I recently brought up some “Dos” and “Don’ts” for composers entering the film business to a professional development presentation for a class of grad students, and I thought I’d take a moment to share these with you. I see these mistakes being made all the time on forums, Facebook, Twitter, and everywhere else. If you want to be a professional, it’s best to start presenting yourself to the world as a professional. Anything less than that hurts all of us. So here we go:
5 Social Media “Don’ts” for Young Film Composers
1. DON’T make general offers of music on forums, message boards, or any other public site.
This casts way too wide a net, makes you look desperate, and is a waste of time, since no-one really listens to these posted tracks with any degree of seriousness, anyway.
2. DON’T make general offers on any of your social media pages.
It’s very easy to think that your social media pages are perfect advertising billboards, but it’s important for you to consider how you are advertising. Imitating a TV lawyer and going with the “Do you need a film composer? Then I’m your guy!” route is not the way to go.
3. DON’T beg.
Too often, young composers are so hungry for work that they will run around the internet begging for random projects to hire them. This, again, makes you look desperate, and is also unprofessional.
4. DON’T enter contests.
You are a professional. If anything, you should be helping judge contests. This is not ancient Rome. We are not on the floor of the Coliseum.
5. DON’T ever offer anything for free.
You devalue yourself, your work, and you lower the bar for all of us. Have you ever wondered why it is that filmmakers feel like they can ask for your work for free? It’s because too many of us offer it up for free all over the place. Do. Not. Do. This.