Price Dumping Between Composers
Learn to say no. The entertainment business unfortunately is a field where price dumping is everyday’s business. Unfortunately, even among composers there is often a lack of decency regarding such issues.
Some composers will fight to the fullest extent to get jobs even if they ruin the complete market in the long run by doing so. Sustaining a professional career as a composer needs an understanding of your value. Don’t join in on the “I do it for less” fight that some composers start. If you do quality work and establish a reputation of “Yeah, that guy costs a bit but it’s worth it”, you will be able to sustain a career and potentially also feed a family from that. But that only will happen if you neglect offers that pay below your value.
It is very hard to say no when you are in a financial situation that rather doesn’t allow you to neglect any job but experience from myself and many colleagues shows that eventually your customers will start to value your work. And I would always chose selectively.
There’s always this one project by a great young director who keeps on apologizing that he asks you for doing the project for the money he has to offer but he already cut down other departments to be able to pay at least something for the music where you can break your rules because it is obvious that he values your work but simply can’t pay more.
On any project where you have the feeling that your work doesn’t get valued in spite of the fact that there should be possibilities to pay you decently, think really hard about whether you need to accept that. If you’re doing good work and people want you, they will find a way to pay you.