Welcome to the NGAP Forums, how can I... SERIOUSLY?

2012-11-13 16:18:41 by samulis

Fact: Over the past few weeks, new threads against the AP forum rules (don't advertise your stuff, etc.) have grown tremendously.

Fact: Many new videogame and film composers from around the web join NG and post a few links to their stuff in hopes of landing a job.

Fact: Most of those people show no respect for the existing population, its rules, or bother to be constructive or a member of the community.

When people graduate college or whatever program or self-training they go through to become a film/videogame composer, they instantly start the search for work... we all do it, we all know to do it, yada yada ya. However, many people simply feel that if they cover the world with links to their work, they will win jobs and make more money than if they bothered becoming a member of the community.

Let's think about things for a second...

When you bother joining a community and immersing yourself in its forums, games, and community, you are first off showing that you are human and a decent one at that (even if you are a snob or whatever). Second, joining that community will give you the MOST IMPORTANT thing in EVERY CAREER IN THE WORLD (aside from professional dung-slapper), NETWORKING, or a large array of random contacts who will do awesome things like tell you about this new chord progression or recommend books or even discuss those abstract theory concepts you spent $40,000 USD/year at that fancy conservatory to learn! Guess what people, these contacts can even turn to the guy they just worked for and say "Hey, I know so-and-so and he has a great [insert style or genre here] feel, I think he'd be a great choice for your next project!" (yes, this has happened to me and actually happens). In this case, you get a network among developers instead of just that random guy you e-mailed with your demo track of professionally mixed material you made to win Hollywood cinematic jobs and a fancy Resume with a cover letter.

Annoying thing number two... many of the people who just come on here try to copy and paste their Resume cover-letters in fancy letter formatting on here or add their HTML embeds... which, of course, DOESN'T WORK, and end up cluttering up the nice clean forums with messages like:

My name is Paul Johnson, and I am a professional film/game scorer, having attended so-and-so college and worked with some industry leading greats! My style is broad, I have written dark cinematic to light electronic for a variety of games published on everything from Flash to XBox. I would be pleased to make music for your My Little Pony collaborative Flash Film. Please contact me at Contact@Paul.Johnson.com.

-Paul Williams Johnson III, Esq.

[bb-codes for good measure]<html="ahhhh"><embed src="wtfannoyingnessurmessingupourforumsyouwierd guy!"> blaihelarihlgthaei </embed></html>[/bb codes for good measure]"

Then I look over and see that he has two posts, the other of which is an attempt to link to his demo reels on Soundcloud which got the usual "here's where you post advertisements, and READ OUR RULES!" reply that the poor mods have to deliver over and over again.

I see about two to four of these A WEEK. And let's be honest, I'm sick of it. Not only do they come onto our site posting their stuff and links and taking jobs, but they do so without even bothering to experience Newgrounds properly. I myself would NEVER go onto another forum board and just post looking for jobs before joining in a bit and chatting with members. It is infuriating to see flash devs hit with a wall of stuff like above, but to know that those people who wave pieces of paper and long past job experiences are cutting off one of the most valuable resources for new composers- the very GATEWAY into game scoring- with their years of experience. I would rather give a job to a new composer who I feel has a chance at greatness that see someone who isn't even a member of this community, or is already with a foot in the higher industry bending over for "some extra cash". Flash scoring is an excellent start to any career, but it will not sustain you unless you find some very dependable contacts or have lots of time. If you have received a college degree in scoring, I see no reason to be scavenging our forums for jobs when you have every right to start reaching for larger projects.

As humans, although our instinct is to trip everyone else and run to the finish line, we must acknowledge that by helping each other forward, we will achieve far greater glory than through our own solo work. Collaborations, contests, long nights spent discussing everything from good plugins to counterpoint in the Audio Portal skype chat- these things are what help us ALL forward, even the best of us, even the most inept of us. It is through a strong community that we prosper.

I can look in my skype window and see a number of contacts, all of whom I respect immensely, although their styles may range from classical to dubstep to ambiance to heavy metal- these are my brothers and my sisters, my mentors and my pupils, my friends and my clients. They make me work harder, faster, and more competently than I ever would have if I had not decided to venture onto the forums. They link me to tutorials, books, new music to explore, complete guides to harp pedal diagrams, and more than I could possibly need. All this- ALL OF THIS could be yours, those of you who just pop onto newgrounds for a minute and run off.

Lastly, the people who expect to charge $100 per minute of music- no offense, but Flash gaming is too little for you. Unless you plan to score that top 1% tier of Flash work (the stuff that gets ported off to XBox and Steam and such), you are charging way too much for what is mostly a hobbyist's duty. If you are charging so much due to your education that says it's okay, know that the rates you learned are not for hobbyist flash games, they are for games made by companies or individuals with financial backing and sponsors that sign on before music is needed. 99% of flash games are not that. They are beautiful, hand-crafted artistic endeavours (yes, even the crappy ones) that have very little to do with money and very much to do with art. If you can't handle creating beautiful music on royalties or pocket change, once again, please, save us the despair when you don't get hired for your extravagant fees, and try some higher jobs on sites that offer jobs to professionals.

For those professionals who ARE here and charge respectable prices or sometimes even work for free for the young flash animators of Newgrounds and the internet, and are active members of this community, and comment only constructively on the works of others, and serve as a basis for inspiration for those of us less qualified, educated, and gifted, I salute you as earnestly as possible- you are the wonder-workers that keep this community together. Those professionals who at least bother to join in the community, you have my thanks, and I earnestly hope you will consider trying to help some of the newer composers out in terms of growing and finding jobs.

For those of you like me who are still on the ladder up, keep compos(ed/ing), and don't let the Turkeys get you down! (great book)



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2012-11-13 17:28:46

Wow, that's great what you said here. I just signed up and submitted some of my stuff. I don't make music professionally, I've tried already with no real success. Now, it's a hobby. Thanks for the advice :D

samulis responds:

Good luck, just keep at it and remember to be polite and things will fall into place. ;)


2012-11-13 18:05:15

You sir, have written down how I feel towards the creators of Minushi, Xombie, Broken Saints, and Arrogancy. In addition, this is also why I rarely post in the forums.

samulis responds:

Forums aren't a bad place, you only need to ignore the junk.


2012-11-13 19:46:58

Yeah somehow they are getting more and more by the week...hey look on the bright side maybe NG is getting more advertisement aroud the web these past days or something...
Its annoying for a common mortal like myself, i can only imagine how it is for the moderators...

samulis responds:

I can't even imagine...


2012-11-15 13:56:29

You're completely right Samulis.