First impressions are important in any business, particular when it comes to pitching your creative work to the powers that be. When it comes to gatekeepers in the music industry, your music needs to deliver immediately. In this piece Davor Gasparevic suggests how artists should go about pitching the compositions to game developers.
Guest post by Davor Gasparevic
First impressions happen only once. That’s why you’ve got to be ready for developers to thin-slice your music.
In his book Blink (2005), Malcolm Gladwell noted that we judge others within seconds of meeting them. To use his term, we “thin-slice” the interactions we have with others. In the blink of an eye, we judge a thin slice of patterns. Even a five-second interaction can be uncannily accurate.
So what does that have to do with pitching your music to game developers? As it turns out, everything, and here’s why: when you pitch your music, you have seconds to present yourself and your best work – before anyone listens to your music.
Develop a following
If you haven’t done it already, start playing the development company’s games. It’s only when you’re familiar with gaming products that you can write scores for them.
Composer Clint Bajakian knows all too well that game-play experience is everything. By understanding the structure and sequence of games, you can write a score that enhances the action rather than detracting from it.
As you’re playing, interact with other players; they are who you’re writing for Players will provide you will valuable insight as to what works and what doesn’t.
Continue your conversations in social media.
You’ve written a great score, but is it right for the game and its audience?
That’s where technical know-how comes in. Strings may enhance the music for an action adventure game, but if the scenes take place in an urban environment, you might want to use an industrial style with more percussion to amplify the tension.
How does you music sound on other devices? You have top-notch studio speakers but does it sound the same on gaming headphones used by almost every avid gamer?
Read up on insights from industry books like A Composer’s Guide to Game Music, and watch videos that will help you understand the biz.
Many business professionals think artists aren’t dependable. Create a new thin-slice by being professional yourself. That doesn’t mean wearing a suit to your pitches, but it does mean showing up with integrity.
Game developers want music, but they also want to work with an artist who will follow through with commitments and deliver products on time, every time.
Prove that you’re the pro.
Deliver your pitch and your music
Contact the game developer with a short, informal pitch that shows you know the game well enough to pitch your music.
Make your email creative and specific by including these points:
- Greet the developer by name
- Explain why your unique musical score will help the product
- End with a call-to-action: ask the developer to do something – listen to your score, make a recommendation, give you a call.
Provide an easy way to listen to your music. Some composers like cloud storage options, but DIY Music Biz suggests offering your music in a streamable format.
A final word
Rejection isn’t personal. It doesn’t mean your music is awful.
Pitching your music to game developers is about finding the right fit. Hone your thin-slice, continue building your portfolio and pitch your music.
Your match is out there.