It’s easier than ever to become a film composer. The tools are cheap and available, and there is no shortage of up-and-coming filmmakers who need soundtracks. But while it might be easier than ever to start making music for film, it’s as difficult as it’s always been to become great at it. And there aren’t any short cuts.
On the About page of their website, Deep Elm Records describes themselves as “fiercely independent.” This description will make more sense after you read our chat with Deep Elm founder and owner John Szuch, who started the label with a bike, a backpack and pretty much zero industry know-how. In a post-interview email, John wrote: “I poured every penny I had into [Deep Elm] while taking no salary, working 18-hour days and living on ramen. It took five years to break even. Many times I thought I wasn’t gonna make it…but I just kept believing that it HAD to work.”
If you’ve ever seen an episode of Mad Men, Nashville, Orange Is the New Black, or Weeds,you’re already familiar with Russell Ziecker’s work. After starting out in the mailroom at Chrysalis Music Group, Russell is now the head of television music at Lionsgate, overseeing music for some of the most popular television shows in the world.
During the search for a new HQ earlier this year, one of the requirements was a space for live music — not just any space, the right space. When we saw the warehouse adjacent to the office, roll-up windows, concrete floors and all, we knew it was right. It was like music wanted to be played there. We had found the venue we were searching for — the setting of what would become Musicbed Sessions.
KAPTAN is the first project Andrew de Torres has created that his wife actually likes. “We dated for six years, and she pretty much hated everything I did,” Andrew told us. “You get over it.”
The duration of our time with the deeply reflective, self-taught Composer Adam Taylor left us refreshed and inspired to create. Some artists have the ability to not only woo you with their skill, but teach you a thing or two about life itself. After filming ‘The Medicine’, we walked away with a tangible deposit from the life and music of A. Taylor.
It’s one thing to imitate another artist. But it’s another, much deadlier thing to imitate yourself. There often comes a point in an artist’s career when they find themselves in a self-destructive loop, looking to their past work as a guide for their future. It’s called a creative rut, and not everyone makes it out alive. Earlier this year, Tony Anderson found himself in a creative rut.
Ryan’s story is a perfect example of what the Musicbed Film Fest is all about: giving artists the freedom to bring their ideas to life. In the same way that combining the right music with the right film results in a far more powerful emotional experience than either on their own, Ryan’s experience with Musicbed shows that combining a passion for creating music with the right platform results in a truly great artist.
Toward the end of this interview, things got pretty serious. Like when Tony said he’d recently broken his iPhone in half with his bare hands. By that point, though, we’d been talking for over an hour and I didn’t find his confession that surprising. Tony is a guy who takes his life and his work seriously. You can hear it immediately in his songs, and you can sense it almost immediately over the phone. This guy isn’t messing around. After starting his career with a pirated version of FruityLoops and a chance meeting with Hans Zimmer, Tony has gone on to score projects for some of the biggest brands and most influential filmmakers in the world. But none of it would have happened had he not gone through a series of complete and utter breakdowns.
“When you have that synchronicity between the picture and the sound, it transcends everything else,” Jeremy Boxer told us. And Jeremy knows. Not only is he a filmmaker himself, but he works as creative director of Film & Video for the most beloved video hosting site in the world: Vimeo. We thought Jeremy would have a good perspective on film, music, and the alchemy that happens when the two come together.