May 13, 2012

Cine Gala

A couple weeks back, the chair of the film scoring department, Dan Carlin, lets me know that he would like to see me in his office ASAP.  This scared me a little bit, being in the last couple weeks of school and all.  I thought maybe I failed a class, or something worse.  So I get into his office and surprisingly, he gives me one of the biggest musical opportunities I've had thus far.  He told me that someone had contacted him and told him they needed someone to write all the incidental music for an awards ceremony.  They needed music every time a winner gets announced and walks up to the stage.  Him and the assistant chair, Alison Plante, decided to ask me!!

So I got in contact with the director of Cine Gala, Wendy Revel, and she told me what type of music she wanted and asked if I could have it by the following week.  So I wrote up a storm, got it in on time,  and she approved everything!  And as a reward, she flew me out to Washington D.C. to attend the awards ceremony!

So a little about Cine.  Cine is an organization dedicated to "promoting the careers of thousands of filmmakers through juried competitions, educational programs, and networking opportunities".  Cine Gala is their annual event where they recognize several honorees, who are already trail blazers and extremely successful in their careers, and they award up-and-coming filmmakers for short films and documentaries.

So on May 9th, I flew out to D.C. and first attended an interview with Marvin Hamlisch, a giant of film scorer.  He wrote the music for "The Spy Who Loved Me" (James Bond), "Sophie's Choice",  and "The Way We Were", just to name a few.  I was grateful to hear his honesty, and his words had weight to them, knowing that he is still working in the field.

Later that night I went to the main event.  Before the ceremony, there was a banquet where I got to meet many filmmakers, directors, and producers.  Many of them were already very successful and already working on mainstream television shows and short films.  It was also great to meet the short film and documentary nominees, they were excited to be there and very genuine.  During this time, I got to meet Marvin Hamlsich, Michael Uslan (executive producer of all the Batman films), Sheldon Harnick (lyricist for "Fiddler on the Roof"), and Eileen O'Neill (president of Discovery and TLC networks).  It was an honor to meet all these astonishing individuals.

We then went to the main stage for the awards show.  Unfortunately there was a production mistake.  There were video clips for every winner and honoree and for some reason the videos hadn't rendered correctly, so they didn't get to show them.  But other than that, it all ran smoothly.  And I got to hear my music played whenever the winners were announced!!!  After the event, Sheldon Harnick complimented me on my music.  Something I'll never forget.

This whole event couldn't have happened at a more perfect time.  The day before the event, my website was finalized by Tiama Hamkins-Indik.  Also the day before, Nathan Cote finished my shnazzy business cards.  Everything lined up so I could network with a room full of extremely talented people working in film.  I think I was the only film composer there other than Marvin Hamlisch!  Either way I cannot even begin to think of how to thank Dan Carlin and Alison Plante for recommending me. I'm exceptionally grateful to them.  They've been my mentors and friends ever since I declared film scoring as a major.

I'm hoping to work with some of the people that I met at Cine Gala.

To the future!  Cheers!