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Tour 6: Creative Work in LA

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If you've ever thought about moving to Los Angeles to pursue a creative career, today's episode will give you a glimpse into that world. I talk with six creators about what it takes to turn art into your job, while staying motivated and creatively fulfilled.

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Sound Design and Score: An Indie Film Round Table

Twin Cities feature film - sound

How does a composer write music that doesn't draw attention to itself? How can a director convey scoring ideas if they're not a musician? Why is temp music important for an editor? When should sound design reflect the real world, and when should it be from a character's psychological perspective? Will the dialogue editor choose the lavalier or boom mic recording, or both?

These are just a few of the conversation-sparking questions we discuss in today's Composer Quest podcast episode (the season six finale!), featuring the team behind the upcoming film Twin Cities. You'll get to hear perspectives on film sound from a director/writer (David Ash), producer/editor (Jason P. Schumacher), sound designer (Mike Hallenbeck), and composer (me). We dissect the entire post-production sound process, from a spotting session with all four of us, to our experimental on-the-spot scoring session, which was very productive and slightly nerve-racking for me as the composer.

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Asperger’s Are Us Composer Crystal Grooms Mangano

Crystal Grooms Mangano - Composer Quest

Crystal Grooms Mangano recently scored the documentary Asperger's Are Us, which follows a comedy troupe of four autistic guys. In this episode of Composer Quest, Crystal shares her process in deciding how to score this comedic documentary. I also ask Crystal about scoring the trailer for the Patrick Steward film Match, and we talk about the merits of flute in film scores.

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Composing for a Mutant Lobster Wife with Sage Lewis

Sage Lewis - Composer Quest

When I called up Sage Lewis on Skype, I didn't realize he was a fellow Minnesotan. He's now out in LA, composing for films like Operator, starring Mae Whitman and Martin Starr, and a VR film called The Surrogate. In this episode of Composer Quest, we talk about what it takes to move to and find connections in LA. I also ask Sage about his score for the short film Caterwaul, about an old man and his mutant lobster wife.

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Quest 18: MNKINO Film Score Fest 2016

MNKINO Film Score Fest 2015

I'm happy to announce that we're bringing back MNKINO Film Score Fest this year! If you haven't heard of it, it's an awesome challenge where filmmakers and composers are paired up to create short films, and the Composer Quest Orchestra plays the scores live at the screening.

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Star Trek Fan Filmmaker Tommy Kraft on Scoring “Horizon”

Star Trek Horizon - Tommy Kraft

Tommy Kraft has been "living under a bridge" in order to finish his passion project, the feature-length Star Trek film Horizon. He's doing almost everything himself: directing, writing, editing, composing, visual effects, and even making the costumes. The film is Tommy's ode to the Enterprise TV series, which played an important role in his life by helping him sort through his struggle with depression. In this episode of Composer Quest, I talk with Tommy about his approach to scoring Horizon, and he shares words of wisdom on running a Kickstarter and producing a large creative project.

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Composer on Fire Podcaster Garrett Hope

Garrett Hope Composer on Fire - Composer Quest

Garrett Hope has drawn composing inspiration from spider mating calls, Joan of Arc's trial transcript, oil spills, and rape survivor stories. In this episode of Composer Quest, I ask Garrett about these composing projects, and I ask what he's learned from his podcast Composer on Fire. He shares some words of wisdom from his interviewees, and things he's learned through his own composing journey.

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Cyriak’s Surrealist Music and Animation

Cyriak - Composer Quest

Cyriak Harris has wowed the internet with his weird YouTube animations, which often feature dancing, mutating animals, like his 34-million-views video "cows & cows & cows." But he's rarely asked about his soundtracks, which are equally intricate and wild. In this episode of Composer Quest, I interview Cyriak about his composing methods and creativity tips.

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Blind Film Composer Stephen Letnes

Stephen Letnes - Composer Quest

What is life like as a blind composer? It's a question I've wondered about, but haven't been able to ask until this interview with Stephen Letnes. In this Season 5 premiere episode of Composer Quest, Stephen shares his adventure into the unlikely field of film composing. We talk about Stephen's love/hate relationship with epic music, his advice for working with directors, and the piano performance that changed his life forever.

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