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Audition and Hire Composers for Your Film with scoreAscore

12.1.12 @ 9:00PM Tags : , , ,

Finding the perfect soundtrack for your film on stock music sites or using music generation software can be infuriating and sometimes seem next to impossible. I mean c’mon… we’ve all heard Apple Soundtrack’s “orchestral swells” or “classic sitcom” canned tracks more than once, haven’t we? An amazing sound designer teamed with the perfect composer can give your film a true emotional pull. Resourcing for a talented composer could probably be accomplished through general production job posting sites like Mandy.com or networking sites like Stage 32, but I recently discovered another tailored solution. It’s called scoreAscore, a platform designed to help you resource the right composer for your production. Click through for the entertaining and brief intro video (complete with papercraft stop motion!):


I signed up to check the platform out, and it’s well thought through and intuitively laid out. First, you choose between the following types of projects:

  • scoreAscore Pro: For larger budgets, with staff handling selections for you.
  • scoreAscore Web: Featuring complete buy-outs and tailored for budgets from $100 -$1000.
  • YouTube Partner Video: For verified YouTube Partners, with a special buyout rate of $300.
  • Buy Pre-existing Scores: Which is just what it sounds like — stock scores — though you do get to “name your price” on those, which presumably means you negotiate a price with the composer. (Note: At the time of this posting, the search feature was not active for Pre-existing Scores, and I’ve sent word to the staff.)

You then provide a project title, a description (with helpful hints to the side like “what type of emotion are you trying to evoke?”), location (local or non-local), budget, due date, and genre. You can upload a video for the film you’re wanting scored, and receive email notifications – all what you would expect from this type of service. On the next page, you get into the nitty-gritty of your project’s contract, which is very well thought out. I want to note that for narrative work, I’d go for “Exclusive” or “Total Buyout.” You don’t want your score to be the next Lux Aeterna, where it’s overplayed/confused/everyone uses it for their trailers.

And of course let’s not forget, for all you composers out there who actually do want to produce the next Lux Aeterna — this site could be an excellent way to get some interesting work! I only explored the filmmaker option, but I would imagine the composer side of things would be just as easy to use. I’d be curious to hear what you think below in the comments, composer types.

With clients like Disney, Chase, and Google, I have to imagine that scoreAscore could be a bit on the pricey side and possibly cost prohibitive to the indie or lower-budget filmmaker (excluding the web-only option). I wouldn’t let that turn me off from posting a project, though. This site could still be viable due to the low cost of entry (free) to the network. Let’s say you have the epitome of an excellent, heartfelt rom-com, with a smaller budget in the hundreds of thousands or lower. You believe in it, others believe in it — it’s good, a career-maker. You take it to scoreAscore, and you post it up for composers to view. You impress them with your film, your website, credits, your IMDB page, maybe some positive press, etc. You develop a relationship and negotiate what you can afford. The right composer gets on the site looking for a specific genre (yours), your creative visions mesh, and baby, you’ve got a stew going.

I’d like to provide a bit of personal perspective on how important the right score can be for your career. I was working in post production on my micro-budget music-dependent romantic comedy “the best part of my day.” I was knee deep in problems, including finding the right composer. I approached a group of composers that some other director friends recommended word-of-mouth. I showed them the cut and script and asked them if they were interested in doing a quick 1-2 minute theme. A few of them responded, and I found the perfect collaborator. That film went on to win awards and show in fests, making my crew and I “award-winning,” and proceeded to open many doors for us. Though our film turned out very well, I wish I would’ve had something like scoreAscore available to me then. The entire composer resourcing process would’ve been far less time-consuming with something like scoreAscore’s web option. I would’ve probably had a wider selection of music to choose from as well. I clearly do not regret my decision to approach composers on my own, but, personalizing this a bit, I can definitely see the value of this site.

scoreAscore has received some pretty positive press. From the “About” section:

scoreAscore won Businessweek’s readers’ vote for ‘Most Promising Business’, and was also featured in The Los Angeles Times’, prestigious Calendar section.

From everything I’ve seen so far, the positive press is warranted. scoreAscore looks like a very viable solution to your acoustical dilemmas. If you’d like to learn more, check out the aptly named “Learn More” section. Likewise, when you join, you will receive a friendly email from creator Jordan Passman containing contact information, should you have questions.

Have any of you used scoreAscore? If not, what do you use, and what do you think of scoreAscore?

