The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ (ASCAP) film scoring workshop has come a long way since it first began when aspiring participants sent cassettes as submissions, recalls Michael Todd, Senior Director of the ASCAP Film & TV program, who co-produces the workshop with Jennifer Harmon.
And while the workshop has evolved and improved over more than 15 years, it is still an under-the-radar opportunity for newcomers in the film composing industry.
“We don’t advertise on a grand scale; I think word-of-mouth from the alumni has been successful and kept up the interest,” Todd says. “I think outside of the carrot, which is walking away with a demo with a major Hollywood company, the benefit is exposure to real people in the industry. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at every aspect.”
The workshop, which has launched Emmy-winning composers’ careers, is a month-long commitment that provides a dozen green but highly skilled musicians from all over the world with a platform to cultivate their craft.
“It’s geared for someone serious about being a professional, not for the hobbyist,” Todd says. “It’s for aspiring professionals with strong skill sets, but don’t necessarily have access to industry resources.”
Participants meet with award-winning composers, orchestrators and other industry professionals who provide expertise, and they also have a chance to write scores for drama, animation, comedy and action scenes.
“We do try to instill a common theme: there is no one way to score a film,” Todd says.
ASCAP receives about 300 to 400 submissions annually, with repeat applicants every year. The next opening for applications will be in Spring 2017.
For more information, visit ascap.com/filmtv.