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ATTENTION: Student Directors and Composers


Active Member
Just a bit of helpful, friendly advice... and maybe a slight rant. ;)

Too many times I've seen a Student Director come to this forum, post that they are looking for a Composer for their "drama" film (or what have you) with no other details, and then never return, even though they have received 20 replies from all sorts of composers. If you really want to work in this film industry, now might be the time you want to start being a little more professional, and have the courtesy to check in on your own post to let the composers know where you are in the decision process. Below are some simple steps to help you with this:

1. State what sort of film you need music too (Drama, Comedy, Sci-Fi, etc.) and how long the film is. It would also help to state your deadline.

2. Explain what sort of music you are looking for, such as the mood; dramatic tension, playful and whimsical, dark and brooding. And/or the instrumentation/style you are looking for, even if it's broad; traditional orchestral, or synth oriented, John Williams style, or Cliff Martinez style. Anything that would help a composer know what direction you are looking in with the score.

3. And finally, PLEASE come back to your own thread and update everyone on where you are at on the process of choosing a composer. Have you listened to everyone's demos? Have you narrowed it down to a handful of composers? Have you chosen someone or still undecided? PLEASE LET US KNOW!

As you might have seen, there are obviously a lot of desperate composers here willing to work for free, but it's no fun when nobody knows if the Director even bothered to listen to the demos, let alone even come back to their own thread.

Just some hopeful advice from a fellow Director and a Composer.

And to all of you Composers here, some advice for you:

1. Try to post actual examples of you work in the Director's thread instead of just a link to your site. Many Directors won't have time to click on the link, then go hunting around for where you put your music examples on your site, especially if it's a terribly designed site (that would be about 80% of you. Sorry.)

2. Try to post relevant examples to the thread. It amazes me when a Director calls for a Comedy, or a subtle simple Drama, that some of you post the same, Epic Orchestral Trailer clip not even closely suited to what the Director is looking for. Yes, maybe your clip is great sounding (and I've heard a few on here that are really great) but if it doesn't fit, the Director isn't going to choose you. Also, the Director may think thats the only trick up your sleeve; that you are not versatile.

Again, just some friendly advice from a fellow Composer and a Director who will be looking for a composer shortly for one of my short films. I'm hoping this will help us all!

Thank you,

Scott Hampton

New Member
Great advice! As a composer I don't tend to respond to ads or posts that appear unprofessional. Lack of attention to detail doesn't bode well for collaboration. You don't want to work with someone who won't provide detailed directions after they hire you, fail to answer emails in a timely fashion, etc. Never mind the question of what happens to the film once it's done. Filmmakers who can't be bothered with details and follow-up don't tend to do very well with PR and festival submissions.


Staff member
Please do tone down the smack talk though. It's fine if you want to make a PSA of sorts, but keep it civil and don't try to talk others down. It only makes you look bad when you say 80% of other composer's site are poorly done.


Active Member
Please do tone down the smack talk though. It's fine if you want to make a PSA of sorts, but keep it civil and don't try to talk others down. It only makes you look bad when you say 80% of other composer's site are poorly done.

I thought I was fairly civil; it wasn't exactly smack talk, it was simply the truth. I didn't mention any names or call anyone out specifically... but I get the message. Was just trying to help.


Staff member
calling other's site terribly designed as a general statement is inappropriate in general. You don't want others to come and say your site is designed terribly and that "it was simply the truth."
As I said, tone it down and be polite.

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