Educating the Next Generation of Film Composers at Eastman
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Educating the Next Generation of Film Composers at Eastman

[Garret Reynolds] It started off probably my first year here at Eastman. I was walking down the hall and I saw a poster. It was an ad. It
was seeking composer for short film. I really enjoyed the process of writing
this music for a picture and I just fell in love with the idea of music and
visual media being intertwined. [Mark Watters] It’s essential that we provide the students with real life experiences so they have the opportunities to write for a variety
of sizes of ensembles whether it be as small as five or six up to forty five
pieces and it’s a great talent pool here at Eastman and I think that provides a
professional experience for not only the composers but for the players as well. [Seth Wright] What I really love doing is working with people and telling good stories and
creating music that is both engaging and relevant. I think one thing that Eastman
is doing well is training its composers to be not just excellent creators of
music, not just excellent craftsmen but also excellent artists. When we’re
understanding the story that a developer is communicating to us. [Mark Watters] I’ve been fortunate to have about a 35-year career of doing this. The demands of this
business are intense and it’s very, very competitive. When the students are working in a
recording environment, they are treating it as a real professional recording
session meaning that every second counts. They have to be prepared. They have to
know what to expect, encounter because there’s going to be a
lot of surprises thrown at them. [Garret Reynolds] The working relationship with Markus, our director, is a very close one. Mark has a great sense of what it takes to be a
composer in today’s industry. [Mark Watters] Well you know I just go by, by what players tell me and I guess in Los Angeles… [Garret Reynolds] There is that learning curve and this program here has a lot of resources in the faculty and the staff that help us come
to terms with this broad learning curve. [Seth Wright] I can come in with my compositional vision and work with an engineer who knows technologically how to make the
music in my mind a reality. They work magic with the recordings that we
create. [Mark Watters] Jeff Beal is the reason the program got started. If you’re going to work in television and film you do have to move to Los Angeles and we want to have as close a relationship with that community as possible and Jeff is key to that. [Seth Wright} Jeff Beal is available to us in a number of ways that are noteworthy. First of all he
comes to Eastman at least once a year. [Garret Reynolds] I had the a chance to sit in on a master class with him last semester. He’s plugging in. He’s investing with us. He wants to ensure that Eastman is and continues to be a state-of-the-art place
to learn how to write music for film. [Mark Watters] There are a lot of craftsmen in this business but they’re also a quite a few artists who have a unique style, a unique
voice and those are the people of the business seeks out and that’s I hope that we can develop the next set of artists.

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1 thought on “Educating the Next Generation of Film Composers at Eastman

  1. How lucky this Eastman community is to have the learning resources, opportunities, and teachers that they have now. I studied "film scoring" with Ray Wright there in the 70's and had one shot to score a brief "Mickey Mouse in Viet Nam" short. Thanks to Jeff Beale and Mark Watters, my Alma Mater has really progressed in this needed branch of composition and stepped up to the plate poised and ready to hit a Grand Slam!. Good luck to all.

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