TMCP 77 Ciaran, Cody and Rich talk about feedback, customs and rejection

By Richard Schrieber •  Updated: 08/03/21 •  20 min read

In this episode the guys talk about the stresses of doing custom work.

You don’t always know if you’ve won it until you see the released trailer and they share some advice on how to deal with rejection.

The important thing is to keep going and not take things personally!

Trailer mentioned:


Transcript below

Three men with three microphones and one awesome podcast. Welcome to the trailer music composers podcast. Hey guys. Welcome to another session of the trailer music composers podcast. Today we have a half another banter show. Yeah. So in this one, it’s a, we’re talking about writing for publishers, accepting feedback and criticism and how difficult that can be, uh, you know, not taking it personally personally, make sure you kind of distance yourself from your music.

And that takes, that takes time. It’s not something you just switch off. So, you know, if you do find it hard to kind of accept criticism, give yourself that room to feel those emotions, you know, don’t deny those emotions. That’s important. Um, also, yeah, we talk about, uh, custom work and, uh, it’s just, it’s just awesome.

Uh, I hope you’re enjoying these bantershows. I know we certainly have been enjoying them and, uh, yeah. Do you guys absolutely. It’s really interesting. It’s like, it’s obviously I started my career. My first self training stuff was with Pusha and this is all coming full cycle beautifully because pretty much all I ever heard when I worked for Pusha was like this isn’t a big deal.

. Cause at the time I was writing to the same briefs as assign Vulpine as, um, superhuman, you know, all of these guys who just sits there. I mean, they were smashing it by then, but since then have really like found their stride completely. So, you know, for sure that’s the right term for it. You know, they are formidable writers and producers.

Yeah. And back then, that was just me with Omnisphere in my east-west samples, struggling this bag. Uh, it’s the worst thing to hear bigger than it’d be a little bit more. I don’t feel the punch. Yeah. Where was your masterclass then? Cody.

Great question. The thing I always hate to hear is, uh, this is a great start. Let me know when it’s finished. Oh, that’s the worst. And you know what? It’s a thing where I think we talked about this. Um, it’s I think it’s, I’ll call it the Richard Streiber syndrome with Alika music. It’s the, Hey, get us. Can you get a 32nd demo to us please?

Because this is what rich does and it works out brilliantly. So I’ll get the 32nd demo. Um, and it’ll be, it’ll be kind of, I’m happy, but I know where this truck is going. And then I’ll get, listen, this is great. Well, I hope it’s going to get bigger. Are hoping it will be this, or maybe it’ll be this. And all of a sudden I’m sitting at a pool of tears.

How my studio floor go us minutes. I should have sent them in. Yeah. Well, that’s come out of, uh, mostly because, uh, well, I like to work fast and also like, I w I, I would jump onto an album late. Yeah. So it’s kind of a combination of me, like wanting to get as many tracks onto the album as possible. So I’ll be like, okay, I’ve got a writing session today.

And the deadline for the album tracks is today. So I’ve got two hours. How many 30 seconds demos can I send in Bosch here’s seven. I don’t know where they’re all going. Necessarily, but I know, you know, I know with the, through the process and through the fact that, you know, I know structure, victimize structure, we know built, you know, that’s kind of the way our relationship has worked best because I have found the way that you guys would provide the why, which is like, Basically handing in my completed beautiful piece of music, you know, with shaking hands and rings under my eyes.

I find that so emotional, like, you know, when I deliver a piece and the publisher, and in fact, this is one of the reasons why I pretty much only ride for elephant, you know, when I deliver it to a publisher and they go doesn’t sound big enough. Hmm,

it’s the fear, isn’t it like I even, you know, every time you send a truck off and you’re waiting for the email and you’re waiting for the email, um, you, all you want to get back is, Hey, great job. We love your track. Get it stamped. It’s perfect. Um, I mean, it depends on the publisher. Some publishers do that.

Some publishers don’t what it’s crushing. When you get a page, a feed. I don’t like the way this has gone. Maybe you could change the strings for, you know, spoons, like it shows like it’s just, it kills you. But I mean, that’s, unfortunately the way I always look at it is I only time I get criticism and I don’t know if I’m going to be off topic here, but, um, is that I need to keep trying to be the best I can be, or I won’t have any money to pay my.

