One ambitious composer from USC is recording 3 live scores for 3 different student shorts at the end of this month!
What's my deal? What's my story?
I've been composing music ever since I could remember, and that interest in creating music led me to the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Composer Fellowship Program -- a 2 years hands-on high school composition program led by Pulitzer-prize winning composer, Steven Stucky. The program ended with two performances by the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing a piece that I wrote for them, Heart of the Hall, at the age of 16. The piece has gone on to win an ASCAP Young Composer Award, one of the highest honors a young composer can earn.
Since then, I've gone on to attend the University of Southern California as a Music Composition major. I've scored 12 short films, including one that went on to earn 2nd place in the Debra Hill Weekend Shorts Contest. Last semester, thanks to the support of USC and the student filmmakers that were involved, I was able to secure live musicians to perform my original scores on 3 of these films. I never asked for compensation to score any of these films, whether for live or computer-generated scores -- whatever funds I got my hands on always went straight to the musicians and audio engineers who lift my scores to a whole new dimension.
What I enjoy most about film composing, in particular, really doesn't have anything to do with actually writing the music or watching the film over and over again with my music inserted at various scenes -- it's the fact that I get to do it with people I care about and connect with, a mission that I strive to remember and live by everyday.
So what am I asking for? How am I going to do it?
My goal is help offset the cost that live music may have on a low-budget student film, so that filmmakers don't need to struggle to find that extra few hundred dollars to shell out to get that last, yet very important, element of their film come to life. It will also help up and coming young filmmakers realize what a live score can do for their films and to remember in the future to always look to take advantage of what live musicians can bring to the table.
My goal is to raise $2000 before this current round of films' picture locks are finalized, so that I know before I start the composing process what kind of budget I'm dealing with. Half of these funds would be used directly to the immediate three films I'm scoring this month, and the other half will be used to help defray the costs of hiring musicians/engineers for the next round of USC films I compose for.
Again, none of the funds will go to my pocket, they will only be used to compensate my talented USC musicians and audio engineers.
Here is how USC's School of Cinematic Arts breaks down the budget for a live scoring session at the John Williams Scoring Stage:
Audio Engineer: $100 for 4 hours of work (1 hour setup, 1 hour recording, 2 hours mixing).
One Musician: $20 for one hour of recording (Keep in mind however, that this adds up very quickly, so for example, if I hired 15 musicians, the cost would run up to $400 for one whole session!)
Since the number of films I can score is ultimately limited by my budget, any additional funds raised beyond the $2,000 mark will be used to help score even more films in my upcoming years at USC
I leave you now with a quote from John Williams, composer of Star Wars, Harry Potter, Superman, and Jaws (to name a few); here he talks about how USC's recent naming of the "John Williams Scoring Stage" has affected him:
“Thanks are inadequate to USC. The naming of this hall is probably been the greatest honor I have ever received,” said Williams in closing. “It represents the notion and the very idea of collaboration and certain truths that we all derive our power from one other. Alone we are powerless. Together we can get things done. This has to be the true value of this stage. It may be among the greatest lessons that someone attending here may learn.”
Thank you for your time and generosity. Fight On!
Also, feel free to check out my full biography, as well as audio samples from my concert and film music on my website: http://www.saadnhaddad.com/
You can also take a look at my biography in the LA Phil's Composers Database!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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You will receive professionally mastered, uncompressed digital downloads of the recordings I created with your help.Estimated delivery:
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You will receive professionally mastered, uncompressed digital downloads of the recordings I created with your help and a private link to stream the films you helped create in high definition.Estimated delivery:
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Everything you see above plus the .pdf scores of all the films I composed with your help.Estimated delivery:
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You will receive a CD of the original soundtracks, a DVD of the films, an AUTOGRAPHED hard copy of the scores, PLUS everything you see above.Estimated delivery:
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Everything you see above PLUS: An invitation to attend a film scoring session I do this semester or next, and take a picture with the musicians that you made possible for me to hire!Estimated delivery:
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I will send you a signed handwritten manuscript of the next piece I compose, with a dedication specifically to you! Plus of course, everything above.Estimated delivery:
- (28 days)