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Amp

Explore the essential role of music in film

VIFF Amp explores every aspect of the intersection of music and sound in visual media. Amp supports an annual cohort of songwriters, composers, music supervisors and managers through a competitive and juried application process, with a focus on providing access to artists from traditionally marginalized communities. This four-day event features expertly curated masterclasses, case studies, panel discussions, networking, breakout sessions and musical showcases, all of which are designed to develop skills and create connections that can excel a career in film and television.

Attending Amp: Access to the summit is exclusive to members of the Amp cohort. Applications to be part of next year’s Amp cohort will open in June 2023. Sign up to VIFF News to be notified.

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Supported by

Community Broadcast Partner

Look Back at VIFF Amp 2022

Michael Abels headshot, composer

Opening Keynote

An Evening with Michael Abels
Award-Winning Composer, Nope, Get Out, Us

An intimate evening of insight, creativity, and performances of Abels’ music, featuring the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Two-time Emmy-nominated composer Michael Abels is known for his genre-defying scores for the Jordan Peele films Get Out, Nope, and Us, for which Abels won a World Soundtrack Award, the Jerry Goldsmith Award, a Critics Choice nomination, and multiple critics awards.

Abels’ hip-hop-influenced score for Us was shortlisted for the Oscar. His creative output also includes the concert work At War With Ourselves for the Kronos Quartet and the opera Omar, co-composed with Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Rhiannon Giddens.

Abels is co-founder of the Composers Diversity Collective, an advocacy group to increase the visibility of composers of colour in film, gaming, and streaming media.

The Art of Composition

Four composers discuss the challenges of building a career based on personal values and a holistic understanding of your role as an artist. Topics include creating frameworks on how to present yourself, what projects to take on, and how to foster collaborative partnerships that build a sustainable and fulfilling creative life.

Amritha Vaz headshot

Amritha Vaz

Prior to scoring film and television projects, Amritha Vaz was a human rights attorney. She began her composer career writing with Academy Award-winning composer Mychael Danna on 500 Days of Summer. Her work has been recently featured in Disney’s Mira, Royal Detective, which earned her an ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards and Annie Awards nominations. In 2018, Amritha helped found the Composers Diversity Collective, an organization promoting awareness of music creators of diverse backgrounds. She is an alumna of the 2016 Sundance Composers Lab.

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Brian & Caleb Chan combined headshot

Caleb & Brian Chan

Vancouver-based brothers Caleb and Brian Chan compose music for film and television. Their recent credits include DreamWorks’ Pinecone & Pony and Team Zenko Go, and Netflix’s Angry Birds: Summer Madness. Other work includes Sam Raimi’s horror anthology series 50 States of Fright as well as music for Lifetime, Spinmaster, and Hasbro. Under the name Heis, the brothers released an album of slow-moving instrumental pieces in 2020. Caleb has orchestrated and produced over 200 songs for film and television. Brian is a Juno-nominated recording engineer who has worked with some of Canada’s premier ensembles.

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Miriam Cutler headshot

Miriam Cutler

Three-time Emmy nominated composer Miriam Cutler is passionate about documentaries. Her work includes many Emmy and Oscar-nominated films including RBG, Dark Money, Lost in La Mancha, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, among others. She is an advisor at Sundance Documentary Composers Lab, and a documentary juror for Sundance, Spirit Awards, AFI, and more.

A co-founder of the Alliance for Women Film Composers, Cutler has co-produced live jazz albums for artists including Joe Williams (nominated for a Grammy as co-producer), Nina Simone, and Shirley Horn. She contributed two compositions to the Grammy Award-winning album Women Warriors: The Voices of Change.

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Adrian Ellis

Adrian Ellis

Adrian Ellis is known for his inventive, concept-driven, risk-taking approaches to creating his scores. For the single-take, split screen feature Last Call (2019), he recorded the score live in a single take: the result was a two-minute standing ovation during its sold out L.A. premiere. Feature film work includes The Scarehouse, To Hell With Harvey, and Surviving Bokator. Television credits include Secret Nazi Ruins, Daily Planet, the CFL, and CTV’s Canada AM. Ellis is the Chair of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada and an advocate of the value of screen music and the importance of the filmmaker-composer relationship.

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From Hiphop to TV Scoring

A conversation with Mato Wayuhi.

