One of my main objectives when I set up this blog was to chronicle my journey as a film composer in LA. Because of my chronic procrastination, this is my first post on that subject. (I will revisit some earlier experiences in later posts.)
Like many composers here, I am always looking for opportunities to expand, to forge new relationships and to learn. Earlier this year, I submitted my application to the Los Angeles Film Conducting Intensive, an annual workshop founded by conductors David Newman and Angel Velez, “designed to create an opportunity for media composers to further their skills as conductors.” This sounded like the perfect opportunity for me to expand my skill set. I’ve conducted small recording sessions in the past, but have always chosen to hire conductors for large orchestra sessions. I’ve experienced first hand how valuable an experienced conductor’s skills are when recording a feature film score, especially when you only have a few days to record an hour’s worth of orchestral music. But it makes sense for the composer of the music being recorded to hold the baton. Who else is more passionate about the outcome and more knowledgeable about how the music should sound?
I was thrilled when I was accepted as one of twelve Fellows for this intensive which will be held at the iconic Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Brothers Studios. To be able to work directly under the tutelage of several of the most decorated conductors and orchestrators in Hollywood is a dream come true. (Day four will include conducting one of my own film score cues with a 62-piece orchestra.) I had the privilege of meeting two of the instructors of the LAFCI earlier this fall, Conrad Pope and William Ross. I’ve known about Conrad for years as the man John Williams calls on to orchestrate his iconic scores. A top composer in his own right, he has collaborated with a pantheon of composers that include Alexandre Desplat, James Newton Howard, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Alan Silvestri, Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer. I met William (Bill) Ross at an ASMAC event and attended the 2016 Golden Score Awards where he was being honored alongside Alf Clausen. You know you have achieved greatness when luminaries such as film critic Leonard Maltin and composers David Foster, Alan Silvestri, Kenny G and John Williams attend the ceremony and testify in praise of your accomplishments and qualities as a human being.
Needless to say, I am looking forward to this workshop and will be posting updates…