Manimation 2014 – Animusic: Interpreting The Brief

Posted on: Thursday 27 November 2014 1:04pm

Manimation Fusion – 20 November 2014 – The Morecambe and Wise Room, BBC Bridge House, Media City Salford. 

IMG_2285A day of exploration of every aspect of the current animation scene with a special emphasis on Manchester and the North West.


Seven steps to brilliant briefs!

Steve Berman from the Composer Works distilled some gems from the experiences of the composers that he works with, when they are trying to define exactly what it is that is being asked of them!

Getting a brief right from the start will save you time as a producer and get you the best possible music for your production to go on to achieve fabulous things. After a few toe-curling examples of the vague, woolly phrases we can all come out with when ideas are forming in our minds, and some top tips on video from some of the producers he has worked with over recent times, he outlined his top seven tips of use when briefing a composer.


  1. Deliverables. Spell out exactly what it is you need. A full score set to picture? An editable library of beds and stings for you to edit yourself?
  2. The Brief. What’s your show about? A short paragraph will do. Create a folder of musical ideas. Point your composer to any existing music, artists, genres, themes, scores, etc that you like and which might influence the score. What is it within the music that you like? Think about tone, emotion, types of instruments.
  3. Budget. £50-£100k is typical for a 52 x 11 minute series for a purely electronic score. Other rates depend on the type of work.
  4. Deadlines. When will you need things by? What are your project milestones? Give a breakdown of dates you need different elements completed by?
  5. Instruments. Do you want an electronically realised score, or do you want real musicians, soloists, orchestras?
  6. Format of delivery. What format do you want the final music in MP3? WAV? CD
  7. Who will own the music? Will the composer hang on to the copyright? How much will be paid on top for publishing rights?

So here’s to the perfect music for your production!

And here’s the video Steve used to illustrate his points:

A Prezi of Steve’s presentation is also available.  

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