Mato Wayushi headshot

Mato Wayuhi

Mato Wayuhi is an Oglala Lakota multidisciplinary artist originally from South Dakota. He works in film and TV both as a producer and musical composer, as well as writing his own music, garnering critical acclaim from NPR, Amazon Music, and Apple Music. Most notably, Wayuhi is the composer for the award-winning FX/Hulu series Reservation Dogs. A recent graduate of the University of Southern California, Wayuhi continues to work and play in Los Angeles, spending parts of his summers attending ceremonies and bumming around with family back home.

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Jarrett Martineau headshot

Jarrett Martineau

Jarrett Martineau is an award-winning nêhiyaw and Denesuline media maker, curator, scholar, artist, and storyteller from Frog Lake Cree Nation and a leading voice in Indigenous media and cultural production. He is the host, creator, and producer of Reclaimed, the first-ever Indigenous music program on CBC Radio and CBC Music. In 2022, he won a Silver Medal for Best Music Program Host at the New York Festivals Radio Awards. He co-created and produced the Indigenous documentary series Rise for Viceland, and produced and ran the Indigenous music platform Revolutions Per Minute.

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Hit Raedio Stars

A masterclass on music supervision with Raedio’s Stephanie Diaz-Matos (P-Valley) and Sarah Bromberg (Rap Sh!t).

Sarah Bromberg headshot

Sarah Bromberg

As Vice-President, Music Supervision and Library at Raedio, Sarah Bromberg handles music supervision for a myriad of film and television projects in addition to pitching a growing in-house library.

Her music supervision credits include Starz’ P-Valley, Netflix’s film Someone Great, HBO’s Rap Sh!t, The Get Down, the ABC series Grand Hotel, the documentary Crime + Punishment, the Netflix series Naomi Osaka, and HBO Max’s Sweet Life: Los Angeles, for which she won the 2022 Guild of Music Supervisors Award for Best Music Supervision for Reality Television. Bromberg is also an adjunct professor at Loyola University in New Orleans.

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Stephanie Diaz Matos headshot

Stephanie Diaz Matos

Stephanie Diaz-Matos not only oversees music supervision for high-profile film and television projects, but is also the Head of Music Supervision at Raedio.

Her credits span everything from series such as Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down, to the feature Uncle Drew, Netflix’s Someone Great, the EPIX series Godfather of Harlem, Netflix’s Yes Day, HBO Max’s And Just Like That, and Issa Rae’s Hoorae Productions’ Rap Sh!t and Sweet Life. In 2017, The Guild of Music Supervisor Awards honored her with the award for Best Music Supervision in a Television or Comedy for her work on The Get Down.

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Music BC's SOUNDOFF

Presented by Music BC, SOUNDOFF is a platform for our most promising local musicians, with a focus on song placement and sync licensing in film and TV. Local artists perform songs and connect with music supervisors at this expansive yet intimate live gathering.

 

Presented by

Little Destroyer band group shot

Little Destroyer

With addictive melodies and crushing guitar riffs, Little Destroyer have played their way into the hearts of a small but loyal fanbase in their home country over the last few years. Allie, Chris and Michael started playing in bands during their school years, picking up guitar and bass, with their musical interests ranging from Blur, to Green Day, to No Doubt or TLC. At this point, it should have been somewhat obvious that their music would ultimately become a mix of unrelenting harshness and infectious pop appeal. One of their artistic goals: sharing their thoughts, emotions and insights with others, fuelled by maximum amount of expressiveness, taking and capturing this moment on the stage and really soaking up the moment. As Joe Strummer once so aptly put it: “Let fury have the hour, anger can be power, do you know that you can use it?” – Little Destroyer do know that they can use it and they’ll be proving it to us this September.

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Meltt band group shot

Meltt

Meltt is a collection of four multi-instrumentalists sonically painting their own dreamscapes with psychedelic-guitars, swelling-synthesizers, powerful-drums, and ethereal-vocals.

The indie/psych rock band has been praised for their combination of heavy riffs, colourful instrumentation, detail oriented production, and multi-layered song-writing. With an equal love for the blissfully tripped out and the powerfully crunchy areas of music, a Meltt album or show is designed to transport the listener to spaces they have only previously dreamt of.

In 2019 Meltt released their debut full-length album Swim Slowly, a diverse twelve track reflection on love, mortality, time, personal growth and the hazy line between the spiritual and material worlds. Since then, the band have accumulated tens of millions of streams as well as thousands of enthusiastic fans.

So far in 2022 the band has released three singles, embarked on its first North American tour in March and its second in August. Currently the band is putting the final finishing touches on their second album which they plan to release early in the Spring of 2023.

