Guest Composer Blog: Steven Lebetkin

Music is important. Composer Steve Lebetkin understands that more than most people.

I’m a foodie and know what I like. Does that mean I have the ability to hire a chef for my new restaurant?

Thought leadership on selecting a composer for your next film

A Precursor To A New SVA Course On How To Listen to Music And Select Film Composers

Matthew Vaughn said “Music is half the film.”  So why are music budgets at 5% or less? And why are scores written after a film is shot? They never used to be. Would you ask a composer to write music for a play after it is staged and ready to open? Never. So why films?

Steve Vladimir Alison 1Film composers these days are selected the way that loan officers approved subprime home mortgages. Decisions without review of true underlying value. Now in film, substandard film scores permeate the marketplace. Composers are chosen based upon criteria such as how many credits, who do they know and are represented by, if they have a nifty library of samples for fake instruments, or have written music that “sounds like s0-and-so,” can we all get along, etc.

But what does this have to do with the most essential factor – what is the level of compositional capability?

I always heard that the smartest person in the room is the one that says “I don’t know, but would like to learn!” And learning in this instance is about tools for non-musicians to determine compositional capability. How can you tell the difference between one composer and another in a hands on manner? DIY – do it yourself. Make better decisions.

Seminar: Selecting Film Composers

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

  • 7:00 – 9:00pm
  • [Amptitheater information], New York, NY
  • Free and open to the public

Thought leadership for Directors, Producers, Music Supervisors and other senior Film Executives

Tools for directors and producers (i.e. non-musicians) include – blind testing, easy to understand explanations of what compositional technique is comprised of,  how to identify and fix a bad composition, effective communications tools, and more.

Other issues covered will include the following:

  • Explore the history of music in film

  • Saving money with sample libraries (in 10 years what will Google’s greatly expanded bandwidth do to your film score sound and the effect on a producer’s long term investment?).

  • Sound effects vs. sound design? Cheap commercial tricks or expansion of the orchestral palette?

Hear from leading experts that include a major sound designer and the manager of Smecky Studios in Prague, the longest running producer of live orchestral film scores in the world.

Come and join us!

Please email me and questions or comments at

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