Composer to Composer is a serie where John DelVento interviews intermediate-level composers and really picks their brains about the important and formative parts of their careers.


Episode 1: The Business

Mark Haas is an award winning composer for TV and film music based in Los Angeles, CA. He has collaborated with companies associated with networks such as ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, ESPN, Spike, Discovery Channel, History Channel, TLC and others.

Find Mark Haas @
Official Website


06:38 — “When did you decide to become a composer?”

09:30 — “Tell us about your career in college, and did you get any work? If so, how did you find work?”

11:25 — “Tell us about the music library industry and how important it is for composers.”

13:37 — “Have you ever find yourself having to balance another job with composing and if/when you made the switch to full-time composer?”

15:58 — “Talk about getting to and living in LA as a composer.”

20:03 — “Did you save up money before going?”

22:15 — “What are you doing to actively put yourself out and network both in person and online?”

23:30 — “Is it really important to network with composers?”

22:54 — “What skills do you think today’s composer needs to have?”

27:04 — “Would you recommend a composer to learn ALL of today’s big DAWs if they are trying to be an assistant?”

29:04 — “Regarding jobs, here is a scenario: if your career could go one of three ways (assuming they paid the same) which would you rather do — assist a big name composer, get a prominent position at a production company, or live off your first big job as a freelancer?”

33:00 — “More about credit, cue sheet credit, and royalties.”

36:54 — “What are the important business strategies for today’s composers — especially online?”

41:44 — “Do you send demos to labels and companies, and if so how should you?”

43:48 — “Tell us about some of your projects, especially in the beginning of your career.”

44:58 — “Tell us about your personal process of negotiating with directors and producers, even if they aren’t paying you and not in the same state as you.”

47:15 — “How do you receive, score, and resend video to directors in today’s age of technology. Also, mention your scoring process.”

50:18 — “What kind of hardware/software are you using?”

52:00 — “Do you plan on building a home studio now that you’re in LA?”

53:10 — “What kind of software and sample libraries are you using?”

59:56 — “There are so many composers today, and everyone seems to be using the same stuff …. So what does it take to set somebody apart, especially in LA?”

01:03:14 — “Tell us about your composing process, from thought to sheet music.”

01:07:02 — “How do you go from sequenced mockup to sheet music, since you don’t quantize your music?”

01:08:24 — “Elaborate more on composers going from MIDI to sheet music.”

01:09:49 — “How long does it take you to get to a complete written score?”

01:12:27 — “How do you work in Sibelius with notation?”

01:15:02 — “Today, is it becoming more necessary to know how to read sheet music and have a well-schooled music background to be successful in this field?”

01:18:31 — “What is your advice to an absolute beginner film composer or someone who is thinking about starting their career in this field?”

01:22:10 — “What would you say to a composer who is really trying to establish themselves, and maybe get out to LA and become more serious?”