NFTS - Composing for Film & TV

Hey guys, I was invited to the Selection Interview and Workshop for the MA in Composing for Film (yay :D).

Does anyone have an idea what to expect? Are we going to do analysis, write something on the spot? Should I brush up on particular software?

Do you think that they are keeping us in the dark as part of their selection strategy? Or do you think that they'll send more info later on (although to be honest there isn't that much time left)?
 

LWright

New Member
Hey guys, I was invited to the Selection Interview and Workshop for the MA in Composing for Film (yay :D).

Does anyone have an idea what to expect? Are we going to do analysis, write something on the spot? Should I brush up on particular software?

Do you think that they are keeping us in the dark as part of their selection strategy? Or do you think that they'll send more info later on (although to be honest there isn't that much time left)?
Hey guys, I was invited to the Selection Interview and Workshop for the MA in Composing for Film (yay :D).

Does anyone have an idea what to expect? Are we going to do analysis, write something on the spot? Should I brush up on particular software?

Do you think that they are keeping us in the dark as part of their selection strategy? Or do you think that they'll send more info later on (although to be honest there isn't that much time left)?
Hey, I just graduated from the Composing course so happy to answer any questions you might have. The school's studios use Logic (though you can request Pro Tools if you like using that for audio) but one of the guys in my year worked from home on Cubase. I think the application process has changed a bit, but when I applied the interview was like others have said, preparing your thoughts on the first ten minutes of a film and then a general chat about you and your work. I'm pretty sure they do a good cop/bad cop thing on purpose to see how you handle criticism etc. For my selection workshop we were given a workstation and three clips to score, but like I said before, not really sure what it is now. Hope this helps!
 

LMTD92

New Member
Hey guys, I was invited to the Selection Interview and Workshop for the MA in Composing for Film (yay :D).

Does anyone have an idea what to expect? Are we going to do analysis, write something on the spot? Should I brush up on particular software?

Do you think that they are keeping us in the dark as part of their selection strategy? Or do you think that they'll send more info later on (although to be honest there isn't that much time left)?

Hi,

Chris W requested that I give you some info. I graduated the composing course this year so I'm happy to any questions you might have. I'm quite certain that they've changed the process slightly since I did it in 2014, but I can tell you what we had to do as it probably won't vary too much.

We went for an interview where we were given a choice of 3 films to watch and analyse for about 30 minutes, then we went straight into the interview where we had a short 10 minute discussion about the film and what we thought about it (not necessarily in musical terms). Then the rest of the interview is just questions about yourself and a few music related things - don't be intimidated as they may seem strict, but it's more of a good cop bad cop scenario. After that we were done and we had to wait several weeks before being selected for a workshop where we came and worked at the school for 5 days. In this time we were given one of the composers studios, and we had the 5 days to score 3 short sections from films/animations. We were visited twice a day by the tutors to check in and have a listen, but aside from that we were essentially just there on our own working (although you will meet all the others there on the workshop too). At the end of the 5 days we all gathered in the cinema and watched/reviewed each others work. Remember this is part of the interview too, as they will be interested to what you have to say about others work. We then had to wait another few weeks before finding out when we got in, which I think was in August.

From what I know about how it works now, you will probably have an interview and then be sent a few clips to score at home instead. What I would recommend to prepare is to make sure that you know Logic Pro X and Kontakt 5 well enough so that you can work there either on an interview or if you get a place at the school. The school in general are more interested in what you are like as a person and what you say about film than they are about things like music theory etc. If i were you I would avoid any music theory talk unless they ask you. Before I interviewed I practiced writing a lot just incase they wanted stuff done whilst we were there, so I think that is a good idea if you're not already doing so. Being good at mockups is very important in my opinion as you won't always be able to record live for your project and your teams will expect good work from you. I should mention however that there are 2 (or 3) recording sessions at a studio in London with a small orchestral ensemble, so if the timing is right then you can use this for projects.

I think overall the school is a great way to meet people and work in real life scenarios, and I can't deny that it's helped me get work during and since leaving. The 2 years is a lot of work and requires a ton of effort and patience, but I think you get out what you put in.

I should say that as a composer, it may not be exactly as you expect (depending on what you are expecting). You have to remember that many of these films are not Hollywood style and therefore don't require massive scores. Of course some do, and myself and others that I know have had the chance to do bigger scores on the projects that need it, but a lot of what you do may be be quite minimal. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as it is definitely good to learn how to work with different people and cater for what they need, but naturally most composers are looking to inject as much musicality into whatever they do.

Hope this has helped and good luck!
 

Cora

New Member
Thanks Siskata and LWright, this is really helpfull.

I'm sorry to hear you felt your interview didn't go as well as you hoped, but stay optimistic:) . I think there's a good chance the interview went better thank you think, at least that's my experience.

About the workshop, it would be super useful if you could elaborate on the workstation. What software/samples will we use during the workshop? I am a bit worried as I know Cubase A LOT better than Logic or Pro Tools. I want to overcome such a drawback as much as I can before the workshop so that I can focus on the writing.

Thank you :)
 

LWright

New Member
It will be Logic on the workshop, and the computers generally all have VSL, EW Hollywood Gold and depending on wether you get a first or second year room, some have stuff like Omnisphere and Broadway Big Band.
 

Cora

New Member
Thanks guys, this is super helpful and great advice! LMDT92 I missed your post just before so had to go asking again, but thanks for the comprehensive reply! I'll get on it right away!
 

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