Interview: Ben Rosen and Evan Roberts for The Gunnery

Describe a typical day at work. Ben Rosen: We go back and forth with clients and advertisers about our commercial work and match music to videos.Evan Roberts: So one day we could be doing cow-herding music and the next day rock. Sometimes, we’re given open briefs where clients just say “make it good” and we come up with a series of samples.How do you figure out if a piece of music is a good fit for a film or commercial?BR: You can narrow it down by genre, like say a jazz track or rock track, and then you see if it feels right. Then, you compose a piece that fits within the genre.ER: It depends on the demographic. An ad for beauty products won’t have a heavy metal track. What’s the most challenging part of the job? ER: The clients don’t always say the right thing. They are not music experts and that’s where we come in. For example, sometimes they ask for very famous music pieces (there are copyright issues involved). We also have to be able to take criticism well and be objective.What do you listen to in your own time? BR: When I’m here I like to pump it up. But when I’m at home I listen to downbeat and mellow reggae.ER: Music from the ’70s because it brings back childhood memories.What advice would you give to people looking to get into the industry? BR: Watch a lot of movies and see how the sound design emphasizes certain parts of the film. Also, learn to play a few instruments and how to work a digital audio station.Hear some of Ben Rosen and Evan Roberts’ work The Gunnery website.