1. TALK TOO MUCH ABOUT YOUR EDUCATION.
It is pretty much assumed you figured out how to compose music. The specifics are pretty boring to others.
Unless you studied under someone well-known to a filmmaker (like an uber-famous composer or performer) name dropping music teachers means nothing to them.
2. ASSUMING YOUR MUSIC SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.
Of course your music matters. But it is naive to think that in a collaborative art and business that music alone will seal the deal.
First, you’ve got to have someone WANT to even listen to your music. Soundcloud alone has over 125 MILLION pieces of music to listen to.
Why is anyone going to seek out yours?
Second, your pre-existing music isn’t made for their project. Other factors need to come into play to compel them to hire you.
Finally, ask yourself, is your music, especially at this point in your experience and career, SO extraordinary that it alone will blow everyone away that nothing else matters?
3. BEING UNINTERESTING
This is a social business. People who are indistinctive, unmemorable and not engaging will really have a hard time making the positive impression needed to be selected as a collaborator above those who are.
4. MAKING IT A CHORE TO HIRE YOU
It’s not about you.
It’s about what the person picking you needs.
Asking your potential employer to plow through endless/non-specific playlists, long winded/uninteresting bios, unfocused presentations/interviews is a waste of their time.
Asking them to search for interesting information about you and locating appropriate music is ridiculous.
Additionally, the composer who researches their potential employer and their project has a HUGE advantage over a clueless composer who has no specific idea what they are talking about.
It’s YOUR job to do the work towards getting the job.
5. TALKING LIKE A COMPOSER AND NOT A FILMMAKER.
It is assumed you know how to make music. Very few filmmakers know or care about musical terms.
They care about characters, narrative and emotions.
If you aren’t speaking their language you might as well be be speaking Swahili.
6. TALKING LIKE A WIKIPEDIA ENTRY
Facts and credits are easily accessed.
Your personality, storytelling skills, and engagement are not.
You can share information about yourself in ways that are delightful and interesting or in ways that are boring or annoying.
Talking about yourself is like playing music. Do you talk about yourself in a way that makes others want to listen?
7. OFFERING NOTHING
Potential employers want something.
They typically want several things. And those vary all over the place from person to person and from project to project.
The composer who can’t figure out what is specifically needed and offers no specific solutions is blowing their opportunities
8. NO FOLLOW THROUGH
“What can I do next?” Is such an important question in pursuing anything.
STEP B is as important as STEP A.
Sometimes a lot more so.
Determining and executing follow through is often the key to landing a job.
9. BRINGING YOUR CHIP ON YOUR SHOULDER.
No one cares about your grudges, negativity and resentments.
Get therapy to work through your issues, not your career quest.
10. NOT TRYING TO GET A JOB
It’s hard enough to get a job to begin with.
If you aren’t even really trying, you are sending the likelihood of landing that job into mind-boggling improbability.
It takes hard work, hustle, resourcefulness, ingenuity, determination, risk-taking and resilience to pound away at pursuing work.
Take those away, and you stay stuck.
INTERESTED IN HEARING YOUR THOUGHTS ON THESE.