Um, because there will be somebody else coming up that will be 10 times better than me. Um, and so if I just sit on my laurels and say, my music’s great, I’m brilliant. Look, look, what I learned is in the past, you’ll end up fading away pretty quickly because you won’t be paying attention to what’s what’s going on.

And, um, although it’s crushing to get the feedback of yeah. Like I don’t like your apps too, or I don’t like the way this has gone. It’s very monotonous. Looping. They’re not telling you that just because they hate you. They’re telling it because it’s the truth, um, ports. That is something. If you want to be in this industry, I think you have to, you get very good at accepting constructive criticism, not just criticism.

I think, you know, like say Richard has a great sound. I mean, you’re like. Getting near, I don’t know how you do your sound. I’ve studied your sound and I can see your like every few bars, things change. I’m like, but I can’t, I can’t hear that. I can’t hear how I can change every few bars and do what you do in such a minimal simplistic way.

Um, and it’s, it’s crazy. But if I went and said, I’m going to become, you know, if somebody puts the whole deal adage, uh, if a fish was. If a fish was basically, uh, graders on its ability to climb a tree, it would spend its whole life thinking that it’s stupid. That’s great. I love it. Yeah. I thought it was a good Goodwill.

Um, and I think, yeah, it’s just, uh, you know, these publishers are not telling you this because you know, they hate your goal since, because. This is what’s going to learn music for them and for you. And that’s just what it needs to be. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You have to try and set the emotion of it. Um, or at least as you say, Karen, try and find out.

If you were a fish, a nuts. Exactly. Because you found your, you found an amazing niche for yourself. I mean, I’m you still, like you learn long division. This year, one division is marble, you know, like it was in general Marvel gender to go for a superhero of the cute things. Like your music was fixed up, so perfect in that trailer.


it’s like Richard went and contacted Marvins. Well, we just need some fill for that spot guys, but that’s the, that’s the, I mean, you know, I see what you’re saying when you’re saying you, there’s a kind of concerned about someone, the, the young blood coming up and taking your place, but I, over the years that’s come.

My, my view on that is completely shifted because I started my career, you know, with Pusha, which is a big, you know, big deal. Yeah. And with other great composers, not I’m saying I’m great. I’m just saying it with other people who were great and they overtook like, because they were much better at those things.

At the time and it wasn’t until I found my thing and the way that I like writing best the way I like producing that, all of a sudden it started to work for me. So just because one PR one publisher doesn’t like your work doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a chance for success elsewhere. You know, when I didn’t land, uh, the star war, not the star wars, the star Trek, try not.

And the amount of steam trailer with bushes. I was broken. I was a broken man. Uh, but then that, for me, that was like the end of my career. At the time I was, I was sitting in the park going, like, what am I going to do now? I’m just rubbish. I can’t do anything, but I can’t achieve anything. Uh, you know, now looking back on it, I was like, oh, I’ll pull it out.


What’d you expect walking on your second custom and wedding star Trek? Yeah, I think you, you, you, you become very naive. I remember when I signed for release emotions, so they were my first publisher. And I remember seeing a guy Thomas Vogue wrote on the first album that I wrote on. I think the day after the album is released for you to see emotion put up saying, oh my God, this is the way.

Uh, album only released and congratulations, Tom, as well. You learn that this Asian action movie, but like, I was like, whoa, it’s out in the industry one day. And somebody caught a trader in one day to disguise music, not knowing that obviously he’d submitted it months ago and they were pitching the music as it goes.

But I remember every single morning after that album was released, I went to check my phone when I woke up thinking that maybe. The music supervisor for release emotion will be messaging me, going care on your land, your first trailer. And I didn’t land a trailer for a year after I started with the publisher.

So, and it wasn’t even really some ocean, it was colossal trailer music. And it’s so funny how, yeah, like I look back and I I’m the same with the little boy. I’m like, how could you been. Um, these things take time and these things take practice and, you know, application and hard work. Um, and yeah, I wonder how many new people going into the industry are in the same boat?

