So Bad-Man-Incorporated brought up an interesting point in an earlier topic where somebody wanted to hire a producer for their Unity project. There was a bit of interesting debate in there which I feel could be beneficial to the young and aspiring producers here. Many of us were little fledglings here ourselves so I'm hoping by sharing my experiences and insights I can help others from making the many mistakes I, and many others, have made. I hope others will chime in as well.
First I would like to focus the discussion in terms of only working on hire on game and film projects. Independent music producers who want to pursue a career in creating albums and selling their own material is an entirely different beast.
Lets start with the first thing that comes up a lot.
How do you find work?
A: Work is everywhere you look. It really is, there is never a shortage of projects you could be a part of. You see those games on the front page on NG? Armor Games? Kongregate? King? All those games are produced by somebody. Every one of those has sounds and music.
By immediate extension, each and every one of those is a possible future gig/collaboration!.
The best and first bit of advice I give to the budders is you must be always pro-active! Never wait for somebody to find you because you could literally be waiting years. If you are serious about wanting to start a career half of this battle is legwork.
Talk to the developers! If there's a project you are sitting there going "man, I could have done better", then find their contact info and tell them something along the lines of "hey I was playing your game [name of whatever], and I really enjoyed it! I'm an audio producer and I feel like there's a lot of room for future collaborations between us. I would be super stoked if we could work together in a game! Here is some of my work to show you what I can do!"
Bam! You just extended an invitation to foster a working relationship. Some of my closest friends and long term business partners were born from this.
Word of mouth plays a big role in the next step. Once you've gotten a few gigs coming in and have a ongoing relationship with some people realize that your work reflects your potential. Developers do not recommend people who they feel is going to make them look bad. This flash game development eco system is very tight knit. It's much smaller then you would imagine. True there are thousands of them but you'd be super surprised how often I'd run into Developer A who worked with Developer B, who is my client.
It works on our end too. I don't recommend friends who I feel will not do a good job, because then Developer A is going to question my judgement and ability if I go around recommending sub par producers. So give every gig you get with 100% intensity. Even if it's just a tiny 3 sfx project, or a 30 second loop thing. If you agree to do it, then do it right.
So... so much more I can say. But I don't want to overwhelm everybody with a HUGE wall. I'd be very interested in hearing of other people's experiences, and i'd be more then happy to field any questions.