We had the good fortune of connecting with Tyler Rydosz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tyler, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
You may have heard that the music industry is cut-throat and extremely competitive – especially the film music industry. I experience this first-hand while going to school for music composition in Nashville, TN. I have heard many stories in which this statement is so true that it makes you sick to your stomach, but most outsiders never know the less-told flipside; by the nature of the profession, film composers can be the most personable and selfless people. Film composers rely on both mentorship and congeniality to “make it” in the industry. Due to this, there is a cycle of mentorship in which established composers give back by mentoring composers new to the industry. They freely give time for coffee meetings in which they crucial advice. Personally, this advice given to me has shaped how I select, negotiate, and score films. This has made all the difference for my career. It is tempting to think that composers get work based mainly on talent, but that is not true; directors and other composers will hire people that they enjoy talking to and can relate to on a personal level. When you work for another composer, you may be spending 60+ hours a week in their studio. If you can’t be a “good hang”, it’s going to be a bad time. In LA especially, everyone is talented, yet that skill alone does not cut it. I have found that these two attributes can shape the people in this industry to be very down to earth and a pleasure to work alongside.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My first taste of writing film music began in early high school. A friend of mine, Peter Campbell, heard some electronic music I was butchering in GarageBand and asked if I could score his short film. When we finished that film and I saw it all put together, I knew that this is what I would love to do for the rest of my life. That event spurred off this whole adventure – trying to write music for the big screen. I set off to study music in Nashville, Tennessee. Suddenly surrounded by incredible musicians, I began trying to incorporate live instruments into student films. Through trial and cringe-worthy error, I learned how to write for these instruments. Writing good compelling music is only half of the battle, but effectively scoring a film is a completely different animal. I left Nashville and arrived in Seattle after being accepted into Hummie Mann’s brainchild of a master’s program. By studying film scoring under a composer who had scored many of my favorite childhood films, I shaped and honed my craft. Still, at this point, I had no idea how to piece together a career. It was not until I moved to Los Angeles and met up with working alumni that I began to see a clearer picture. I was attending networking events, cold-calling, grabbing coffee, and assisting fellow composers for 60+ hours a week for that first year. By the end of it, I started to accumulate a handful of noteworthy credits. It seems pretty straightforward, right? Truth be told, there is nothing straightforward about this profession – it is still the “wild west” out here. However, I do believe that the skills needed to succeed can be learned. Over the years, I have made it a goal to learn these skills. The most important of which are: how to tell a story effectively through music, learning to translate the thoughts of a director into musical concepts, best negotiation practices, how to manage time, and lead a team. Along the way, you realize more and more that the real “talent” is the speed at which you can apply these skills. Listening to the most successful film composers, there is one point to which they all wholeheartedly agree: your focus should always be on the music, not the paycheck or the fame. It is by focusing on the music alone that you sustain a long and healthy career. This is what I seek to do in my own career; to write great music and serve the narrative – the rest is fluff.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I absolutely love Old Town Pasadena! There are so many great places to eat and chill. My wife and I frequently go on dates to the Congregation Ale House, Salt & Straw, and Sage Plant Based Bistro. If you are willing to drive a little bit out of town or if you live on the east side, downtown Claremont is charming. Claremont itself has a little bit of that college town feel and the pace is much slower than LA Proper. I would highly recommend their farmer’s market on Sunday mornings. Everyone has their favorite beaches, but I am partial to Newport Beach. Manhattan Beach is definitely a close second. Judie, our loveable pup, would beg to differ because she absolutely loves the Huntington Dog Beach.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people that have a continual presence in all of my successful endeavors. I am very aware of the fact that I would not be where I am without this support, love, and mentorship. First and foremost, my family has been my support through it all. My wife, Olivia, and our endlessly loving dog, Judie, provide me with daily encouragement. My parents, sisters, childhood friends in Chicago, and fellow composers here in Los Angeles have kept me honest and have been an endless source of motivation. I’d also like to give a shoutout to my mentors Dr. Hummie Mann, Philip Klein, and the late Dr. William Pursell. Their wisdom has guided my writing and career in such monumental ways. For that, I am so very grateful.
Other: IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm4015446/