Technical Skills for a Film Composer

Quite a few composers who want to work for film reject to work on their technical skills. Very often an argument like “John Williams got to where he is by just writing short scores on paper and demoing things on the piano.”

While this is true, the “romantic” idea of the film composer working away in his composing room with just a piano and piles of score sheet papers is just not valid anymore. If John Williams wanted to start his career today, he would have not a single chance competing against other composers who are technically skilled and can create convincing sample productions in no time.

If you want to be successful in that highly competetive field of film scoring, there is no way around knowing and being able to use samples and digital recording/production techniques. The good thing is that if you really don’t like that side of the work (which quite a few composers do) you can start to outsource that again as soon as your career has lead you to some success. But rejecting to deal with these things right at the beginning of your career will very likely not give you a single chance to enter the professional film/media scoring world.


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