VIFF Amp: Music in Film Summit
Oct 3-7, 2023
VIFF Amp’s Music in Film Summit nurtures, educates & champions emerging and newly established music professionals (composers, songwriters, music entrepreneurs), with a strong focus on elevating those from marginalized or underrepresented communities. The program provides creative insights, mentorship, and unique career development opportunities from international experts in the Music for Media space.
In 2023, VIFF Amp continues its competitive and juried application process, selecting a group of emerging creatives to attend the summit for free, complemented with a stipend to recognize the time required to participate in this career development opportunity. The summit features expertly curated masterclasses, case studies, panel discussions, and more, all of which are designed to develop skills and create relationships within the film and television sector.
VIFF Amp is designed not only to build skills and offer mentorship but also to connect storytellers and industry so that meaningful creative careers can grow and thrive. This year’s program adds new elements and continues to advocate for equity in the industry and the value of music and sound in visual media.
Rob Calder, VIFF Amp Curator
After seven years with VIFF Amp, I’m amazed by the global talent in our program, including mentors and emerging artists. In 2023, we’re expanding with the Composer Filmmaker Accelerator to provide greater learning and connect Vancouver’s music creative community with global tastemakers.
Tony Scudellari, VIFF Amp Curator
The Art of Music Supervision
Four feature film music supervisors who have worked on everything from indies to major blockbusters will discuss their work in features in an informative and interactive setting with real sync examples. This event is a must for aspiring content creators.
Featured Speakers: Bonnie Greenberg, Jojo Villanueva, Maureen Crowe & Morgan Rhodes
Moderator: Tony Scudellari
Stages to Screens
Three local artists represented by three local music companies, from influential startups to major indies, perform songs that have been successfully synced in film and television over the past year.
Moderator: Jane Aurora
The Art of Composition
A successful screen composer is able to handle a combination of skills: communication, translation, execution, and adaptation. This moderated conversation between a film director and composer team will offer a revealing, candid look behind the curtain.
Featured Speakers: Clement Virgo & Todor Kobakov
Moderator: Adrian Ellis
An open conversation about opportunities for the cohort in an evolving music in media ecosystem, with a focus on initiatives from some of this year’s partner organizations.
Featured Speakers: Allyson Newman (Alliance for Women Film Composers), Amritha Vaz (Composers Diversity Collective), Erin Collins (SESAC/Reel Change Program), Heather McIntosh (Alliance for Women Film Composers), Lachi (RAMPD) & representatives from ASCAP and SOCAN (TBA)
Moderators: Rob Calder, Tony Scudellari
Scoring Masterclass: Animated Explorations
A deep dive into scoring for animation. How musicians enhance score highlighting three local composers, with a curated live ensemble performance of works by our featured composers.
Featured Speakers: Amritha Vaz, Sascha Paladino & Jay Stutler
Music BC’s SOUNDOFF
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 live gathering.
Featured Music Supervisors: Angela Jollivette, Bonnie Greenberg, Kyle Merkley, Natasha Duprey & Valerie Biggin
Performing Artists: Adam Mah, Ché Aimee Dorval, Kylie V, NADUH & Zada
Composer Filmmaker Accelerator
VIFF Amp’s inaugural and most advanced program of hands-on learning for emerging composers of music for media is the Composer Filmmaker Accelerator (CFA) program. CFA was created to advance the dialogue and collaboration between composers and filmmakers. CFA gives 12 talented, emerging film composers an opportunity to take their careers to the next level by recording and performing their original score with a world-class orchestra.
The program pairs the 12 composers with 4 established filmmakers (3 composers working with 1 director) through virtual learning sessions, followed by an in-person recording and mixing session at one of Vancouver’s premier studios, The Warehouse Studios. The musical pieces created will be performed by musicians from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
Miriam Cutler, Program Curator
The program is curated by three-time Emmy nominated, award-winning film and television composer Miriam Cutler, based on her vast experience mentoring and leading workshops for both filmmakers and composers with Sundance, the International Documentary Association, Film Independent, US State Department / USC School of Cinema American Film Showcase (international), and more.
Mission & Vision
As a film composer, it is crucial to understand that the primary goal is to reinforce the narrative of the film that is so carefully crafted by the filmmakers. There are many ways to accomplish this, but with a strong collaborative process, the results will reflect a thorough exploration of possibilities for a unique score that really complements the film and surpasses the wildest dreams of the filmmakers.
Unfortunately, many filmmakers and composers are educated in separate programs, limiting their opportunities to learn from each other and collaborate in their early stages of development.
The VIFF 2023 Composer Filmmaker Accelerator was created as an opportunity for the industry to foster an interdisciplinary approach to filmmaking that values the contributions of all team members, and provides opportunities for collaboration and cross-disciplinary learning.
Miriam Cutler, Program Curator
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Our musical partner, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has curated a group of 20 VSO players to record in studio with the 12 composer cohort, who have worked in collaboration with their respective film director. This will culminate in the VSO musicians performing these original compositions live in their first-ever public facing concert at VIFF Amp.
Composer Filmmaker Accelerator Showcase
The concert performance will feature all 12 original scores by the inaugural cohort of the Composer Filmmaker Accelerator Program. The concert is the culmination of 7 weeks of online and in-person class work, recording the score and final mixing in the studio. The composers will present the music to the public in a live-to-picture performance, featuring the 20 musicians of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra with whom they have collaborated in the recording studio.
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.
DACEY (DAH-SEE), a genre-defying band based out of Vancouver, performed as part of the 2022 VIFF Amp program. Music supervisor Natasha Duprey placed DACEY’s song “I’ll Be There” in episode 107 of the Fox series Animal Control.
La-Nai Gabriel (she/they) is a composer, arranger, and producer. In 2022, La Nai attended VIFF Amp as a part of the Music Publishers of Canada curated selection of attendees from their emerging women and BIPOC creators initiative. La-Nai connected with the Core Music Agency at VIFF Amp and a month later, was brought onto the Core composer roster. La-Nai is currently working as a composer on two notable projects which are to be announced.
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.