Have you ever watched a movie or television show and noticed how much work must go into the creation of original soundtracks for each movie? A film score composer may meticulously craft a song or a piece for a scene or an entire film, with each part synchronized to the action on the screen. Movies and TV shows can be as much about music as they can be about visual media, and so film scores are a significant and highly respected aspect of film. But if you want to do film scoring, what do you do, where do you go and how do you begin?
First of all, a film scorer will need to have a background in music. Music as part of a film creates an extra layer of emotion that may not be conveyed visually in a scene, and so it is very important to maintain the film’s overall tone. However, because a film score is intimately linked to the visual medium of film, there is more that must be taken into consideration as the music as part of a film is not necessarily intended to be a standalone piece; the film and the music are inextricably linked to one another.
Secondly, if one is serious about making music for film, there are schools which offer courses in this subject. One can become a film scoring major at Berklee, for example. Berklee has an extensive program that guides its film scoring students through an education in the foundation of music, and includes courses in orchestration and conducting as well as computer and music synthesis skills. In addition, students will study classic film masterpieces and their accompanying soundtracks, and how to convey dramatic and emotional concepts in their own compositions for film.
Lastly, as a film scorer you need to get your name out there in order to make it a full-time career. Film scoring is as much an occupation as it is an art, and with any occupation you need to have some professional clout. The Berklee film scoring course for example is intended to prepare its students with legal, marketing and business knowledge in the context of a small business. Students are also taught to compile portfolios of their works and professional resumes and application letters throughout their time in the course. This is intended to prepare film scorers with fundamental skills for what could become their lifelong career, making students both fully-capable musicians, self-marketers and professionals.