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Kimmortal artist headshot

Kimmortal

Kimmortal is a queer non-binary filipinx artist and rapper known for their powerful stage presence and multi-dimensional approach to music. A musician (rapper/singer/self taught producer) with a background in art and theatre, Kimmortal’s honest wordplay and visuals tell stories of reclaiming one’s power and confronting social issues facing their generation. Their concept album “X marks the Swirl” incorporates spoken word, rap, and field recordings of water that Kim created over a five year process. The album was longlisted for a Polaris, recognized as top 19 albums of 2019 via CBC, and nominated in the 2020 “Hip Hop and Rap” category of Breakout West Music Awards. Kimmortal has opened for some of their favourite artists including Shad K, Ruby Ibarra, Saba, Bif Naked, Saul Williams, and Gabriel Teodros. They have performed in SXSW, Junofest, Rifflandia, NXNE, Winnipeg Pride Festival and Reeperbahn Germany. After receiving a shout-out from US Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez for their song “Sad Femme Club” in March, Kimmortal is excited to release their newest project this coming winter 2022.

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Dacey group shot

Dacey

DACEY (DAH-SEE) sets a new age storm on stage, with elements of various genres; Alternative R&B, Lo Fi Hip Hop, Neo-Soul, Indie, and Jazz, tied together with her creative edge. Influenced by unforgettable artists such as Amy Winehouse, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, SZA, and Anderson .Paak; DACEY makes their genre-defying mark, producing progressive melodic stories fit to any mood they seek with the crowd. Andrada’s hooky vibe continues to linger in the limelight as she and her band proceed to captivate the underground scene, starting right at her roots; in the heart of Vancouver.

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Mikey Jose headshot

Mikey Jose

A combination of traditional soul and modern R&B/pop flair, Mikey Jose’s familiar yet novel sound has been turning heads internationally and catching the attention of major global talent since his debut single release, “Stay @ Home”, in 2019. His debut EP, “Hindsight”, released in late 2020 gained him global recognition, receiving local and global radio play, including spins from Swedish P3 National radio. Mikey’s signature soulful vocals and elegant runs have also caught the attention of major Soul/R&B names through his Instagram channel, including Allen Stone, Jeremy Passion, and DeAndre, and has helped him land collaborations with rising international stars, such as Sam Wills and Giacomo Turra.

Mikey and his band, known as “Mikey Jose and The Bungalow”, have performed sold out shows at Vogue Theatre in Vancouver, opening for NYC soul-pop rising stars, Lawrence, and packed local music festivals, including Vancouver Mural Festival (VMF), Winter Arts Fest, and Shipyards. His high-energy VMF set was praised by Virgin Radio, who described the performance as “[bringing] the house down”. Mikey is currently pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia to understand the power of music in medicine.

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Yvette Metoyer headshot

Yvette Metoyer

Yvette Metoyer started her career in the film and TV music industry as an assistant, and later a music coordinator on the AMC series Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, and The Walking Dead. In 2020, she founded Sounds In Color, which focuses on music supervision for film and television projects and also includes ad and promo production. Some of her recent work can be seen in Amazon’s The Boys, Netflix’s Spiderhead, and Fox’s The Cleaning Lady. A composer advocate, she is a member of the Guild of Music Supervisors Education Committee, and the non-profit Free the Work.

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Shannon Murphy headshot

Shannon Murphy

Shannon Murphy is an Emmy-nominated music supervisor who has worked on Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home, Thor: Ragnarok, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Universal’s Straight Outta Compton and Sing. She has also supervised the Netflix film Love, Guaranteed, as well as The CW’s In the Dark. She earned her first Emmy nomination in 2021 for supervising Marvel Studios’ premiere series WandaVision.

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Natasha Duprey headshot

Natasha Duprey

Vancouver-based Natasha Duprey has supervised The L Word (Showtime), The Terror (AMC), Continuum (SyFy), The Order (Netflix), and Tiny Pretty Things (Netflix). She has worked on MOWs, national ad campaigns, documentaries, and feature films such as Frankie & Alice. She has recently completed the series Kids In the Hall (Amazon), The Imperfects (Netflix), Fakes (CBC Gem/Netflix), Ivy & Bean (Netflix) and is currently working on Snowpiercer (TNT), My Life With the Walter Boys (Netflix), Family Law (Global), and Let the Right One In (Showtime), as well the feature film Champions. Duprey is VP of the Guild of Music Supervisors Canada.

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The Art of Music Supervision

Making the leap: advancing from coordinator to music supervisor.

