Peak of my LA Internship


In these past few weeks, I have been consistently working on updating the music library database, which consists of transferring 20th Century Fox’s music to the JoAnn Kane online archive. While parts of this task can get repetitive, the repetition involves seeing composers’ names and repertoire over and over again, which effectively strengthens my knowledge of the film literature. However, I recently completed this archive transfer, so my new task involves scanning hundreds of concert band scores for a client’s order of high school pieces.

As I’m writing this, I’ve just taken a break from my usual scanning project to attend Alan Silvestri’s scoring session at SONY music for Welcome to Marwen. Alan is a close friend of my boss, Daniel Gold (a past film composer), so each of the interns got to attend a session. In a typical scoring session, the director (Robert Zemeckis), producer, orchestrator (owner of JKMS, Mark Graham), conductor and/or composer (in this case, Alan was both), and all of the instrumentalists gather in a large recording studio stage to record the sound track for whichever film they’re working on. All of the musicians are top in their field; the violin section consisted of eight-plus concert masters from different orchestras all over Los Angeles. Our pianist for the session was Randy Kerber, the mastermind and hands behind every Harry Potter piano solo (he’s a very kind man).


My job was to assist the music librarian (from JoAnn Kane Music), and to take in the session. I took two pages of notes, cried twice, and had lunch with Zemeckis. I can tell that my time at the internship has sharpened my composition, communication and music history recollection skills by the way I was able to participate in conversation and deliberation with the musicians at the session. In staring at composers’ names and works all day long, I can suddenly understand discussions in which I previously had no place. I’m really proud of how I handled myself in the session; as one of only a few non-instrumentalist females, I had to rely on my own competency and poise. I was one of the best dressed at the session (these are typically fairly casual events), and felt that by wearing heels and speaking with the same vocabulary as these industry leaders, I was able to position myself as a new face to take seriously.

I believe I will look back on the experience I had at the SONY scoring session as a pivotal one. I fell in love with the composition; I understood how a film’s emotional moments come to be, and in realizing this, I can better see myself as a film composer. The skills I’ve strengthened through this internship are directly transferable to my studio lessons with Dr. Jazwinski (composition professor). I’ve also done immense amounts of networking, and have the right mindset to make it in Los Angeles.

Needless to say, this has been fun.

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