Social Composers: SCOREcast part 1

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Welcome to the second chapter of the series dedicated to the expanding world of online composer forums. In today’s entry we’ll learn more about another group I find crucial in developing my career and expanding my network: SCOREcast.

I am happy to have Marie-Anne Fischer, currently overseeing the Chapter Communities, to guide us in this fascinating journey.

Marie-Anne Fischer – Composer

Hi Marie-Anne, many thanks for participating in this series! SCOREcast is one of my daily go-to places on Facebook, and such an invaluable resource for beginners and experienced professionals alike. Before we talk about it can you tell me about your career as a composer?

I was born in Belgium, where my interest in music started at a young age. I took piano lessons at the local music school and also attended solfège lessons. As a teenager I moved with my parents to South Africa, where I developed a more serious interest in writing music whilst I studied drama in Pretoria. Playing piano was a part of my creative process where I used it to find more character dimensions and especially exploring their emotions. I specialised in directing during my final year of study and directed and produced a musical where music, singing and movement were the main focus.

A short while later, I met a sound engineer at a post-production company and got to write music for television. I spent countless hours writing high-energy music to accompany sports programmes, pro-basketball and the World Cup rugby being one of my first paid assignments. Eventually writing music for sport progressed to writing music for wildlife documentaries and corporate programs and I became used to working to briefs. These taught me an incredible amount about developing a strong work ethic and a strong sense of self-discipline. I also lived and worked in the USA for 18 months, where I was exposed to many new musical influences. I had moved around a lot during my early years but have been happily settled in England for quite some time now, writing music for film, television and games.

It’s hard to single out my top highlights of my career when every published project has been a highlight to me at the time. Perhaps, teaming up with director Flaminia Graziadei and scoring her films have been a series of continuous highlights. Also, writing music for ‘The Library of the Human Soul’ and having more than 100 pieces recorded with live strings from the Vienna Session Orchestra – this was a great series of personal highlights.

Can you tell us the story of how SCOREcast was born and how it evolved to its current form?

SCOREcast on Line: The Home of the Professional Film Music Community

2006

There existed an on-line resource for a 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 was to inform and educate the film community on the re-sophistication of the business and craft of making music for all visual media applications. This resource was called SCOREcast.

Film composer Deane Ogden founded SCOREcast in 2006, starting as a monthly Internet podcast called the SCOREcast Podcast Show. The podcast show was aimed at helping those trying to get a foot in the door of the film music business. As the show began to evolve, so did its audience. After early integration into the iTunes family of podcasts the SCOREcast Podcast Show rapidly became one of the most listened-to film music-centric podcasts on the Internet.

2007

In August of 2007, after back-to-back turns on iTunes’ Featured Top 20 list, two of America’s top universities incorporated the SCOREcast Podcast Show into the “recommended resources” for their film music certification program curricula.

2008

By January 2008, the SCOREcast listener base on iTunes reached upwards of 6,000 people worldwide. With the sudden new audience of thousands of would-be composers, Ogden enlisted the help of veteran film and television composer Lee Sanders to co-host the SCOREcast Podcast Show. Soon afterwards, Deane formed a global leadership team of working film music professionals and began outlining plans for a SCOREcast website. The site would serve a three-fold purpose:

  1. To serve as as a “virtual lounge” for unknown composers interested in a career in film music;
  2. to support the SCOREcast Podcast Show with show-notes; and
  3. a searchable database of articles, and to fill the need for a centralised resource for working professionals within the film, television, and video game music industries.

SCOREcast’s first local community chapter, SCOREcast: Hollywood, was launched at the 2008 NAMM Show.

2009

In April of 2009, on the eve of the 19th episode of the podcast, SCOREcastOnline.com was launched, servicing the entire film music community, and featuring regular columns, video, audio, blogs, polls, and interactive commenting. As the roll-out of the website continued throughout 2009, so did the expansion of its content and features. A worldwide team of contributing editors was assembled, consisting of working professional television and film composers, orchestrators, music editors, re-recording mixers, film music recordists and composer assistants.

On December 12, 2010, Los Angeles-based composer Brian Ralston replaced Sanders as Ogden’s co-host on the SCOREcast Podcast Show and the 27th episode of the podcast was released.

Pre-SCOREcast London

2010

In 2010 James Semple was part of the admin team on Composer’s Forum where on-line conversations took place about topics covering composition, gear, the business of composing and many more related to writing music for television, film and games. We got together one day over a Sunday lunch and were discussing the lonely nature of our jobs, being detached from meeting people and the lack of proper music conversation. James came up with the idea that it would be nice to organise a get together with other composers where we could casually meet-up regularly and see where it would take us next. James organised the date and invited composers from the Forum, and I looked for suitable venues and helped with the organisation. On February 27th 2010, the first Composium get-together was born.

In August 2010 James started the Composium group on Facebook to help enable the ‘Composiums’ with the support of a group of friends Tom Shike, Mike Torr, Yaiza Varona, Stellita Loukas and me working tirelessly and helping to shape the group, as admins and as moderators. Steadily, more and more composers joined the group, supporting each other, asking questions, sharing articles and soon, collaborations developed. We got on well with one another and welcomed new composers to the group.

The rest of the story…

Check back next week for part 2 of the SCOREcast journey!

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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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