The Fund for Diversity in Film Scoring
Powered by SESAC and Christophe Beck; managed by New Music USA
About this fund
Reel Change: The Fund for Diversity in Film Scoring is a five-year grant and mentorship program for film composers of diverse ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and abilities that are historically underrepresented in film composition. The fund assists US-based projects currently in production/post-production where additional support and/or mentoring would be beneficial to film composers who are at a pivotal point in their career in which the project will help them break through to the next stage of their profession.
Why this fund was created
Christophe Beck, in partnership with SESAC, initiated this fund to encourage and support talented film composers whose voices have been excluded from an almost entirely white, male world. In 2020, 95% of the top 250 films at the box office were scored by men; and there are no statistics available about the representation of BIPOC composers in film scoring. The fund is administered by New Music USA, a national non-profit which runs a number of music and social justice programs. An advisory board consisting of leading film composers will be responsible for assessing all submissions.
What the fund will support
The aim of this fund is to support costs that will enhance and help deliver the music score for a narrative or documentary film which is already in production or post-production. With each of the grants we award, we hope to:
- strengthen the composer’s ability to highlight their project as a springboard for the next step in their career
- improve composers’ working conditions to maximize creativity and inspiration
- help improve the production values of the film as a whole
It is envisaged that grants averaging $20,000 will be given to 4 to 6 film composers per year.
Supportable expenses include but are not limited to:
- Composer compensation for creating the score
- Funds to pay live musicians
- Equipment including necessary software/hardware for the project
- Engineer and recording fees, including mixing, editing, recording
- Studio costs
- Orchestration or score preparation costs
Other points to note:
- Funds requested should supplement the overall project’s music budget and not provide sole support
- Applicants should be prepared to provide receipts/invoices for relevant expenses related to the project if requested.
What the fund will not support
- Scores for films with a budget in excess of $20m
- Scores for films which are produced primarily outside the US
- Costs not directly related to the production of the original score, such as sound effects, or licensed music
- Scores that are not independently financed
How selections will be made
Projects will be evaluated by an Advisory Board made up of leading composers in the field including Christophe Beck, Kris Bowers, Pinar Toprak, Tony Morales, Jongnic Bontemps, Miriam Cutler, and Chanda Dancy. Selections will be based on:
- Artistry – projected artistic impact of the score based on the composer’s creative proposal and the existing body of work
- Need – how you want to use the money and why you need support
- Impact – the difference this project will make the next steps in your career.
Deadlines and Notification
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis starting October 29, 2020. There are no fixed deadlines for this fund. Any questions should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is envisioned that mentorship will be available from Christophe Beck and/or other members of the Advisory Board for any applicants interested in this additional support. The scale and scope of mentoring will be coordinated amongst participating parties.