Frequently Asked Questions

Berklee Film Scoring/Sound Collaboration

What do I get out of this process as a filmmaker?

You will get a high-quality music score and/or sound design and mix for your film. You will also gain valuable experience in collaborating with a composer and/or sound designer. Because the Berklee students are operating in the structure of a class, you will also have the assurance that your film’s audio will be ready on time and at a high standard of quality.

What if I only want a score, or only want sound design?

Indicate your music/sound needs on the application. We will accept several films this year that only need music, and may also consider a film that only needs sound if it is a compelling project.

Who will own the music and/or sound design elements, and what happens if I want to enter the film in festivals or get distribution?

You and the composer will sign a contract negotiated between the two of you that acknowledges that the composer owns the music rights, and grants you irrevocable rights to use the music (though only in your film and its promotional materials) in all media throughout the world forever. So, you will not be restricted in any way in how you can use the film with the final music track. For the sound design you will contract with the class as a whole and will have unrestricted use of the sound while also allowing the sound designers to re-use any original sound assets they might create.

How will I select a composer and/or sound designer?

The first step is to provide Berklee with a description of your film and its music and sound needs, along with your contact information. Then things will work differently for music and sound:

  • For the music score, students in Berklee’s Film Scoring Practicum class will contact you, providing contact information and demo materials for review. Then a “standard” hiring process takes place, in which you will pair up with a composer. How you choose among the potential composers who’ve applied to you is up to you. We limit class enrollment so that there are the same number of composers as film projects, so we do ask you to only enter into this process if you can commit to working with a student composer through the semester.
  • For the sound design, the class will function as a post-production sound house providing end-to-end post production sound according to your needs. The class professor will assign tasks such as dialog editing, sound design, audio cleanup, and mix/dub, based on the skill sets of the students in the class and the needs of your project.

Berklee is located in Boston - Can I collaborate remotely?

Yes! Highly successful collaborations happen all the time with directors and composers/sound designers in geographically remote locations. You will use online technology such as Skype and Google Hangouts to hold your meetings and spotting sessions if you are not located near Berklee’s Boston campus. The important thing is that you are available to interact with student(s) and invested in the collaboration.

What are the dates and deadlines?

We find it works best when at least a rough cut of the film is completed BEFORE the start of the semester in which the collaborations happen. The main consideration is that enough time must be left between workprint delivery to the Berklee student and final music/sound delivery to allow the scoring and/or sound design process to take place. If selected you need to be able to have a workprint and audio assets ready and complete an initial spotting session with your selected composer and/or sound designer by Monday, October 30, 2017.

PLEASE NOTE: The Berklee students are required to finish this project to receive a grade in their class, so their work must be complete and delivered to you by at latest Friday, December 15, 2017; you may work out an earlier deadline if needed for your own deadline. Also note that if you commit to working with a student we are counting on you to see the process through to completion—even if you don’t end up using the score and/or sound eventually—so that we can evaluate our students.

Practicum Student Film Collaboration Timeline, Fall 2017

  •  Applications will be open until filled, closing Friday, September 29 at the latest.
  • Week of October 2-6 (Berklee Week 5): Student composers/sound designers apply to student filmmakers.
  • By Monday, October 16 (Berklee Week 7): Composers/sound designers are “hired”
  • By Monday, October 30 (Berklee Week 9): Picture locked, spotting session completed, contract signed, quicktime workprint delivered to composer and/or audio elements delivered to sound designer.
  • By Friday, December 15 (Berklee Finals Week) or sooner if pre-arranged in contract: Final music/sound delivered to filmmaker.