Game Music Jobs: Are you a great collaborator?
I am Munchman with Game Music Jobs here for another rapid-fire essay
Are you that guy? You know, that guy, the one who does not collaborate with anyone? There is sunshine and opportunity outside right now, and you, as a composer, must be poised to take advantage of it.
I know that many artists have followed their dreams, and this was probably made for some pretty awkward holiday conversations with family. Like with your grandma asking, “Are you still playing the pianer?” You should answer her with an affirmative yes—because I have learned to collaborate with other artists and game producers.
This brings us to our fourth tenet of Occupation Professionalism: Collaboration.
You may say, “Munch, I am my own person, and I do not need anyone else to sharpen my skills!” If you genuinely believe that, you might as well give your “pianer” to grandma. There is a reason why I always end my rapid-fire essays telling you to be sharp (B#). This is important because to sharpen something, it needs a sharpener—it needs something against it. In this case, they would be your friends and colleagues.
Nobody likes criticism, but it is sometimes necessary to receive outside opinions about your work because others may be able to see or hear something you cannot. While you may be sitting in your room grinning as wide as a country fence over the perfection of your latest track, to someone else, it may sound somewhat askew. In other words, your track may sound janky. I have experienced criticism, and it proved to help my songwriting in the long run. It gave me a thicker skin and helped me get out of my head. Composers tend to live in their heads because they take abstractions and make them concrete, which requires immense imagination and concentration.
Collaboration is an art form. It requires a careful and humble touch and a focus on completing the project. A humble touch is one that gives your team members the kind of respect you would want them to show you. I don’t recommend becoming a doormat; the only thing a doormat is useful for is passively letting people tread on it, and this is not what you want. You want to help create a culture that is as complementary as the parts of your own body.
Now. I am not going to lie to you. To become a great collaborator takes two main steps. The first step is to be organized. When people ask you about the music for scene 3 at timestamp 2:03:02, you had better know where that track is! No one wants to work with a disorganized person — it would be akin to fighting a heated battle in the Marine core, and you somehow forgot to bring your bullets. All I will say, sir, is, “Goodnight!”
The second step is the binder for them both: discipline. Discipline promotes consistency, and consistency will teach your team members that they can rely on you. Remember, consistency can make drops of water carve solid rock. Order must be maintained; it does not happen by itself. It will become habitual the more you practice it.
Game Music Jobs was created to help producers and composers connect. That is why we are here. We are here to help you.
I will end with this. There is an ancient African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. But, if you’re going to go far, walk with friends who will criticize your game music” — or something like that.
I want to thank Maury for helping me bring you this information. Talk to somebody. Keep learning and always B#. This is munchman with Game Music Jobs.