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Production Production

Universal Film Music
Composer Initiative

Universal GTDI Composer - Orchestra

The application period for the 2018 Universal Film Music Composer Initiative: DreamWorks Animation Installment has closed as we have reached our submission capacity. Please visit our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates.

Launched in 2018, the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) Film Music Composer 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 yearly Initiative will inclusively select composers with the goal of discovering a new generation of talent with diverse and unique sensibilities that are authentic to the studio's global sensibility. Each year a new installment will feature an assignment relevant to a designated UFEG unit, the range of which encompasses music for theatrical, television, home video and digital platforms.  Potential assignments include the pitch and "demo" of original material for short films and feature films, "write to picture" for filmmakers on upcoming film releases, shadowing opportunities, working closely with music production staff from development to delivery, and collaborating with musicians and production personnel to create final scores.

Through mentorship opportunities with creative and production studio executives, and shadowing studio sessions, the Initiative will expose selected composers to the multi-faceted scoring and production process.

Universal GTDI Composer Page - Michael Abels

To enhance the composers' efforts to develop a media music career, Universal Film Music executives will strive to expand the artists' network of champions by facilitating introductions to a wide range of industry professionals.

Project duration and compensation will vary and are contingent upon the business unit's specific needs. For more detailed information about the current installment, please refer to the Initiative application which will only be available during the designated application period.

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 DropBox, 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

Applications will be accepted through April 15 2018, or until 100 eligible applications are received, whichever comes first. Applications received after 11:59 p.m. PST April 15, 2018 or received after the first 100 eligible applications, will not be processed.  A copy of the Application can be accessed here


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

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