Robert Davis/ James Moffatt (Leeds Beckett)


Meeting the challenge of the industry ready agenda for the freelance film composer: a case study .

The transformations in the Creative Industries have resulted in a range of new courses designed, at least in part, to prepare students to work within the industry. Bridging the gap between University and Employment in the Creative Industries remains a significant problem and studies have indicated that while students see these courses as a route towards employment, only a small percentage of students graduating from Creative Industry Courses find work. The situation of finding employment in the Creative Industries is made all the more complicated by the freelance nature of much of the work.

This study looks at an innovative six month programme at Leeds Beckett University where a documentary film project brought together professionals from Los Angeles to work with students and staff at the University. In particular, it focuses on the work of the student composer for the project and reflects on how effectively the undergraduate course has prepared students for working in a pressurised, professional, freelance environment.  Using this case study, the paper explores the interface between the academy and industry and articulates some of the issues that emerge in preparing students to work in a competitive industry. We argue that in addition to specific curricular interventions such as composing for film, an additional set of factors emerge which highlight a number of tensions between the academy and industry not least of which is the factor of chance or luck.



Robert Davis is Senior Lecturer in Music at Leeds Beckett University.

James Moffatt has recently graduated from Leeds Beckett University having studied for a BA in Music Production and Performance