Finding an Agent for Film Composers
According to skillset.org "Music Agents find work for their clients, i.e., Composers, co-ordinate their contracts, and secure appropriate deals for them. They represent a roster of Composers, and cultivate relationships with industry decision-makers in order to persuade them to use their clients. Music Agents negotiate deals, and act as 'midwives' for the whole process. They also support and guide their clients' careers."
Initially, it's this guidance that I'm looking for. I have composed the music for several films, mostly student projects - but I'm not sure what would be best to put into a show reel. Beyond that, few of these projects really show the type of music I feel I do best - orchestral. Of course, that said, I'm not likely to get a film with orchestral music right out of the gate, so perhaps the show reel needs to be more intimate in it's presentation.
FilmSound.org has a number of articles dealing with film music here. One of these is particularly good and worth reading for any film maker out there who wants to better understand the role of music in film (something I think few film makers do). It talks about the Symbolic, the imaginary and the real in terms of how music affects each one.
Other articles dealing with film and music can be found via google, or in a variety of books (more and more are being published as the film music industry takes off). But many of these article speak of film music in terms of films pre-2000 and often films from the 50's and 60's. Getting a handle on where the music film industry is today means reading the various film periodicals for the occasional gems, Sound on Sound, Music Tech and Audio Media are just a few.
Other organizations, like the Association for Motion Picture Sound (AMPS) in the UK, deal with sound, but not specifically music composition. Solo UK is an agent, but primarily for concert artists, not composers. So, when looking for organization to assist in your career it's important to know what services they can provide. Just because you recognize the name of some of their clients, doesn't mean they would be the right organization to represent you.
Some websites, like VersusMedia, talk about services for the independent film maker or musician - connecting the two together. Mandy and Talent Circle are another couple of "collectives" that do this, but are industry wide and not just focused on music. While I've gained some projects from both Mandy and Talent Circle, I've not tried VersusMedia so I can't speak of the success. It is important to note that there are hundreds of composers looking for work, so expect a few "no's" along the way.
Basically, I am in the process of defining myself, and trying to determine what the best way to present that definition to other people who might need my "style" of music for their films. Hopefully an agent can help with this process, but they are not the only source of information. The more I learn about the process, the more I'll post here.