We had the good fortune of connecting with Joep Sporck and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joep, how do you think about risk?
I took a risk of choosing this career as a film/tv composer to begin with. It is not a steady job at all, sometimes you are out of work, and sometimes it’s just way too much at once. With (almost) every new job a composer needs to pitch a demo first before being even considered to be hired. This happens for both film and tv, as for trailers and commercials. We composers put in a lot of work, knowing that we might not end up actually getting the job, which is a big risk, but a necessary evil that comes with this line of work.
At first I was always very anxious and stressed after I sent in a pitch for a project, but after going through so many rejections (and successes), you can put these things more in perspective. I just make sure I present my very best work for each pitch, and then try to forget about it until I hear back.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a composer for film & TV you are always in service of the story; it is nót about your music. In the beginning this can be tough. Some times you need to go through many rounds of versions before the right one is chosen by both you and the director. It sometimes might feel like a waste of time and energy, but I found out it is not. With every version of your musical composition you grow as an artist. Even if all the declined versions of the musical score are now somewhere on your harddrive eating dust, they did help you to write that version that made it into the film.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of my favorite things to do in LA is to hike in the Angeles National Forest; hike up to Sunset Ridge Trail, take the Dawn Mine Loop and so many more. The gardens at The Huntington Library are a regular spot to stroll and relax. Such an inspiring place and, during COVID, a way to escape. The Getty museum is an amazing experience, for art, gardens, architecture and a great view. Again a good way to escape the busy city life. Another favorite to feel the local vibes of LA is to visit the amazing farmers’ markets; the South Pasadena, Altadena and the Hollywood farmers’ markets are some of my favorites.
- Maestro in Pasadena; Mexican cuisine with a modern twist and epic cocktails (Mezcal Campfire!).
- A new French restaurant opened last year in Pasadena, “Perle”. Coming from Europe, I can guarantee that this restaurant serves the real deal; French food.
- The very best bread we found so far is made with love by Seed Bakery, the best bread and pastries.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
In 2018 I moved to LA from The Netherlands. A huge and risky step. My friends at ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) were such a big help in finding my way here in the US. I applied for their Film Scoring Workshop and was selected in 2019. This program allowed me to make many new connections and I got the opportunity to conduct and record my music with a big orchestra at the Newman Stage at 20th Century Fox in LA. ASCAP definitely jumpstarted my career as a composer in Hollywood.
Pictures by: Rob Oostwegel, Harry Heuts, Salvador Ochoa