Towards the conclusion of the Fall 2012 semester, Berklee College of Music hosted an event that aimed to pull in the Boston film-makers scene and showcase what the Film Scoring, Electronic Production & Design departments bring to the local community. There was ample time to network with various individuals, with several rooms devoted as EXPO space.

The event started with Michael Sweet, Associate Professor at Berklee, interviewing Matthew Weise, Narrative Designer at Harmonix Music Systems. Mr. Weise explained that the narrative designer functions as a mediator between the systems designer, combat designer and levels designer  when working with a team to develop games.

Matthew Weise, on designing game rules:

“It is the interaction with rules, art, and sound that makes video games different than other media. It’s all about verbs and goals. Mario is all about Jumping. Your goal is to design a system of meaning [to tell a story].”

The second day of the event started with a Keynote dialog between director, Yves Simoneau (via Skype) and film composer, George S. Clinton. They discussed the creative and technical process of creating the multi-Emmy-winning Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. 

George S. Clinton composed and recorded a staggering 90 mins of music in 4 weeks for ‘Wounded Knee. Clinton brought in a Native American flute player, John Two-Hawks, to perform various flutes on the score. George opted not to have any other woodwinds in the orchestra, so as to feature the solo flutist. Another production gem that George shared was to put a guitarist in an isolation booth and track them in parallel to the orchestra.

“Always explain the story to the players”

George S. Clinton on writer’s block:

“When you are affected by writers block, try this out, thinking sideways. This avoids tunnel vision. Use your distractions for inspiration. Throw a random piece of music under a scene to ‘blow out’ your perception of what music the scene needs.”

The final interview was between Michael Sweet and Matt Birch, president of Montana Artists Agency. Matt Birch had a lot to say about what an agent does in the film industry, as well as some  good advice for those starting out in the business.

A day in the life of a Hollywood agent:

  • 50+ phone calls everyday
  • breakfast meetings, lunch meetings, dinner meetings, film screening, showing up on productions of clients.
  • Frequent trips to Atlanta, Massachussetes, New York, Louisiana, Michigan to visit clients on the job.

How to network:

  1. Set Networking Goals – ex: Meet 2 people per month and stay in touch with them
  2. Find people who have the connections and ask them for recommendations
  3. Go to every event, screenings, showings, even silly ones
  4. Remember that odd connections will get you referrals someday

For more information about the Connecting Sound and Picture networking event, check out the event’s page:

Thanks for reading!


In this Blog, I plan to dictate my experiences into blog format. Furthermore, I plan to educate both myself and others about mistakes that I have made, and the lessons that I’m learning along the path. Thank you for taking the time to read my first blog post here. The next post will be about my experience at the “Connecting Sound and Picture” event hosted by Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts this weekend.

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