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Update from the Australian Guild of Screen Composers

Story Published Thursday 18 April 2024
Screen composers Caitlin Yeo, Me-Lee-Hay and Luna Pan at the She Plays concert at Church St Studios for International Womens Day

The Australian Guild of Screen Composers (AGSC) summarises recent events such as the Music and Games Benchmark report, International Women's Day, the Screen Composer Intensive & Composer Placement Attachment and more.

One of the key objectives of the AGSC is to improve the position of Screen composers and this is especially important when we look at the stage of female composers in the industry. A recent report by AGSC board member Dan Golding (Australian Music and Games 2023 Benchmark) has highlighted the inequity with only 12% of Screen composers being female. To help to fight this inequity the AGSC and its Gender Equity Committee have embarked on a series of concerts to highlight female Screen composers. The AGSC recently held one in Sydney to mark International Women’s Day with leading Screen composers Caitlin Yeo, Amanda Brown, Luna Pan, Andree Greenwell, Me-Lee-Hay and Yantra de Vilder at Church St Studio. There is a plan to replicate this in Brisbane and Melbourne and continue to support female composers through placements and the credit achieving program.

The AGSC is also celebrating female composers with the AGSC Women’s Playlist 2024 featuring tracks from AGSC female-identifying members. Tracks from award-winning composers are included in this celebratory playlist that covers soundtracks and screen music from all angles.

The AGSC welcomes composer, producer, and artist Thalia Skopellos, who performs as Ellatronix, as the recipient of the 2024 NATSIMO (National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office) Screen Composer Intensive. Thalia is an electronic music producer, sound composer, and entrepreneur with Aboriginal, Greek, Filipino, Chinese, and South Sea Islander heritage. Thalia will participate in a three-month program in Sydney, focusing on the fundamental aspects of composing for the screen within production environments, including access to a composing area at Church Street Studios where she will develop a new soundtrack for a short film under the mentorship of Ken Francis. She will also collaborate on the arrangement with Jessica Wells from Jigsaw Music. The intensive is funded by APRA AMCOS with support from the Australian Guild of Screen Composers, Church Street Studios, Jigsaw Music, and Trackdown Studios.

The AGSC with support from Screen NSW will be announcing the successful applicant for the Composer Placement Attachment. A Screen composer will be placed with Hylton Mowday with his company We Love Jam Studios to help score a new series. We hope to replicate this across all states with support from state Screen bodies to expand the opportunities for Screen composers to get their first credit. Along with the Credit Maker Program which we hope to continue in 2024 with the help of Screen Australia we want to ensure a pathway for composers into the screen industry.

The AGSC is also working closely with APRA AMCOS and the Australian Writers Guild (AWG) on regulating AI in the music and writing industries. Working with colleagues from the AWG, the AGSC is making recommendations to Screen Australia on way to deal with this radical technological change in our industry before it takes hold across the screen industry. The successful strike by the screen industries in the US have highlighted how important it is to ensure proper legislative control over AI.