Just read this comment to Lukas Kendall buried in a long thread.
It deserves to be read and savor by every composer
I care about world trends for eliminating labor protections in the general economy, yes—that is a big deal and very concerning.
Media composing is NOT the one of those cases. Nobody put a gun to anybody’s head and said, “go be a media composer or your family gets it.”
The disruption bothering you happened 20-25 years ago—the deed is done. It’s over—your side lost. Change or vanish.
As far as I can tell, all that bothers you so much is that one kind of composer, which you consider “serious,” has been replaced in the marketplace by another kind of composer, which you consider not serious. And the “serious” composers like yourself are angry and bitter because they went to school to learn scales and harmonies and busted their ass to have a certain amount of “serious” chops from the old school, and they got replaced in the marketplace by tech geeks who can fake all of that schooling with software…and you are also quite scornful and bitter at filmmakers/producers who can’t tell the difference and/or don’t care.
I CONCEDE ALL YOUR HISTORICAL POINTS.
For 25 years I have heard complaining from “serious” composers who felt entitled to careers because they went to orchestra school and could read and write music, often very well.
I will NOT name names, because it will hurt feelings, but in my opinion, almost all of those “serious” composers were LAME film composers who could not write a tune, could not find a unique musical sound for a movie, could not “track” the movie’s emotions (because their own humanity was limited to being a music nerd), and definitely could not adapt to cultural trends. They were interchangeable orchestrator-types whose scores, even with huge budgets and sometimes quite good movies to support them, were huge SNOOZEFESTS. John Williams filtered through a damp sock with NO TUNES and even worse, NO TASTE.
There were also more than a few composers who WERE good film composers, but their careers petered out because of human failings…such as being HUGE DICKS.
I wish I could name names but it would not be appropriate in a semi-public setting.
And now there is a new generation of media composer, and yes a lot of them are hacks in the new way, as opposed to in the old way. But many others aren’t. I watch a lot of TV shows with terrific scores every episode—Mr. Robot, Game of Thrones and Westworld, Stranger Things, Legion, many others. I don’t care if the guy can notate music or not. They have talent or they don’t. They have imagination or not. They have good taste or they don’t. They can find a tune for a story, or not.
Teaching an ideology of complaining against “undercutters” may convert others to believing as you do, and then you’ll have a club of out-of-work composers who are righteous and angry in the same way. Have fun with that. I’d rather shoot myself.
COMPOSERS: If you can write great music, be great people, collaborate with filmmakers, find a movie’s “truth” and express it in music, and pound the pavement as per the advice often given on this forum, you will make it. Maybe not overnight, but you will have some sort of career.