Composing for the Budget, Film Score Session Singing, and a Musical Marriage | with Christopher and Elyse Willis
Today we’re joined by Emmy nominated film and TV composer Christopher Willis and vocal contractor and session singer Elyse Willis. Chris is best known for his work on HBO’s hit comedy Veep, as well as his score for Armando Iannucci’s film “The Death of Stalin.” One of his most recent projects is “Schmigdoon!” which just started streaming on Apple TV+. Elyse has sung on dozen’s of projects as a session singer including Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, The Lost City, Lightyear, and Spider-Man: No Way Home. She’s also a vocal contractor for several television shows, and is in her fourteenth season singing with the prestigious Los Angeles Master Chorale. We have a great chat about how to get repeat gigs as a composer or singer, composing budgets, union recording sessions, and the importance of knowing when to move on in your career.
In this episode we'll dig in on...
- How to get repeat gigs as a vocalist
- The overworking and micromanaging mentality of the music industry
- Breaking into composition and film scoring in 2023
- Conquering the blank page
- Learning to write for the budget
- The importance of being dependable
- Working at Hans Zimmer's Remote Control facility
- Singing in the LA Master Chorale
- Working on projects for streaming services like Netflix and Disney+
- Growing up obsessed with Classical music
- The rules of union recording sessions
- Package & All-In Deals
- Sight reading
- Composing music for a Disney Parks ride
- Composition opportunities for video games
Mentioned in the Episode:
- AFM (Musician's Union)
- SAG/AFTRA (Singer's Union)
- Steven Pressfield - "The War of Art"
- Sun Tzu - "The Art of War"
Travis' Intro: Give Your Self Permission
Learn More About Christopher & Elyse...
Chris' Website: www.christopherwilliscomposer.com
Elyse's Website: www.elysewillis.com
Chris' Twitter: https://twitter.com/mrchriswillis
Elyse's Twitter: https://twitter.com/elysemwillis
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Guest: Christopher and Elyse Willis
Host: Travis Ference
Editor: Stephen Boyd
Theme Music: inter.ference