Interview – Mark Smythe

Composer Mark Smythe

Mark is a composer from Nelson, New Zealand. He moved to to LA in 2013. I first met him at a composer / director show-and-tell and was dazzled by his gregariousness and amiable personality. He has been an important contributor to the success of the Society of Composer and Lyricists and is a swell bro to share a glass of European lager with.

Where did you move from? What did you leave behind?

I moved from Melbourne, Australia. Or Mel-bourne, as Americans like to say. I left behind stable employment and a marriage. And a lot of good friends. 

Do you feel like you were guided to move here?

No, I don’t feel like that at all. I feel like I was bereft of options in Australia and needed to look to further horizons, because I was just going nowhere fast. So yeah, I had to guide myself here. I had to work really hard to get here.

How many years did it take until you felt you were “successful?”

I’m not! (laughs) As in “here in LA?” But, how do you define success? Put it this way: I would say that by my first year here, which was 2013, I felt like I had definitely made the right call — in terms of a successful decision. 

What was your breakthrough?

It was when I got a nomination in the 2013 Hollywood Music & Media Awards for best short film score.

What do you love most about Los Angeles?

The unexpected opportunities that arise. The fact that you think you are on a certain trajectory but then something happens and you go, okay, I never thought I’d be teaching at UCLA extension. Or being in a choir singing on a bus with Jared Leto. So yeah, the unexpected paths you end up on.

What did you move here to do? 

I moved here to become a film composer.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering a move to Los Angeles?

Read my 2013 article from SCOREcast Hollywood! 

observations-of-an-aussie-speaking-kiwi-composer-in-LA

Learn more about Mark and listen to his music on soundcloud.

Mark conducts the Rousse Philharmonic Orchestra at the Rousse Opera House in Bulgaria

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Author: gregsimsmusic

Greg Sims is an award-winning composer for film, television and advertising. He escaped to LA in 2015 where he has been scoring feature films and documentaries and blogging about his adventures in Los Angeles.

2 thoughts on “Interview – Mark Smythe”

  1. LOVE this interview with our good buddy Mark. Or Maaaaak, as he pronounces his name. He’s absolutely adorable!!!

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