Since last February, I’ve been working with some music supervisors composing music and writing songs for pitching to television (advertising and series) and film placements. A few years ago, I had been working with publisher Michael Kreher of Offensive Tie in Boston on similar stuff – rock, pop, orchestral, and various eclectic mashups – but all tailor written for a scene brief, script or storyboard. A bunch of that material inevitably ended up on Thanks To Science, We’ve Got Love. The great thing about that kind of writing is it puts you in a different head-space from what you’d normally write in. You’re also forced to be writer, producer and engineer since nobody wants half-finished songs.
Anyway, the idea that one could make a living writing for ads is enticing. However, in Canada there isn’t really enough work to go around for the amount of writers there are. And not being in the “inner sanctum” of commercial writers, the bulk of the work never crosses my desk (and breaking in is ridiculously impossible). I know a number of writers and only a handful of them seems to be making a living. The ones that do manage to cross the spectrum of media and have plum gigs on CBC spots as well as other film and television placements, like pirates on the airwaves. Granted, they’re damn fine writers.
Having moved from Toronto to England, I’m going to continue trying to find work here. I think it’s a bigger market but the economy is kind of in trouble. And when money is tight, the first thing people stop paying for is advertising and the work goes up like vapor. However, I’ll continue writing and giving away the occasional free music. And at some point an album will come out of it.