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by Tony Roma
posted 26/09/2019

Con Open Academy Composing For Film Short Course Interview

Andrew Scott is the Tutor for the Composing for Film short course at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music to start Monday 21 October. Here is an interview conducted with him recently highlighting the course as well as his own background in film composition.

What sort of people take the Composing for film class? Why do they take it?

All sorts! Composers who have previously studied music but are interesting in getting into the film music industry, Musicians who are starting to compose originals and want a more cinematic approach, Sound designers who are keen to develop their composing skills, Directors who are interested in learning more about how music works in their films, High school students interested in learning about a possible career path.

How did you get into this field? Can you give us a snap shot of your musical journey?

I studied Jazz Piano at the Conservatorium, but have always had a passion for composing. I started taking note of the music in films and learning about the film industry. Bill Motzing was teaching Jazz Arranging at the time and I was inspired by his anecdotes of working on feature films in Australia and overseas. I studied at AFTRS, which is the national school for the film industry, during which time I made plenty of friends and got the opportunity to work on quite a number of student films. Since then I’ve worked as a freelance screen composer, working on television shows, feature films, advertisements and documentaries in a number of roles, and have had great opportunities to work alongside industry heavyweights such as Caitlin Yeo and Guy Gross.

What are some of your top reminiscences or stand out moments in your professional musical life?

I always love to go to the premiere of a film that I have worked on! I also love going into the studio and hearing music that I have written, scored or orchestrated come alive with real life musicians.

What are some of the challenges of composing for film in comparison to composing music on its own?

While a music composer has the freedom to take the music anywhere they wish – film music composers must serve the film they are composing for, and fulfil the wishes of the film director. You have to develop a knack for ‘reading’ a film, while using your knowledge of drama and the history of film at large to arrive at appropriate musical ideas which will ‘stick’ to the screen. Everyone can make beautiful music, but it takes craft to make the ‘right’ music for a film.

What skills to students need to have already to take this class?

The most important requirement is that you have composed music before. Technology is a big part of what we do, so best if you are comfortable with computers – especially music programs such as Sibelius or GarageBand.

Why do you like teaching at the Open Academy?

I love it when I can show people new concepts or techniques and students have a ‘mind-blown’ moment. Very rewarding to broaden everyones horizons and help them to make better music. It’s great towards the end of the semester once we have written music for a few projects and students start to develop a real understanding of the films how to incorporate dramatic elements into their music. Its a very practical environment so I can constantly encourage everyone to write more music!

What: Short Music Courses

Where: The Conservatorium of Music Sydney

When: Term Starts October 14

To Find Out More & To Book Online Click Here