I imagine there’s a huge amount of people. Um, yeah. Yeah. You almost have to think of it, like in a cold manner. Like as soon as you’re done with it, you turn it in and you have to almost like, be like, I don’t care anymore. Yeah. Because if you, if you. If you hold onto it and you wake up every day and think, okay, today’s the day I’m going to hear about landing this custom that I’ve been working on with, with the editor back and forth through my publisher and, and, you know, I’ve, I know I’ve got, I know I’ve got it.

And you keep waiting everyday. You’re you’re, you’re setting yourself up for, for potentially a huge let down that will maybe quite crushing. So you have to deliver with the expectation that you’re not going to get. It is pretty much the way I approach it. And then when I do land it it’s of course just excitement and joy, but, uh, yeah, I planned to not get it in the crazy though.

Like as in w like, obviously I think, I suppose the three of us are probably trying to be as positive in life as we can. And on the end is in the way to cope in this industry is to be really negative and no expectations, Nate being negative. I think it’s being positive in a different way. Yeah, exactly.

You’re not, you’re not like you’re not releasing an album going. I’m never going to get anything. You’re releasing an album going done onto the next. Yeah. That’s a better way of looking at us. Yeah. Sorry, because that’s assuming Karen’s live or release an album. I do that. I actually do cry afterwards. It’s not from the release of the album.

It’s from the hard work and Hey Hey, we got down and down. It’s down to them. Is the albums up? And I’m like, oh God. Hmm, take a break.

Yeah. Afraid after once I’ve done an album one, like if I go to sleep now, will I wake back up in it’s it’s that hardcore? Um, but yeah, I heard, um, I had a great chat with an editor. Um, and cause I don’t really know, like, I mean, how many years on my assistant? Seven, seven years. Wow. Seven years since I signed my first publisher and.

And I still don’t really know how the inner workings of traders go. You know, I don’t, I know bits and pieces, but you know, from, you know, who coats them then on the clients getting a feeling for how it goes up the ladder. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Um, I don’t know. I, I, again, I’m still piecing bits. Um, I mainly, because I don’t want to be bothering the people who are obviously the gods who caught our trailers and make our trailers and pick our music and thank you all of them, by the way.

Thank you to all of them. Yeah. And to be honest, it’s, it’s crazy the amount of trailers that I’ve heard my music and I’m like, wow, how do they make my music sound so good? I mean, there’s been traders where I’ve gotten praise and I’m like, oh, well, don’t for coating. You know, like, is it w one of my, my headphones on, um, For putting stops in certain places or a riser and something I’m like, I didn’t do that yet with the music supervisor.

Um, but sorry, uh, is in the chances of even the editor landing, the trailer is so slim on customs and everyone can be working. If it’s a big movie, everybody’s work. Yeah. And, um, several versions of the trailer as well. Yeah. Um, and so I usually think if I’m pitching on us that I’m pitching on the trailer, so, you know, I might be one of five or six composers from that publisher pitching on the trailer, but then there’s 15 or 20 other publishers pitching with 15 or 20 older trailer.

Has it with preexisting catalog as well, not just custody. Exactly. So to be honest, instead of being disheartened by it, I kind of said, oh my God, how I landed so many trailers, they kind of really made me think and go, the odds are so slim. Um, so yeah, it’s, it’s, uh, it’s staggering sometimes when you think of.

One of the moments that made me realize that too, is I was working on, uh, I, I tell this story all the time. So if I’ve ever mentioned this on the show, I’m sorry. But, uh, I, I was working on the ant man trailer for a man too. And I, I was working on it for like maybe four or five months or something like that.

Went through tons and tons of versions. And I got down to the very end and I was being told feedback. Uh, from my publisher about how producers were saying, oh, we love it. It’s great. You know, and, and it had worked its way up the ladder to a point where it’s like, okay, I think I have a real shot at landing this, um, and it got down to one week before the trailer was supposed to come out.

And my publisher told me, okay, they’re down to 10 cuts that they’re trying to decide between 10. And so this is a week before they were released and they were, they were going. 10 cuts, putting them through, um, like sample audiences, you know, test audiences, do tests, how well they’re received. But I was just, I remember being so like kind of crushed at that point.

Like, well, I’ve been working on this for so long with, with even some of the higher ups, like seemingly giving me great feedback. Like they, they love it and they want, they want to use it only to find out that there’s still a one in 10, two chance, one in 10 shot that I’ve got it. So that, that kind of sets some perspective to me.

