Finding work as a composer is simply tough. It doesn’t matter whether you specialize in the classical or popular setting- it’s going to take a ton of hard work to make a career out of your passion. In this little article, I’m going to focus on the popular/media avenue of composing since it’s probably something even the most well educated/disciplined composers will consider at some point. Something has to pay the bills!
On this freelance website, you’ll find all types of music requests including music for short films, video games, audio books, bands, or even sacred music. Clients who need music will post jobs, anybody who is up to the task can apply for the work. The only limiting factor on oDesk is how versatile you are. It’s critical to not only apply to any job you think you can handle, but to check the site regularly. When you apply, it’s required that you state how much money you will do it for. It’s generally a good idea to stay somewhere near the client’s listed budget.
Much like oDesk, Freelancer is a big website that hosts hundreds of music-related jobs. It’s important to diversify yourself, apply to everything, and keep up with all of your applications.
3. Game Communities
Video games are a great medium to compose for. You can find game development teams with as little as a single person, or as big as an entire 100+ studio. It’s obviously practical to start out small to gain experience and exposure, so try hanging around online game communities to find indie devs who need some music! TIGSource and OCRemix are two great starts.
4. Film Communities
Indie filmmakers are always in need of original music. Sites like Youtube and Vimeo are loaded with indie short films, and one person can’t be composing for them all! Even if it’s not going to be a viral hit, it’s still fantastic experience for a composer. Browse online forums dedicated to films or even the campuses of booming media-focused universities to find aspiring filmmakers in need. One promising website called Synkresis plans to create an exclusive community just for composers/filmmakers in which finding a collaborator will be streamlined and efficient. They are taking emails now for their “be notified when the site is ready” list.
5. Other Composers
If you have any composer friends with similar goals, I would be willing to bet that you’ve learned a fair amount from them. Since the industry is so competitive, you’ll need a bunch of good comrades in which to help each other succeed. They might not be handing you jobs left and right, but their advice and connections will no doubt come in handy throughout the course of your career.