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?