About how, how much there is in between you and actually landing a trailer. And when it comes to like regular trailers, not even not custom stuff, but just like my stuff being pitched that’s from an album, you know, I, I prefer to not even know. Yeah. I don’t, I don’t know about a gender am I used to. Oh, Hey man.

You’re in for X trailer because it kind of made my ego feel great. Like, oh, I could go and tell the family, oh my God, my music might be used in, you know, like taking 70. Yeah.

And actually that was, I think it was taken three. I think. That wasn’t. That was the thing I remember at the start. And when I first started writing, I think my music was in for one of the nieces movies and I was just having everybody, oh my God. I’m in for this thinking that it was so simple, it was nearly there just over the line and then they heard an op seizing, nothing.

Um, and yeah. Yeah, sometimes it, it sounds like we’re being very negative at this industry, but yeah. It is it’s, it’s full of talented people. It’s full of, you know, multiple options for different cults, some TV spots, but at the same time, like I did a costume just finished today and it was two days to, to write a two and a half in a track.

And which for Richard would take 25 minutes, two days. Um, in what other worlds would you be able to manage your family time and, you know, okay. Not laced, but exam. I still got to hang out with my six month old son throughout the day and, and, you know, watch TV chill for a few hours last night. And then I went, actually I went to bed early and got up early.

Um, but instead of you working on a film or like even in Ireland, film rates are solo, um, if you were to get like short films or TV, I can manage my time so well, and I can do all the things I still want and still write loads of music and still earn a good living from it if it’s quality music. So to be honest, I mean, I wouldn’t with all the odds and, um, crazy costumes and, you know, multiple cuts and everything.

I wouldn’t probably been anything else. If I, if I had a choice.

Dude. I think that’s like a beautiful way to end this. No, not forever. Just that like, you know, I think you’re totally right. Uh, customs are, I think the hardest parts of trader music, I think writing for a library where you, where you get to write music in your specific genre. Usually to a much more relaxed schedule where your music is then pitched and you know, like Cody said, wait, you don’t have to find out when it’s being pitched.

You just get that wonderful message. But it’s like just landed a trailer cashback. Boom, boom. That’s how I like working here. Or, you know, all that has got, got to the point now where I just get the memo from my accountant saying, just pay this. Yes. And I’m like, oh wow. Look at that trailer. You know, I like some stuff on the top of Derek, Tom and Jerry trailer.

Yeah. It’s probably just some of my awful sound effects, but, um, yeah.

But, uh, but that’s, but that’s the thing, you know, if you. The way they try to industry works. And the money that we get from a trailer affords us the time to pursue the things that really matter. Also the longevity of the music. I mean, I’m still like trucks to the roads in 2015 are still landing in 2021.

You don’t get that anywhere else, you know, and even the TV work you can get from the us on the royalties. I mean, you know, Tommy do ragging, I’m still a music. What is in the longevity? The amount of effort and collaboration. And obviously some people absolutely love that, but it depends on the person, but I think we’re all in it for, you know, there’s, for me, it’s the, how the challenge of every single time I go to ride a two minute track, it’s like a start of the wheel all over again.

It’s, it’s a such a challenge to how can I squeeze emotion, tension? Um, Everything that we’ll sell this film and make people go wild. Like with the rise of Skywalker trailer, to show shelters, I was smiling from ear to ear, like, and I’ve watched that so many times and the emotion and what it brings out in you.

That’s what I love the challenge of when you see you’re like, you can listen to your music, you know, turn music. It’s great. And when you see it in mash too, It’s just magical. It’s just phenomenal. There you go. I hope you enjoyed that. Uh, I know we certainly did. Now don’t forget to, uh, leave a review of the show on iTunes, please.

Uh, you know, those reviews are huge for me. They really kind of allow my show to be found more, which, you know, as you know, ethic is pretty crucial when it comes to this type of stuff. So thank you so much for listening guys, ramps and legends. I’m really appreciate you coming in. We can recount and giving me your time.

And I, I only hope that I’m giving you the value that you deserve.

Richard Schrieber

I am an award winning composer for movie trailers, I am the founder of The Trailer Music School and I podcast, blog, vlog and jog. I also love coffee, nachos and self-improvement.