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Universal Composers Initiative

Universal GTDI Composer - Orchestra

The Universal Composers Initiative is currently not accepting submissions. Please visit our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages for updates.

Launched in 2018, the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) Composers Initiative is designed to identify talent for music production opportunities throughout the film group, including, but not limited to, such business units as Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, and Universal 1440 Entertainment.  Access and awareness are the driving forces behind this unique initiative that will both expose up-and-coming and novice composers who have had limited or no access to the studio process and increase awareness of new talent among executives, producers and directors.

The first-of-its-kind initiative inclusively selects composers with the goal of discovering a new generation of underrepresented talent with unique sensibilities that are authentic to the studio's global sensibility. The initiative's activity is contingent upon available music needs within the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, and the parameters determined by GTDI. The range of potential opportunities encompass music for theatrical, television, home video and digital platforms. Assignments might include the pitch and "demo" of original material, "write to picture" for filmmakers working on upcoming releases, shadowing opportunities, collaborating with Film Music executives and developing a network of industry champions including NBC Universal executives across film, broadcast and cable, experienced composers, musicians and production staff.

Although a studio predetermined compensation will be provided for work completed, this is an "At-Will" initiative. As opportunities such as executive meetings, roundtables and/or events become available composers will have the option to participate on a voluntary basis. The submission period, initiative duration and compensation vary from installment to installment and will be determined by GTDI.

Universal GTDI Composer Page - Michael Abels






Submission Requirements

Applicants are required to submit the following and must complete each of the documents in their entirety.  Incomplete forms will result in disqualification.   


    • Release

    • Non-Disclosure Agreement

  3. RESUME - Outlining chronological education, training, employment history (may include entertainment and non-entertainment positions), professional experience and music-related honors/awards. Positions must have been held within the past 15 years.  Your résumé will provide us an understanding of your work history and insight to your individual life experience.  Two (2) pages or less.  For more information, please review the “Resume” section in the FAQ. 
  4. MATERIAL - via OneDrive, SoundCloud, or WireDrive link to original music (demos, mock-ups or proposals) composed by the applicant that demonstrates their style and capabilities.  Material can be audio-only OR clips with picture, but total running time should be no less than two (2) minutes and no more than 15 minutes for all material.  For more information, please review the “Material” section in the FAQ. 
  5. PERSONAL ESSAY - Required to capture the applicant’s unique personal story in a way that articulates his or her motivation, inspiration, goals and aspirations as a composer for visual media, as well as his or her perspective on multi-culturalism and inclusion. What influences have shaped your perspective on diversity and inclusion?  How does that perspective relate to your music?  What makes you unique and sets you apart from other composers? Stories may be based upon impactful life experiences such as a specific event, or a period of time and/or aspirations. Must not exceed 750 words.
  6. LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION (Optional) - From entertainment industry professionals who are familiar with the applicant's material and can comment on the applicant's ability are strongly encouraged, but not required. Acceptable letters must be on business or personal letterhead, dated in the current calendar year and include the author's title and/or industry affiliation. No more than two (2) letters per application will be accepted. Letters must accompany the submission and may not be submitted separately.  For more information, please review the "Letters of Recommendation" section in the FAQ.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must have unrestricted work authorization to work in the United States.
  • Minimum age of 21.

  • Applicants must be the sole owner of any material submitted, which must be wholly original. Material from composer teams will not be accepted.
  • Applicants must be independent composers, with or without representation, who have some direct, credited professional experience and/or those who have worked in a support role (e.g., orchestrator, programmer, etc.) with a professional composer having produced credits in film (theatrically released) or in TV (broadcast or commercially released).   Completion of a known film-scoring program (e.g. Sundance or ASCAP workshop) can substitute for above credit requirements.

    Applicants who have composed two or more theatrically released films in the U.S. within the past five (5) years are not eligible.
  • All candidates are required to submit a completed Application in order to participate in the Initiative.

Any candidate who does not meet the aforementioned criteria will be disqualified.

Submission Period

The submission period for the initiative varies and is contingent upon parameters determined by GTDI.  Also, because the initiative revolves around project availability and production timelines, the studio cannot commit to yearly installments. Applications are only live on this site when the submission period is open. Announcements about when applications will be accepted are announced publicly via GTDI’s social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).


Due to the volume of submissions received, those not accepted will not be notified.  Please check our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for updates.  

Typically, finalists are contacted one month following the close of the application with Program selections announced shortly thereafter.