Social Composers: SCOREcast Hollywood

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Welcome to a new entry of our series on the best online groups/forums for media composers. Today it is my pleasure to talk about the Hollywood chapter of SCOREcast with the host of the SCOREcast podcast, Brian Ralston.

Brian Ralston

Lovely to have you on this series Brian! Can you tell us a little bit about your work?

I am a Los Angeles based film / media composer. Although I am now starting to get into the film producing side of things as well. I also teach “The Business Of Film Music” course in the UCLA Extension Film Scoring certificate program. It is a course I developed for the program and have been the only one teaching it since its inception a few years ago. The course occurs once in the Fall quarter and once in the Spring quarter ever year.

What is your role in SCOREcast: Hollywood?

Currently I am the host of the SCOREcast podcast show. After hosting the show for many years with the SCOREcast founder Deane Ogden, he has now moved on to focus on other aspects of his drumming career and left me in charge of doing the podcast. As for the SCOREcast: Hollywood Facebook group and Chapter, technically that is where I am active but I am not really running the Hollywood chapter. Although every year in January, the Hollywood chapter hosts the annual SCOREcast NAMM show dinner which I have been organizing for many years.

Are you member and active on other groups/forums that you’d recommend to your colleagues?

I frequently lurk and occasionally participate in PERSPECTIVE: A FORUM FOR FILM, TV, AND MEDIA COMPOSERS on Facebook. There are a lot of industry folks that hang out there, even if they do not participate, they are reading.

SCOREcast: Hollywood

Tell us a little bit about SCOREcast: Hollywood. What are its values/mission?

SCOREcast is a resource for the community of working film, television and video game music professionals and is dedicated to providing relevant news, commentary, tutorials and education about our business to the professional film production community. Its core aim is to inform and educate the film community on the re-sophistication of the business and craft of making music for all visual media applications.

With a physical presence in more than thirty countries across the globe, SCOREcast is expanding all the time with its regional meet-up community program. A SCOREcast Chapter Community consists of a regional group of SCOREcasters who meet regularly and endeavor together to build relationships and camaraderie outside the studio with other composers and media music professionals in their local area.

There are 6 official SCOREcast community chapters, Hollywood, UK, Germany, Amsterdam, Toronto, Japan. But more are always in the works and are really driven by people in their area of the world wanting to host an official chapter. Most info on our communities can be found at http://www.scorecastonline.com/community/

Why is it unique?

I think it is always a unique thing when a community of artists can come together not in a competitive environment, but in a supportive one and truly help each other out in a variety of ways.

Can I join if I am a novice and why should I?

There are some rules about joining one of our facebook chapter communities. But in general if one meets the requirements they should absolutely join. It is free to join. We just want members to be actually working composers and not “fans” of the profession or not currently working in the profession.

  • Potential members must be working professional composers in the film, television, theater, video game or in an alternative visual media industry.
  • Potential members must either a) Be associated via Facebook friendship with at least two current chapter members, or b) Be invited into the group by a current member.
  • Potential members must be appropriately located geographically in relation to the group they are applying for (e.g. UK residents are not admitted to the Hollywood group, or vice versa, etc.).
  • Potential members must display their REAL photo as their Facebook avatar. SCOREcast is a ‘community’ organization. The concept of genuine community cannot be built when someone is masquerading as Steve Jobs or Batman… or both.
  • Potential members must make visible their professional website address on their personal Facebook profile.
  • Potential members who are university students or are studying music or composition at the collegiate level must make visible their educational institution and year of degree or graduation on their personal Facebook profile.

Can I join if I am an experienced composer and why should I?

Absolutely and of course this is the intent of the whole communities to connect working composers with each other to share knowledge, help each other out and build community.

What should I do to maximize my experience with SCOREcast: Hollywood and its members?

In general….get involved. The Hollywood Chapter is unique in that it is honestly not as active as some of our other chapters. I have yet to really put my finger on why this is. I think everyone working in Hollywood is either busy or wants to give the appearance of being busy. And many here have a philosophy of not wanting to give away all their “secrets” and sometimes gets very protective of their knowledge of how to do things. The UK Chapter of SCOREcast is the complete opposite and is very active with lots of members participating in locally driven events all the time. Every community is unique in that way and yet it is really up to the members in each community that can shape and form what they want theirs to be.

Tell us a little bit about your members. Are there well know professionals among SCOREcast: Hollywood’s ranks and do they participate in discussions?

SCOREcast Hollywood has a variety of members from new to town composers to seasoned professionals. It is not a great practice to name drop in a bid to lend some sort of legitimacy to the Chapter but let’s just say that the one event that many folks in the Hollywood Chapter tend to show up for is the yearly NAMM Show dinner every January in Anaheim California.

Have you ever witnessed new professional relationships born from interactions between members in the group?

Yes. All the time. But again…it is what you make of it. For example, folks often meet each other face to face for the first time at our NAMM Show dinner and then from that personal interaction, continue that relationship offline and end of working with each other on something throughout the year.

Are there other services tied to SCOREcast: Hollywood?

The SCOREcast podcast show and website (www.scorecastonline.com) are supplemental material for the Chapter communities and are always available to members for free. We do not charge for membership or make any profits from SCOREcast. We do have some sponsors for the show and some ads on the website but those funds 100% pay for the bandwidth and hosting of the site and its content.

Brian’s Tips

What should a composer never do and why?

Never give up your dream and passion. Never stop working hard. If you can find a way to make what you love doing your career, you will never ”work” a day in your life.

Before we say good bye, can you share the best tip you have read on SCOREcast: Hollywood so far?

There are a lot of good articles up there written by a lot of folks. When I first became involved with SCOREcast, I wrote some articles as well for the website though I have not contributed a written article in a while. I do find myself sharing one article I wrote many years ago often with folks online and it explores the concept of “What are you worth?” Or what to charge for your work. I hope folks find it helpful to them in putting their “worth” into some perspective. It can be found here. http://www.scorecastonline.com/2012/09/20/what-are-you-worth/

Thank you so much for participating!

Thank you for asking. 😉

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Giovanni Rotondo

Editor in Chief of Film Scoring Tips. Giovanni Rotondo is an experienced film and television composer based in London. He has scored many award winning feature films (Elijah and the Rock Creature, Orphans & Kingdoms), TV movies (Il Giudice Meschino, Il Confine), documentaries (Ilaria Alpi - L'Ultimo Viaggio) and video games (Thunderbird: The Legend Begins). More info here: giovannirotondo.com

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