made all this possible, Richard himself! I hadn’t been able to schedule an appointment and calling didn’t seem to be very effective so I remembered all the stories that Richard posted in this group and how many composers, or sometimes himself, had to be very persistent to get gigs or new clients. So I went to Kraft-Engel office and decided to wait there until Richard would show up. I arrived at 4:30pm and we ended up having dinner at 7:45pm.

The wait was so much worth it! I discovered a man who is really passionate about film and music and of an extreme generosity. I was honest with him and told him that I don’t think I want to move to LA and also I that I would love to pursue conducting. Not only Richard encouraged me but he also supported strongly my decision.

One thing that you should probably remember from this story is that everything happened because I followed my intuition and didn’t stop in the middle but instead I went for it without having any guarantee I would get something in the end! Also don’t be afraid to follow your heart and have your own opinions!

Richard, once more, THANK YOU so much for everything!