BMI Co-sponsors ‘Composing for the Screen’

Posted in News on August 27, 2008

BMI will co-sponsor with The Manhattan Producers Alliance, “Composing for the Screen: Film Scoring for a New Era,” a five-class workshop that will examine the diversity of film composition. This is an opportunity for six emerging film composers to utilize the professional facilities of the Manhattan Producers Alliance, and collaborate in composing short cues excerpted from a range of film sources. Selected students will record, review, and share work in a friendly and supportive environment, which will lead to a final project where all workshop participants will compose a cue to a well known film. The final cues will be recorded by an ensemble consisting of New York’s finest freelance studio musicians. Matriculated workshop participants will leave with greater confidence in their skills as film composers, a strong cue for their reel, and an enhanced understanding of the art of composing for the screen.

Director and lecturer of the workshop is Rick Baitz, who has composed scores for many award-winning film, television and theater productions. His credits include the upcoming PBS documentary Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy; The Vagina Monologues; the Sundance Award-winning The Education of Shelby Knox; and numerous National Geographic specials including The New Chimpanzees and Heart of Africa.

Composer David Shire, an Oscar and Grammy-winner and multiple Tony and Emmy nominee, will serve as a guest speaker at the workshop Friday, October 10. Shire’s compositions include scores for Broadway musicals Baby and Big; feature film scores including Norma Rae, Saturday Night Fever, and most recently Zodiac; and television scores for Oprah Winfrey’s The Women of Brewster Place, The Kenney’s of Massachusetts, and Neil Simon’s Jake’s Women.

Emerging film composers interested in an experimental film scoring workshop are encouraged to apply. The workshop is free and will be limited to six participants. The deadline to apply is Sept 4, 2008.  All inquires should be addressed to Rick Baitz at

Qualifications: Experience as a composer; ability to read music; some experience composing for film preferred.  Applicant should have access to professional music production equipment, such as a laptop, with composing software (such as Logic, Digital Performer or ProTools) and notation software (such as Sibelius or Finale); ability to create MIDI or hybrid scores.

Below is the schedule for the workshop:

Five classes, all at the Manhattan Producers Alliance: 13 W. 36th Street, New York 10018.

Monday, Sept. 15, 6-9 PM: 1st Session.

Tuesday, Sept. 16: BMI Luncheon for participants, located at BMI Headquarters, NYC. Time TBA.

Monday, Sept. 22, 6-9 PM: 2nd Session.

Monday, Sept. 29, 6-9 PM: 3rd Session.

Monday, Oct. 6, 6-9 PM: 4th Session and recording of final project.

Friday, Oct. 10, 3:30 - 6:00 PM: 5th Session with guest speaker David Shire, to be followed by Wrap Party, 6-9 PM.