Round 6


Round 6: Building a body of work - Time to start showing off your hard work!

28-Nov to 11-Dec. Deadline: Sunday End of the day 11:59pm 11 Dec UTC-0
Voting: 12 - 18 December

One of the reason we participating in VGM Bootcamp is to build a body of example work we can use to take our music further, be that a career aspiration or simply to improve ourselves. What we also need to do is have a way to present our work to prospective future collaborators. The show reel is a common idea for showing off your work, but did you know that most professionals in the industry that are seeking a composer to work with will make up their mind about your suitability for a project with 10-15 seconds of hearing your track! That is not a lot of time to make an impression. So, how do we present our work in a way that suits those who might be looking to hire us?

The trick I feel is to have lots of short samples of your work that are clearly targeted at a particular audience. I would love to hear your thoughts on this under a discussion in the composer-forum on the server.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it is...

There are two parts to this challenge, and an optional component:

Part 1: Creating a one minute showcase track.

You must select 6 x 10 second long snippets of your very best tracks and assemble them into a one minute long showcase track. This will be used to create a server wide showcase of everyone's work, and its a good excuse to get your own portfolio in order!! Each snippet should be about 10 secs +/- a smidge to make it sound good, but the total must be 60 seconds long for the video. :-)

Part 2: Get your portfolio up to date.

Time to spend some time on your portfolio. What does that look like.. well a portfolio can take many forms. It could be on YouTube or SoundCloud, or you could have a custom website. The aim though should be to make it easy for people that might be interested in working with you (commercially or just for fun projects) to easily get a feel for you style and capabilities.

If you are wanting to target commercial opportunities, something to remember is that most reviewers will judge the suitability of your work very quickly, usually within 10 seconds, and they want two things:

  1. A variety of short samples to assess your work,

  2. and a way to quickly find a sample of your work that matches their requirements.

Whatever your preferred format for a portfolio, now is the time to give it some love, and submit that with your Part 1 track for the challenge. If you want to see a possible solution there will be a workshop on this.

Part 3: (Option) Add yourself to the Commissions Directory.

The commissions directory is an attempt to collect together all the people interested in hiring out their skills as a VGM composer. It is a one stop shop for prospective clients to browse for partners. We would like to promote this more widely to help those wanting to get into the industry to have a launch pad to do so.

Submission Requirements:

  • Post your one minute long track to the #challenge-submissions channel for inclusion into a Server showcase video!
    mp3 file naming is: [your discord].Showcase.mp3

  • Post a link to your Portfolio. (And check out what other are doing!)

So, you don't have a portfolio...???

It's time to make one and to help you I will run a basic workshop showing one tool I use that will let you create a portfolio for free. I'm sure there are others (we can discuss that in the forums!), but the idea is to get you thinking about presenting your work if a form that people looking to commission will appreciate.

I use an online database system called AirTable. It's quite easy to use and the free plan in more than enough to setup an interactive portfolio. Its not perfect, but what I do like is that it allows you to setup a filterable view of snippets of your work that people can quickly browse by a number of categories. This is important I feel because people will often be looking for a particular style or media, and they don't want to wade through your whole catalogue to find something that matches their project. I will show you how to create a database for free that can do this, and I will actually give you the template to get you started. Click on this link, join AirTable (its free) and then Duplicate the Portfolio to use it in your own account.

Copy my Portfolio template to make your own.

To generate artwork for the portfolio I used the AI program NigthCafe, a great way to quickly create image placeholders for your portfolio if commissions are out of the question. If you follow my profile on NightCafe, the extra credits would be appreciated. :-)

The above AirTable view (called a gallery view) can be embedded into most popular website. I use Google Workspaces as it provides excellent value for money I feel with a simple to use Web Site Creator tool plus all the other Google tools. The one-user Business Starter account is all you need.