This week I am talking with my friend and co-writer Hope Thal who lives in L.A. She is a great film composer who has worked on multiple indie projects and is now on staff at Joy Music House which offers music preparation, orchestrating, and everything else that goes into creating a great score. Hope is also currently working behind the scenes on a top secret t.v. show for Dreamworks. We met when she was a guest speaker for a course I was taking and I reached out to her about writing together for tv and film projects. Thankfully she said yes and now we get to talk about her journey that has led her to this moment. I know you will be encouraged by her story!
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*Make sure you’re always doing something that you like and that you’re good at when you’re trying to become a professional musician.
*It helps to be able to say I did this ten episode web series, people don’t even have to see it to already feel like “Oh because you’re doing something, I feel that if somebody hired you then there’s more hope to hire you than if I hadn’t done anything.”
*Relationships are a skill you have to develop.
*Having boldness and a tasteful manner is very important.
*It says a lot when you’re just willing to put yourself out there.
*It’s okay to keep asking when things are getting rescheduled, they’re not trying to avoid you.
*Check out Catch The Moon Music.
*Never say “no.” You’ll figure it out as you go.
“Spotting Session” – Sitting with the executive producer to watch the show and talk about the score. When is the music in and out, deciding if the temp music works or if it needs to replaced.
*My job is to take notes during the session and make the time code and make sure I’ve gotten everything they’ve talked about so that composers can just engage with the director or executive producer without having to write anything down.
*After the composers create the music, I add all the music into Logic and do a Quicktime movie for pass number one, then send it over for review, get notes and keep going back and forth until it’s where they want it.
*Occasionally I get to be the one doing the music editing.
*I do all the printing of the stems which is taking the entire episode and separating all the tracks for the mixing stage.
*I create lead sheets for the music which is writing out the melody line and chord chart from the audio.
*What I’m doing now will produce fruit later if I’m just patient and be the best that I can at everything I’m doing.
*What is some practical advice for scoring or composing or admin work?
*Get involved in the community of whatever you are doing.
*Most work has been through word of mouth, relationships, school, AWFC, Society of Composers and Lyricists.
*The work you’re doing may not pay bills now, but it will lead to opportunities in the future. Small steps.
*It takes an incredible amount of patience and trust that those are the results you’re going to get.
*Your talent is important but you have to put time and energy into making sure people know you exist.
*Patience and persistence!
*It takes time to build that career.
H.B. Thal website
Hope Bartimioli Thal (H.B. Thal) is a composer, songwriter and vocalist based out of Los Angeles. She studied classical voice at Grand Canyon University in Arizona before moving to LA to study Film Scoring at UCLA Extension. Since graduating in 2017 she has been writing on various independent projects including 2018 LA Live Festival Best Short film winner: Cat’s Outta the Bag.
She is a composer at Joy Music House, a score production company started by composer Catherine Joy which offers services including music preparation, orchestrating, and everything else that goes into creating a great score. In March, 2019 H.B. released a self titled 4 song EP on all platforms showcasing her skills as a songwriter as well as joining the administrative team of The AWFC (The Alliance for Women Film Composers), as the Director of Communications.
Hope has a passion for story telling through score and songwriting. Whether it is assisting other composers or working with filmmakers she loves to collaborate and be a part of bringing stories to life.