Television is a crowded industry. For every Hans Zimmer, David Arnold or Danny Elfman, there are dozens of aspiring composers eager for the opportunity to make their mark in TV and film.
It’s not a completely closed shop however, says Sarah Liversedge, Managing Director of independent music publisher BDI. “There’s lots of different [routes to] how someone approaches somebody like me.”
“If I think somebody is talented and they’ve sent me a link of their SoundCloud… I will remember it. I would normally say [to] keep in touch,” she says. However, there is a fine line between being eager and being relentless. “Being bombarded isn’t necessarily the right approach.”
New composers emerge in different ways. Sarah suggests that it is through networking that someone can make an impact.
“Make sure you work with people that you think are really talented and are at a similar level to you [so] that you can hopefully go on a journey with them.”
Aspiring composers should also look at organisations like BASCA – the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors – who represent individuals coming up through the system. “They want to meet young up-and-coming composers, and they want to help and support them,” Sarah says.
“If you meet a composer who is experienced… then offer to help them. Ask them if they need an assistant!
“It’s all about aligning yourself with the right people,” she says.
While it might seem an impregnable industry, there are opportunities for young composers. “With music publishers like me, send me a link!” she insists. “On our websites we always have demo submission… There’s so many production companies out there. Drop them a line, ask if you can come in for a cup of coffee. Show interest in their programming.”
“It’s all those little things that count and gradually piece together if you have got the talent.”