My summer internship at Hollywood Universal Pictures – by James Moffatt

by | Oct 17, 2022 | Uncategorised | 0 comments

My recent Researcher-Led placement in Los Angeles was a profound experience that has had significant impact on my development as an industry practitioner in film music composition and audio post-production as well as my research and ongoing PhD. 

The placement involved observation, participation, assistance, and delivery of audio post-production services for Major Hollywood film and television productions under the supervision and guidance of Academy Award and BAFTA winning personnel. This included, but was not limited to, the composition, production, editing, and mixing of music for an upcoming feature length narrative film and audio postproduction services of an 8-part multi-episodic drama series for a major video-on-demand streaming service.    

The impact of the project has been significant. Firstly, for the partner, it has allowed a macro observation research project to be conducted and implemented in the micro of their day-to-day operation, leading to efficiencies within the business strategy and operational move to video-on-demand content. For example, identifying and implementing that within the sped-up production process of multi-episodic work within the digital realm existing musical recordings and ‘STEMs’ (stereo-masters) of previous musical ‘cues’ can be edited/manipulated/rearranged/remixed to generated new cues with the same production aesthetic and thematic material, to solve last minute picture edits or additions. This allowed meeting the agenda of sped-up production and volume of underscore needed within shorter timeframes. Secondly, for myself, the placement was profound and has led to significant professional and personal development including being positioned in elite level production of the Major studio Hollywood entertainment industry. The placement has exposed and introduced me to industry leading operational practices, clientele, personnel, and a network of industry opportunities to further exploit, fast-tracking my development as a Composer within the film and television industries.

In addition, while I was in Los Angeles, I was able to utilise the access of industry operations, infrastructure, practice, and personnel, to reinforce my concluding PhD research in contemporary film music practice through a number of interviews with industry leading professionals, active participant observations, and site visits to world leading studios in both music and film production.  

This placement would not have been possible without the support of the NWCDTP and the opportunity and generosity from the placement provider. I can only reiterate how profound this experience was for my professional, personal, practical and research-based development, and I thank, wholeheartedly, those involved in facilitating this once in a lifetime opportunity.

James Peter Moffatt is a Composer and a PhD Candidate at the University of Liverpool.

Read the full story on James’ Researcher-Led placement here.

For information on the NWCDTP Placement Scheme and the Researcher-Led strand and how to apply, see here. We offer 1-2-1 coaching sessions to help you develop your desired placement project.