In this edition of Word of Mouth we talk to TV & Film Composer, Jim Hustwit, about his career to date – creating scores for major broadcasters, understanding the director’s vision, and writing for the bin.
What is a typical working day for you as a composer?
The expected response might be, “lounging around in my pants procrastinating”, but I start the day more like an entrepreneur than a creative layabout. Exercise, meditation and a hearty breakfast before I hit the studio to get creative.
I like to do my idea generation at the beginning of the day. So I’ll just sit at the piano or with a guitar and play around with ideas. Hopefully inspiration strikes and I start to hear an idea in my head so will try to translate that in to a rough recording. I believe in writing for the bin. i.e. being prepared to throw away ideas. It takes away some of the pressure and fosters a more creative environment.
You have a background in investment banking and marketing. What made you want to pursue a career in music production?
I’m an idealist. I believe that if you are going to spend 80% of your life working, you have to do something you love. Banking and marketing left me somewhat unfulfilled.
Music and film have always been my passions. As standalone art forms they are incredibly powerful. When effectively combined they are even more so and for me that is a way of connecting with people and hopefully moving them in some way. Combining the two professionally became my focus.
What is a Music Editor?
The Music Editor curates all of the music featured in a production, including the soundtrack, any music performed within the scenes, and the score – produced by the Film Composer.
In this edition of Word of Mouth, we talk to Producer/Director, Terry McGough, on his career as a film maker: working with leading brands, superstar musicians, and embracing the rise of branded content.
You originally started out as a photographer; what made you want to pursue a career in filmmaking?
I was a music photographer and was asked by an artist’s management company to come down onto a music video shoot to film some behind the scenes imagery for PR use. For the first time in my life I saw what a cinematographer actually did.
The artist was a very beautiful girl but the difference between the artist sitting in the dressing room and the one that the cinematographer had lit was just an incredible optical illusion; playing with light, he had transformed this girl into a superstar. I had never seen anything like it, it was like watching a magician paint with light.
I literally had a light bulb moment and fell in love with cinematography and just knew that this was the art form for me, as it just resonated with me. I began researching cinematography and taking any chance I could to get on set, paid or unpaid, just to be able to watch and learn. Then as I got into fashion photography, I took all those things and got to practice my lighting on models. I didn’t always get it right, but in time it just clicked – now my lighting skills are the cornerstone of everything that I do.