There has never been more film, video games and TV productions in need of music, but there are also record numbers of composers chasing those projects. It is, as ever, a buyer’s market and despite the abundance of opportunities, a hard market to crack. Which leads to the question, what can up and coming composers do to get a competitive advantage?
Guy Michelmore, the founder of ThinkSpace Education, believes part of the answer is training and education. For the last 20 years, Guy has led a group of hard-working professional composers, passing on what he knows to emerging talent. ThinkSpace Education now has 100 postgraduate students and over 1000 non-degree students, studying courses; ranging from weekend courses in getting your template sorted out, to Master’s degrees in film, games and TV scoring, orchestration and sound design.
Best of all – it’s entirely online. Students study in their own time, from their own home, becoming part of a worldwide community of students and mentors. Online works particularly well, as it mirrors the process working composers go through; scoring with other work and family commitments, working remotely, often with clients they have never met. ThinkSpace students work on real-life projects, getting feedback from people who know exactly what the industry expects.
But Hans Zimmer and John Williams didn’t do a film scoring master’s degree – why do I need to? Because the world has moved on! There is a lot more competition now, and clients are trigger happy when it comes to firing new composers who fall short. They expect to work with composers who fully understand their world and their project, and have a developed skill set, including (in games music) advanced ability to implement music interactively. The margin for error has gone, and in a competitive world, training can be your competitive advantage.
Why do experienced composers share their knowledge? It’s rewarding to pass on what they know, and Guy Michelmore is proud of having started something that uniquely gives emerging talent access to such a vast range of mentors, working at the cutting edge of the industry.