Emmy-nominated composer with a depth of experience and a fresh pair of ears.
I have written music and songs for hundreds of episodes of network TV shows, scores of TV commercials, and hours of music for online media; I've written themes, underscores, bumpers, and audio badges for projects ranging from feature films to podcasts.
In addition to the music-for-picture work I do on my own, I act as Music and Audio Director for hitRECord, the online collaborative production company founded by actor/writer/director Joseph Gordon-Levitt; In this capacity, I have produced, or led the production of, music for two seasons of our episodic TV show, live events, TV commercials, and album releases.
My most-notable credits lie in comedy, but by no means does that define my musical totality; I encourage you to have a listen to some music samples on my website: www.jeffsudakin.com
I'm eager to form new creative partnerships, and looking forward to ALL the great to come...for ALL of us : )
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Interview with Jeff Sudakin
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Ask again in a couple days, cuz it'll be something else!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to take your project seriously; To give it the truly professional attention I'm capable of giving it. I wouldn't have taken it on otherwise. Also: 'Reliability' is big with me: If I say 'x' will arrive at some specific time, you can count on it like the sun coming up in the morning.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: When do you need it?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure that the composer you're hiring is listening to you. There might be a "usual" musical way to approach your project, but you're hiring him or her to use music to convey what YOU want to convey, not to burnish their reel. Also: Run screaming from any composer who can only engage with you on matters of music in strict musical vocabulary and terms, and not more universal ones. As a composer, part of my job is to be an interpreter for filmmakers who might not know a tamboura from a tambourine, but who have a very specific idea or emotion they want to convey with a certain scene / line / character reveal. A good composer speaks with the director in the language they're most-fluent with.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been making music since first pecking out melodies on the piano at age 6. At the risk of sounding dramatic: It's simply clearly what I was put here on Earth to do. I'm just thankful that I discovered it early enough that I could develop it.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I've been accused of writing music that's more 'sophisticated' than it needs to be sometimes. Maybe *that*'s my style(?)
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't move forward until you know your current stage is truly finished-enough to support it. ie: Make sure your song is good before recording it; Make sure your basic tracks are solid before overdubbing onto them.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I will happily speak in genres and artist references with clients to help everyone understand each other; But in general, talk of 'genre' can really distract and confuse people, too...Especially if one or more parties is more of a filmmaker (or producer or actor or...) than a musician or composer. Also, I've been writing music for long-enough that there's really no genre I wouldn't find myself comfortable working in.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My resourcefulness; MacGuyver-level.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I'm very-much about 'measure twice, cut once'. I'll gladly spend an entire day staring at the wall with a pad of paper or a laptop, just THINKING about the best approach and procedure for a given score, counting out cues and assigning resources, before making any sounds. That allows me to do the actual composing and execution free from distractions or fear of going down blind alleys. This also gives me the opportunity to clearly elucidate my plans to my partners (that's YOU), so we all know what to expect and when to expect it.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I use a pro tools HD system with all the voices and DSP I need for any production I do. I have a small live recording area in which I can do a drum kit or a small ensemble of 4-5 people as needed. Orchestral samples come from East-West Quantum Leap, Hollywood Brass, and Native Instruments. I have a deep library of samples curated over a 25+ year career of making music professionally...Some of my old sounds are new again : )
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: At the risk of sounding trite: I don't have a 'most common' type of job. I've enjoyed creating sets of short bumpers for episodic productions as much as developing themes over time for over full-length features.