FINDING AN ASSISTANT POSITION

Hello everyone. This post is meant for young composers applying for assistantship positions!
I want to take you through my process of finding a new assistant.

I have started working at Bleeding Fingers as a composer in January of this year. For the past month I have been in the process of finding a new assistant, since I wanted someone with a strong knowledge of orchestral writing, since that is the music I write the most. While assistants task are primarily stemming, midi cleanup, ect, I also wanted someone with decent programing skills and a musical mind, who could help me with additional music writing and conforming cues. I was also looking for a person who had their own musical voice that I thought I could mentor and help out in their future career as a composer. I reached out to a few people and soon I was listening to countless demo reels of composers trying to find someone, that I thought would match what I was looking for.
Since I am a Berklee Valencia master’s grad I was also trying to find someone who is a Berklee grad since I imagined we would have a similar way of working. Berklee posted an open positions add on their careers website and to my surprise I got over 50 resumes.
I immediately excluded everyone that didn’t use Cubase (my DAW of choice) and Sibelius. Then I excluded everyone who did not have a link to their music in their resume or that I could not find their music with one easy google search. After listening to the applicant’s music I could find I excluded everyone, who’s writing was not in line with what I am expecting; for example a demo reel of only sounddesing/edm type tracks, a demo real of only epic/trailer style music, music with not very good voice leading, music with not very good production, music with not very good orchestration, music that had no persona (meaning anyone could have written it or that is was just trying to be a copycat of someone else). In the end I found that a lot of strong writers had terrible production or programing skills and the composers that had great production had not very good writing skills. I reached out to 7 people and only 4 ended being in Los Angeles.
I inviting 3 out of the 4 applicants to an interview and gave them all a little assignment to arrange a little theme I wrote.
I ended up picking a young female composer who stood out to me for a few reasons:
– Her resume had everything I needed to know clearly mapped out
– She also included a personal letter to the resume which let me know she did “her homework” on who she is applying to work for. In the letter she also explained why she is passionate about the position offered. That really made her stand out from the crowd!
– Her music had identity and I could hear her own musical voice in it
– Her programing and production was on a level I was looking for
– At her interview she seemed very eager and excited!
– The theme arrangement assignment I gave to her was far the best out of all the others. I could still hear her style in it.
– She had assisted other composers before.

Well here is my selection process. I hope it will help someone in the future with their application for an assistant job!

-Anže