What do you wish you knew when you first started out about the ups and downs of composing for film that you know now? What film score or composer are you most fond of or inspired you to work in film?
These were some of the questions answered by five of today’s top film composers when they joined Gold Derby’s special “Meet the Experts” Q&A event with 2022 Oscar and guild contenders. Watch our full group chat with Marius de Vries (“Coda”), Arthur Sharpe (“The Electric Life of Louis Wain”), Kris Bowers (“King Richard”), Daniel Pemberton (“The Rescue”) and Jeymes Samuel (“The Harder They Fall”) above. Click on each name above to view each person’s individual interview.
“If I could go back in time to myself, I would have leaned even further into my limitations at the time,” Pemberton admits about his early days as a fledgling composer. “I started out with like just one keyboard and a tape machine in my bed and I was always trying to make those sort of sound bigger than they were,” he says. “I should have gone with what I had, because I always find that really exciting, like having limitations and forcing yourself into corners, to compose out of.”
“I’ve got a rule to just obey your crazy,” Samuel remarks with a knowing smile about what he discovered relatively early on in his career. “However bonkers the idea is, I have to execute it whether sonically or visually.” Bowers agrees, adding that “when the environment is set up to just create in a way where you can kind of access your crazy like James was saying, I feel like those are the best environments. The times where you don’t have control over that environment,” Bowers declares, “it’s always interesting to figure out how to navigate those things and still keep yourself sane, essentially.”
“I didn’t know what I was doing. I definitely had massive imposter syndrome, I still do. I think everyone does to some extent. But you know, you carry on, you carry on teaching yourself and you carry on learning,” Sharpe reveals. “Well, I’d like to agree with Arthur,” de Vries says. “I’m starting off from a position where you admit that you know nothing is a very strong starting point,” he explains.
“One of the hardest lessons in terms of personal satisfaction is that the only thing that really matters is the joy that you get from doing the work with the people you’re doing it with and in connection with that, not to pay too much attention to bad outcomes and bad reviews,” de Vries opines. “You equally can’t pay too much attention to good outcomes and good reviews for the same reason.”
To watch this same interview with closed captions, view the YouTube video below and click the CC button on the bottom right.
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