Game Music Jobs: Tenet Apogee
Welcome to Game Music Jobs!
Today’s rapid-fire essay will be short, much like the stack of those who ignored the business principles in our articles. Today’s tenet is no tenet at all but the apogee of all the past lessons put together. After listening or viewing these past weeks, you were probably wondering why we took the direction of improving customer service. You are not in the business of retail, foodservice, or businesses that require face-to-face contact. Many of you have probably been inside so long that you might have ended up on the show First 48 Hours as a missing persons case. I wrote these lessons specifically for that reason.
I remember going to a composer networking event and noticing that composers generally did not talk very much. This networking event was networking in name only—they may as well had called it the introvert’s ball! I will give you a few quick tips on attending events below.
Some of you seasoned professionals are probably saying, “Munch, I know it all. I don’t need to learn anything else about the music business; I was conceived by chiptune.” By that logic, most of you should be as smooth as Barry White, and we all know that ain’t true. I am a composer also, so I have a deep understanding of the unique proclivities of songwriters. Most of these habits are no more than adaptations to the relatively young game audio business, and others are native to the brain types of those who choose this line of work.
The game audio business is inherently informal—most people know each other, and there is a saying that can apply here: Familiarity breeds contempt, and it may also breed four-letter words and lawsuits.
That is why I recommend our users to have at least one legal expert (a lawyer) and your own occupational professionalism. If something goes awry, you will have a working protocol for dealing with unforeseen events in your business. We also encourage you to treat your business like a business. We discussed the necessity for boundaries when dealing with your customers and how to temper transactional relationships. While there is nothing wrong with doing favors or people, there comes a time when favors and free lunches can metastasize into full-blown exploitation. There is not a robber worse than one who robs themselves because he or she has access to you all day long.
I chose to highlight these subjects because you cannot correct something you don’t know is wrong. Most professional and personal growth comes through knowledge of different perspectives. It is different perspectives that give us the power to see outside of ourselves. This is the very basis of education itself. Perspective is inward and outward, and it is through knowing ourselves that we create the world we relate to. I don’t intend to wax philosophical, but this perspective is a practical theory for working with life. Notice that I said “working with life” and not “working through life.”
I chose to collaborate with Maury because he and I see eye to eye about the music business. Remember, the game audio industry is small. Guard your reputation with everything you’ve got. If you tend to talk too much, practice listening more at industry gatherings. If you don’t remember names very well, try getting a business card or make some funny association in your head to keep track of names. If you tend to pilfer things that are not yours, keep your hands in your pockets. And if you tend to drink too much, turn down any alcohol so you won’t end up making a fool of yourself. The last thing you want people to remember about you at an event is you getting drunk, wearing a lampshade, and trying to strum an alley cat.
We have covered everything from organization to collaboration—most things you need to know to compete in the music business. This will conclude season one of our instructional series. We will get into other aspects of game audio next week.
I will end with this proverb: At the wrong angle, everything is ugly, but one of understanding will step back and consider the whole matter.
I would like to thank Maury for his supporting our series.
Don’t strum alley cats! Keep learning and always B#.
I am Munch Man with Game Music Jobs.