Yvette Metoyer headshot

Yvette Metoyer

Yvette Metoyer started her career in the film and TV music industry as an assistant, and later a music coordinator on the AMC series Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, and The Walking Dead. In 2020, she founded Sounds In Color, which focuses on music supervision for film and television projects and also includes ad and promo production. Some of her recent work can be seen in Amazon’s The Boys, Netflix’s Spiderhead, and Fox’s The Cleaning Lady. A composer advocate, she is a member of the Guild of Music Supervisors Education Committee, and the non-profit Free the Work.

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Christine Greene Roe headshot

Christine Greene Roe

A McGill University graduate, Christine Greene Roe currently resides in Los Angeles. Alongside Maggie Phillips, she music supervised several award-winning and critically acclaimed projects such as People of Earth (TBS), The Miseducation of Cameron Post (FilmRise), Shrill (Hulu), Homecoming (Amazon), Snowfall (FX), and Somebody Somewhere (HBO Max). With her solo venture 82 tunes, she’s worked on First Blush (Gravitas Ventures), 12 Mighty Orphans (Sony Pictures Classics), Nightbooks (Netflix), the docu-series Always Jane (Amazon), and Season 2 of the comedy-drama series Made for Love (HBO Max).

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Shannon Murphy headshot

Shannon Murphy

Shannon Murphy is an Emmy-nominated music supervisor who has worked on Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home, Thor: Ragnarok, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Universal’s Straight Outta Compton and Sing. She has also supervised the Netflix film Love, Guaranteed, as well as The CW’s In the Dark. She earned her first Emmy nomination in 2021 for supervising Marvel Studios’ premiere series WandaVision.

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Tony Scudellari headshot

Tony Scudellari

Tony Scudellari oversees all aspects of music for Sony Pictures Television’s programming. He is also the lead creative executive for the division’s music releases. During his tenure, Sony Pictures Television’s programming has been awarded for its music by the Guild of Music Supervisors, the Emmys, and numerous ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC Film & TV Awards. In 2017, the Guild of Music Supervisors nominated Scudellari for Best Music Supervision in a Television Limited Series or Movie. Scudellari is a member of both the Recording Academy and the Television Academy.

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Composing for Docs: The Collaboration of Filmmaker & Composer

Music for documentaries with Miriam Cutler.

Miriam Cutler headshot

Miriam Cutler

Three-time Emmy nominated composer Miriam Cutler is passionate about documentaries. Her work includes many Emmy and Oscar-nominated films including RBG, Dark Money, Lost in La Mancha, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, among others. She is an advisor at Sundance Documentary Composers Lab, and a documentary juror for Sundance, Spirit Awards, AFI, and more.

A co-founder of the Alliance for Women Film Composers, Cutler has co-produced live jazz albums for artists including Joe Williams (nominated for a Grammy as co-producer), Nina Simone, and Shirley Horn. She contributed two compositions to the Grammy Award-winning album Women Warriors: The Voices of Change.

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Lisa Leeman headshot

Lisa Leeman

Lisa Leeman believes that strong narrative and character-driven films can change the world, one story at a time. Over thirty years, her films have illuminated contemporary social issues through intimate character-driven stories that follow people at critical turning points.

Leeman is currently making a follow-up to her groundbreaking first documentary, Metamorphosis (Sundance Filmmakers Trophy, 1990; POV/PBS), supported by Catapult and Sundance.  An Academy member,  Lisa co-chairs the DPA Ethics Task Force, and as a professor at USC, teaches Cinematic Ethics and Documentary Producing, and writes articles on the ethics and art and craft of documentary filmmaking.

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Tony Scudellari headshot

Tony Scudellari

Tony Scudellari oversees all aspects of music for Sony Pictures Television’s programming. He is also the lead creative executive for the division’s music releases. During his tenure, Sony Pictures Television’s programming has been awarded for its music by the Guild of Music Supervisors, the Emmys, and numerous ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC Film & TV Awards. In 2017, the Guild of Music Supervisors nominated Scudellari for Best Music Supervision in a Television Limited Series or Movie. Scudellari is a member of both the Recording Academy and the Television Academy.

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Upping the Sonic Game: Live Scoring Masterclass

How live musicians enhance score, featuring three Vancouver composers and live performances with members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

 

Supported by

Amritha Vaz headshot

Amritha Vaz

Prior to scoring film and television projects, Amritha Vaz was a human rights attorney. She began her composer career writing with Academy Award-winning composer Mychael Danna on 500 Days of Summer. Her work has been recently featured in Disney’s Mira, Royal Detective, which earned her an ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards and Annie Awards nominations. In 2018, Amritha helped found the Composers Diversity Collective, an organization promoting awareness of music creators of diverse backgrounds. She is an alumna of the 2016 Sundance Composers Lab.

