One of the best parts of being in Columbia’s Music Composition for the Screen MFA program is the internship in LA. Every student spends their fifth semester learning and interning in LA. Benjamin Moy, a 2012 graduate, shares his experience interning with Lorne Balfe at Hans Zimmer’s Remote Control.
What were your specific responsibilities?
I did anything and everything that was asked of me. Sometimes I generated parts for overdub sessions (for Assassin’s Creed III—I’m actually credited for score preparation), and other times I would run various errands. I also helped with grunt work, such as setting up rigs.
What are two top things you learned while there?
I learned that, in order to succeed in this business, one has to compose a lot and compose FAST. I sat there amazed as Lorne wrote a complex 2-minute piece in half an hour! (It was quite spectacular.) I also learned that one must make a lasting GOOD impression to not just the composer but also the assistants and the other interns. The more people like you, the better your chances in this industry.
How much interaction did you get with the composer?
I should note that Lorne was in London half the time I was there, working on the soundtrack for The Sweeney. Despite this, I had a fair amount of interaction during his time in Los Angeles. He went out of his way to have discussions with me and allowed me to watch him compose. (Unlike a lot of other composers, he thrives on having people watch him work.)
My name is Benjamin Moy, and I am a media composer. I chose to pursue media music composition because I feel strongly that the marriage of image and sound creates extraordinary experiences and pushes the boundaries of the way we each experience life. The instruments I play are the trumpet, the piano, and Logic Pro. I obtained my Bachelor of Musical Arts Degree from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana and my Master of Fine Arts in Music Composition for the Screen from Columbia College Chicago. I have scored projects of varying lengths and complexities. Following my time as an intern under Lorne Balfe, I have moved to Los Angeles, California to further my career.
Thank you so much for your valuable perspective on the internship. We appreciate you taking time on Marginalia to talk about it! Good luck to you in LA. If any of you readers are interested in connecting with him, head on over to his website and take a look at his work or shoot him an email!
One of the best parts of being in Columbia’s Music Composition for the Screen MFA program is the internship in LA. Every student spends their fifth semester learning and interning …