Updated: Apr 23, 2019
Hey Veronica! Could you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
I'm Verónica Amaya, I'm 23 years old and from Spain. I study composition in the Conservatory in Valencia.
Great! So I believe you went on the inaugural GEMS film scoring summer program the first time it happened right?
Yes, I went in summer of 2017. And it was one of the best things I signed up for. It's only brought me great things and who knows what is still to come!
Could you tell us a bit about your experience with the program and how it helped you as a composer?
The thing that stood out the most for me about the program was finding a community of like-minded creatives. The environment was so accepting. It sort of put more value on what I wanted to pursue, since where I come from not many people want to do film scoring and if they do, they are not encouraged by their mentors or peers. It's a shame really.
Also, I learned the importance of a good theme, the structure of a main titles and the work ethic of a successful film composer such as Christopher Young.
Check out Veronica talking about her experience here!
Interesting. Speaking of Chris; what made you want to go up to LA to go see him?
After the GEMS film scoring summer program, it gave me the opportunity of going over there to visit his city. It took me a while to get my head around going since I thought it was so far and so big, and just so out of my league - but I decided I would go anyway. I talked to him and his lovely assistants. They where so so helpful and accommodating. I went with the Idea of visiting the city, seeing his studio up-close, and seeing Chris himself and showing him the projects I've done since we last met. Since I trust his constructive criticism and he's always willing to listen to what us young composers are up to.
That sounds amazing! What was LA like?
LA for me has really marked a 'before' and 'after'. My perspective on film scoring has really changed. I of course went to all the iconic landmarks and all that, that was a dream come true, but what really changed my perspective was the fact that I could get all my queries about living, working and studying in LA answered by one of the best in the business.
What I've learned is that if you really want to work in this field of film scoring, you need to at least consider the possibility of moving to a movie-making mecca like LA is. Especially if you are young, all that you are betting on is your time, you for the most part have less things tying you down, like a spouse or kids, a mortgage etc.
I am for sure considering moving there. We'll see in the not-too-distant future. It was definitely an eye opening experience, but in a good way!
Brilliant! So are there any projects you're working on that you'd like to tell us about?
A few months ago I worked on my first proper short film called "IKELUS" by a group of film students from the University of Castellon. It's currently competing in a short film contest in Barcelona. I hope it does well. Now I'm scoring another one for the same group. "Ikelus" was more of a horror film, but the new one is more of a comedy. I try to be an all-round composer (haha).
Good luck with the contest! So, is horror your favourite genre?
I like all genres, on top of the fact that right now I don't have the luxury of picking and choosing, but I really like drama films at the moment.
Would you suggest the GEMS film scoring summer program to other composers?
Of course! I would recommend this program to anyone that wants to pursue this vein in music.
But the difference between this program and other courses is the fact that it goes beyond the theory, you can get up close and personal with some of the best in the business, and have a massive live orchestral recording. Little tips and tricks that probably won't be in any other course will just come out of these peoples mouths and they won't even know it's that good a tip. It's just second nature to them at this stage. As the student you just have to be willing to be like a sponge with your eyes and ears open and a notebook in hand for when those moments happen!
What are you waiting for?! Register for this year's summer course in Madrid!
Listen to past student's music here - yours can sound just as good if you sign up too!
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