A current student of AMS Online has recently been offered an exciting deal to compose music for a film by William Friedkin, the American “New Hollywood” director, best known for The French Connection and The Exorcist.
Mik Davis, who is studying with AMS Online for a BA Hons in Music Production, spoke with us recently about his career progression since AMS, revealing exciting new plans to produce his first feature length film score for an independent film, financed by Universal Studios and produced by a Lancashire based film and media company.
The opportunity shortly after Mik completed his final ‘Production Project’ with us, submitting three tracks he used on this very assignment to the film company, who made him an offer within days. He’s had to keep stum about the films title, but he can certainly tell us a lot about how he got there.
See Mik’s piece for us below.
“Having worked in the music industry as a musician and music producer for the last fourteen years (at varying levels), I have had many wonderful and rewarding experiences, whether on stage or in the control room.
In recent years I had fallen out of love with performing and music production, this was mostly due to the simple fact that the music industry is a hard industry, and it’s increasingly difficult to earn a living from an industry, that changes so rapidly from day-to-day, where geographical location and expensive equipment is key to ‘getting ahead’ – or so I thought.
Instead, I chose to pursue a split career as a person-centred counsellor and as a tutor, teaching ESOL English – both rewarding experiences, both very far away from music.
An opportunity arose September 2018 when I was offered a BA Hons in Music Production (fast-track) with AMS, based on the vast portfolio I had built over the years, this meant that I entered as a non-traditional student and only had to complete the third and final year.
At first, I was cynical as to what I would get out of the course? Whether I would learn any new skills? Or if I even needed the degree at all?
In fact, it wasn’t until I recently completed the course where I could reflect and see how much I had actually gained and developed over the academic year.
Firstly, the course allowed me to submerge myself in music and creativity for a whole year. As a result of now completing the course, I have managed to re-establish my own music career as a producer and found my passion for music once more. I have a legitimate music studio ‘Atelier Noir’, which was developed as part of the ‘Independent Study’ assignment, without this assignment and the criteria I had to meet I would never have been able to realise my full potential as a producer and that producing music wasn’t about money, geographic location or owning expensive equipment – instead it was about producing good work, being enterprising and creative with the space and the equipment I had built up (no matter how dated), focusing on the unique selling point of the studio and myself as a producer, also entertaining a variety of recording opportunities that were offered and available on a day-to-day basis.
This approach has lead to securing a number of avant-garde recording sessions, that I would usually not have entertained, this includes producing a concept album for international best-seller Joanne Harris (Chocolat) and her progressive folk band ‘Storytime’ – I’ve also taken on a permanent contract recording voiceovers for and organisation called Gatehouse Awards for their international ESOL speaking and listening qualifications, although this project isn’t music based I have enjoyed the editing process and helped the organisation to build a library of recordings.
Furthermore, the most exciting news came May 2019 when I was offered a contract to produce my first film score composition for an independent movie financed by Universal Studios and produced by a Lancashire based film and media company, this opportunity came after submitting the tracks created and produced as part of my final ‘Production Project’ assignment. I submitted three tracks created as part of my final assignment for AMS – the film company pretty much got back to me the next day with an offer. I cannot disclose the title of the movie as I’m bound under strict confidentiality regulations – but I’m looking forward to writing and producing this project.
I would highly recommend AMS to any music producer of any age and level, who’re looking to focus on a music project and build a body of work – ok, so the writing elements of the course can be tedious at times, I personally found the written assignments particularly frustrating, but overall, the pros of completing this degree outweighed the cons. AMS have a great team of mentors that offer lots of sound advice, help and support throughout the academic year – my own mentors Robin and Kimwei were extremely helpful, encouraging and were always at hand with a solution, should any question or problem arise.
To conclude and reiterate, completing this degree has certainly helped me to realise my own potential and to identify areas for improvement and further development. For the first time in four years, having rediscovered my love and passion for music, I’m once again optimistic about the future, my own music career and where it may lead.”