Read More
Brian & Caleb Chan combined headshot

Caleb & Brian Chan

Vancouver-based brothers Caleb and Brian Chan compose music for film and television. Their recent credits include DreamWorks’ Pinecone & Pony and Team Zenko Go, and Netflix’s Angry Birds: Summer Madness. Other work includes Sam Raimi’s horror anthology series 50 States of Fright as well as music for Lifetime, Spinmaster, and Hasbro. Under the name Heis, the brothers released an album of slow-moving instrumental pieces in 2020. Caleb has orchestrated and produced over 200 songs for film and television. Brian is a Juno-nominated recording engineer who has worked with some of Canada’s premier ensembles.

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David Ramos headshot

David Ramos

David Ramos is a classically-trained musician and audio engineer who fuses live instruments, vanguard production techniques, and electronic ingredients to create rich hybrid scores. He scored the biopic I Am Heath Ledger, which launched at the Tribeca Film Festival, and was awarded a Leo for Best Musical Score for his work on Johnny Cash: American Rebel. His advertising clients include Samsung, Toyota, General Motors, Renault, Hersheys, Nestlé, and LG. Ramos scored three features for Oscar-winning director John Zaritsky, and collaborated with Grammy-winning producer/composer Ben Mink on multiple projects including the Emmy-nominated miniseries Alice for Syfy Channel.

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VIFF AMP Town Hall

Frameworks and strategies for success in working for and with members of the disabled and neurodiverse creative communities.

John Swihart headshot

John Swihart


John Swihart is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist composer-producer with a long list of credits across multiple genres and platforms. After graduating from the Berklee College of Music, Swihart toured with various bands and worked in the Blue Man Group shows before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television score composition and production. Swihart’s expertise is working with filmmakers to tell their particular stories with artistic and innovative scores.

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Stephen Letnes headshot

Stephen Letnes

Stephen Letnes is a visually impaired (retinitis pigmentosa) media composer from Minneapolis, Minnesota, public speaker, founder of the Able Artist Foundation, and co-founder of 1IN4 Coalition and RAMPD (Recording Artists and Music Professionals with Disabilities). Letnes has written film scores for over 140 shorts, feature films, and documentaries, including the Bill Murray Comedy Shorts Award-winning film Lady Lillian (2017), the 2019 national Emmy-nominated and Academy Award-qualified film Beneath the Ink, and the 2021 regional Emmy-nominated film Say His Name: Five Days for George Floyd.

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Hamish Thompson headshot

Hamish Thomson

Hamish Thomson won the Indie Award for Favourite Electronica Artist at Canadian Music Week 2006, and hit the top spot on Bravo TV’s Video Countdown with the song Sir Real. As a producer and session player, Thomson has been involved in over 40 albums. In the past four years, he has composed music for some 45 TV movies, including the feature Grand Unified Theory and the Netflix movie Operation Christmas Drop. In the past three years, Thomson has been honoured with 7 Leo nominations and a Leo win for his work with Hallmark and Lifetime.

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Past Highlights

Success Stories

Bukola

A local singer/songwriter who participated in VIFF Amp in 2020 and 2021 drew the attention and high praise from invited international music supervisors but impressed the ear of composer Natalie Holt. Holt, an accomplished composer on Marvel/Star Wars projects, was a 2021 speaker at VIFF Amp and heard Bukola at the SOUNDOFF showcase. Holt subsequently hired Bukola to do original vocals for the film The Princess.

Chan Brothers

Local composers Brian and Caleb Chan attended VIFF Amp 2020 where they met Frank Garcia from DreamWorks. Garcia hired them for two animated series shortly afterward. In 2021, Arbel Bedak (Spectra Creative Agency) met the Chan Brothers when they returned to VIFF Amp, and subsequently chose to represent them on film & TV projects. Soon after, the Chan Brothers demoed for a Roku/Charter drama exec produced by Nick Stoller (Bros, Neighbors), and successfully got the project through Sony Pictures Television.

What Attendees Are Saying

It was an amazing opportunity; meeting folks from LA and those who are in the industry helped build my confidence and make me feel like I can make it in the biz!

If you are a composer or a songwriter looking to write for TV or Film, this is the event to attend. Easily my favourite industry event of the year!

I have wanted to go into film composition for some time and it felt impossible to even try the first steps. With Amp, a new world has opened for me.