Link: scoreAscore.com > Connecting Music and Media

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  • Ha ha, I literally just announced an identical feature on my site earlier today. Figured I wouldn’t be the first but didn’t expect a story on NFS the same day! It’s a cool concept for sure!

    • I’m guessing if a composer’s creation doesn’t get “selected” by the ordering client, he can still peddle it on royalty free sites etc.., but still, doesn’t it seem like the composer is getting the raw end of the deal here??

      • Are you talking about my site or theirs? I’m not sure how theirs works but it almost looks like you don’t write anything until they select you. That seems pretty good from a composers point of view.

  • As a composer and filmmaker I think the site and service is cool and definitely a step up from some of the others out there. However, I just read the details about how the selection process works. You must compose a piece of music and submit it to the director. If your music is not selected, they (scoreAscore) give you the option to upload to their music library. So you do have to spend time to compose a piece of music and hope it gets selected. If it doesn’t …..throw it into the lottery and hope for the best.

    • Hmm. Never mind. Really bad deal for composers.

      • Though it’s probably obvious and to be assumed as I wrote the article, I disagree, and it’s because I believe in auditioning. Auditioning used to be only something that actors had to spend time on. Then the digital era hit, and suddenly agencies started to have to complete more works on spec, voiceover artists started having to audition via sites like Voice123, illustrators had to send out spec Illustrator pdf’s, etc. With digital, people are going to find ways of auditioning others. It’s arguable that the audition process isn’t worth it – all well and good. But take note of the clientele scoreAscore has attracted. It’s worth it to at least some to throw your name in the hat, and at the end of it all even if you’re not selected, you have a piece that has value. That’s not something that actors even get from their audition process.

        • Yeah, that’s a good point as well. After looking into it the level of client makes it a lot more attractive to composers. :)

          • Right on Luke. Btw, took a look at your site, looks like you’re doing some very interesting things with EDM/Weekly Freebies. Keep up the good work, I have a lot of respect for online film innovators!

    • I agree with Kerr. I’m a composer, and I know this site has gained some traction and is used by creative people looking for the right match, but i’m not fond of the hoops you have to jump through to get in their database. Auditioning and finding the right fit is important, but there are many alternative sites that let you network and audition yourself across the internet.

  • I take Luke’s point, who likes doing something for potentially nothing… but I think the auditioning makes it a very attractive site to producers, which would surely in turn help create a lot more future opportunities to sell your work…

  • Benjamin, thank you so much for this wonderful article!! My name is Jordan Passman and I created scoreAscore.com.

    To respond some of the previous comments – Our composers are thrilled and honored to be apart of our exclusive community. While thousands have signed up since inception, only a select few hundred have been activated. Our quality pool of talent is constantly presented incredible opportunities to submit their music directly to our project owners. With no middle man, they know that through scoreAscore clients will be listening, which allows the music to speak for itself. We only expect a composer to submit when he/she feels inspired to. A composer can submit a pre-existing piece of music for the “audition” process or write something new tailored to the project.

    scoreAscore is the dedicated marketplace that this business deserves. We are in the midst of completely redoing the website! We are recreating our design, lay-out, functionality and resources from the ground up. While this beta site has been very useful to test the market, the new website is going to be a game-changer for the industry. We will be the Internet’s leading sound marketplace in no time! Please feel free to contact us with any questions at admin@scoreAscore.com anytime. Thank you so much for your interest and we look forward to helping you with your projects!

    -Jordan

  • I’m a composer that’s been working regularly with ScoreAScore for the past two years. It’s been a really great experience thus far. They are always non-exclusive and send out emails daily with specific opportunities listing the gig info, payment/terms, etc. I’ve submitted for a ton of projects and, in many cases, I ended up writing a track that has been licensed a few times since. Although most pieces may not get selected you end up creating a library that fits a lot of searches.

    In terms of business practice Jordan and his team have always been upfront about everything. You either submit for the gig or not, and most of the time they’re asking for something you probably have in your library already. So it’s not like you’re uploading a thousand tracks and waiting for them to place/license them — you deal with it as each project comes in. I get the messages on my phone and, if I’m interested, I prepare a submission package and send it off.

    Personally I’ve even met a few filmmakers through the process that I still keep in touch with and have, in fact, worked with them again on second & third projects.

    • Good to know! I think it helps that they keep the list of composers smaller. That probably helps your chances in selling the music I would assume.

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