Film Music and Orchestration in Hollywood
A while back, we attended a Film Music and Orchestration in Hollywood workshop with Dr. Norman Ludwin held in Singapore. We may not be in the film industry, but we are keen to learn more about the industry. We also believe always never to stop learning and honing our craft! (By the way, can you spot us in the picture?)
It was an 8-hour long session with Dr. Norman sharing the role of an orchestrator in Hollywood films in Hollywood and his experiences working with Hollywood directors and composers. Dr. Norman also critiqued the several works of the attendees and had a Q & A session.
★ Your craft and talent are important but being a responsible and nice human being is equally important.
Here are some pointers we felt were very inspiring and useful!
1. Always be punctual and be nice! Forming a good relationship is always important. Nobody wants to work with someone who has a bad attitude and is late regularly. Being late is also seen as being very unprofessional.
2. Find your authentic voice in music and don’t copy too much from great composers like John Willian or Hans Zimmer! They have their signature style, and you have yours. It is a good practice to copy while learning, but it is essential to have your unique way of composing music. You can be creative in your harmony choices and instrumentation.
3. It is never too late to go back to music. Norman has seen many successful cases of mums who took some time off to raise their children, who managed to spring back into their music career. Or also if you started in the later years of your life, as long as you are willing to work hard, you can make it.
4. If there is an area you would like to improve on, do it! Spend time and even money if needed! We won’t touch on orchestration tips much because if you want to learn something, time and effort are required. There’s no quick way around it.
5. Have recorded instruments in your music to stand out as many composers are using the same sample libraries such as Spitfire, Hollywood strings, Berlin strings.
6. Music trend is always changing, be sure to follow the trend.
7. When you receive a film with a temp track, Norman suggested watching the film first without the temp track to get a feel of the film. He also suggested writing some music ideas based on your feelings and impression of the film. Hearing the temp track from the start may cause you to lean towards the temp track’s approach.
8. If you are serious about being an orchestrator, you need to have a solid familiarity. Listen to Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Berlioz, Stravinsky, and so on.
We bought his 11 e-books collection! It is detailed enough for an orchestration newbie to get a better idea of orchestration. It comes with music samples of the score examples shown in the e-books! You can find his e-books collection here!
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