Online Master's Degree Course

Professional Film Scoring Skills 2: Building Your Career

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Authored by Jessica Rae Huber

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Course Code: OCOMP-650

Next semester starts September 28

Level 6 - Degree Only

Level 6

This course explores how to build your business acumen as it relates to the film scoring industry. The course teaches you how to build your professional network, create your own opportunities, and craft a life and career of scoring films and other media. You will explore how to maximize your strengths and use them to navigate the nuances and intricacies of the Hollywood film and TV scoring business. In addition, you will learn how to create polished demos and other marketing materials that distinguish you from other composers. 

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By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Work and communicate more effectively with directors
  • Understand passive income streams
  • Produce and submit cue sheets
  • Employ effective networking strategies
  • Work as your own agent and find upcoming projects with production charts and other methods
  • Contact decision-makers and submit for projects in a way that increases responsivity
  • Distinguish yourself from other composers and uniquely position yourself in the marketplace
  • Create persuasive and clearly branded demo and marketing materials
  • Develop a personalized marketing and action plan
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Overview Syllabus Requirements Instructors Request Info

Syllabus

Lesson 1: You are a Business

  • The Film Industry's State of Affairs
  • Current Trends
  • The Hard Truth
  • Analyzing a Case Study: Brian
  • Conceptualizing Yourself as a Business
  • Developing a Vision and Mission
  • Developing Your Mission Statement
  • Assignment 1: Solutions for Brian and your Vision and Mission Statements

Lesson 2: You Are a Brand

  • Developing Your Brand
  • The Composer’s Digital Essentials
  • Your IMDb Page and Social Media
  • Worst Digital Practices
  • Best Digital Practices
  • Assignment 2: Your Website

Lesson 3: Identifying Your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

  • Strengths and Weaknesses: Know Yourself
  • Opportunities and Threats: Know Your Market
  • Analyzing Your SWOT and the Industry
  • Your Strategy Informs Your Research and Marketing Plan
  • Case Studies in Finding Your Market
  • Your Business Plan - Laying out the Framework
  • Assignment 3: Website Update, SWOT, Industry/Market Analysis

Lesson 4: Advancing Your Network

  • Developing an Effective Networking Mindset
  • Turning a Weak Tie into a Strong One
  • Knowing Whom to Network With
  • Developing an Effective Networking Strategy
  • Elevator Pitch
  • Your Marketing Plan
  • Assignment 4: Networking and Marketing Plan

Lesson 5: Workflow and Streamlining Technology

  • Defining Your Workflows
  • Production Workflow
  • Operations Workflow
  • Internal Workflow Organization
  • Creating a Backup System
  • Backup Programs
  • External Workflow Organization
  • Knowing When to Delegate
  • Assignment 5: Workflow

Lesson 6: Understanding Revenue Streams

  • Ways Your Music Can Make Money
  • Retaining Your Rights
  • Music Libraries
  • Monetizing Related Skills
  • Your Financial Structure
  • Assignment 6: Financial Plan and Metrics

Lesson 7: Working on a Team

  • Givers, Takers, and Matchers
  • Communication is Key
  • Sharing the Mental Load
  • Giving and Taking Credit
  • Assignment 7: Two Reel Pieces

Lesson 8: Exploring Composer Adjacent Careers

  • Music Editors
  • Orchestrators and Copyists
  • Composer Support Roles
  • Leveraging Adjacent Careers into Composing Careers
  • Getting Hired by Another Composer
  • Assignment 8: Interview a Professional

Lesson 9: Exploring Different Stages of Media Scoring

  • Flying Solo
  • Working With Contracted Help
  • Working With a Full-Time Staff
  • Working on the Next Level: The Auxiliary People on Your Team
  • Assignment 9: Genre Reels

Lesson 10: People and Culture

  • How to Hire Someone
  • Pay Unfairly
  • Diversity Among Media Composers
  • Setting Your Expectations
  • Assignment 10: Website Check In

Lesson 11: Professional Ethics

  • Major Ethical Approaches in History
  • Diversity in Contemporary Ethics
  • Pragmatism in Ethical Practice
  • Consistency, Coherence, and Sustainability in Ethical Practice/li>
  • Assignment 11: Final Business Plan

Lesson 12: Work-Life Balance and Review

  • First Things First
  • Determining What’s Important
  • Every Yes is a No
  • Feeding the Creative Side

Requirements

Requirements coming soon.

General Course Requirements

Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in live chats. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course. 

Mac Users

PC Users

All Users

  • Latest version of  Google Chrome
  • Zoom meeting software (available in the course when joining your first chat)
  • Webcam
  • Speakers or headphones
  • External or internal Microphone
  • Broadband Internet connection

Instructors

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Author & Instructor

Jessica Rae Huber is a film and television composer who has written music for hundreds of episodes of television, feature films, production libraries, trailers, and podcasts. She is also frequently recruited to write additional music for other composers across many genres and types of media. Her work can be heard on shows such as The Walking Dead, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Outlander, and Black Sails.

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She previously worked as an Assistant Composer and Scoring Manager for a major film music production company where she hired and managed a large team, coordinated multiple simultaneous scoring projects, and wrote additional music. She has since become a highly sought-after consultant who has recruited, built, and maintained scoring teams and workflows for multiple composers.

Jessica is one of the original composers chosen for The Future Is Female: a Concert for Women in Film where she conducted her original orchestral piece for a sold-out crowd.

She holds a degree in film and video game scoring from Berklee College of Music, and a degree from Florida Atlantic University in Communications, Women's Studies, and History.

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Questions?

Contact our Academic Advisors by phone at 1-866-BERKLEE (U.S.), 1-617-747-2146 (INT'L), or by email at advisors@online.berklee.edu.

We can also answer basic questions in the comments below. Please note that all comments are public.

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