Film Arranger

Create the perfect soundtrack for a film.
picture of Film Arranger

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$22,000 – $85,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Film Arrangers do?

Adding a touch of music to a movie can kick up the emotional volume and move the audience to laugh, cry, or scream with fear. The Director can hire a Composer to write the music for each and every scene, but this task can take months to complete. That’s where a Film Arranger comes in. A Film Arranger can help speed up the process by making structural changes to music that has already been written.

When you’re a Film Arranger, the Director presents you with rough footage of the film, along with a recording of the existing music. Sometimes, you work with new music that a Composer has crafted for the film. Other times, you work with music that has been generated for some other purpose.

While you watch the footage flicker by, you make notes about when the music should start and stop, and you think about how it should be altered to fit each scene. Pulling out one melody and arranging it for a solo violin can make the scene seem haunting and sad. Restructuring the main melody and arranging it for kazoos can add a sense of whimsy.

When you’re through with your brainstorming, you create musical scores based on your notes. Often, you create a rough draft of the score using your computer. Then, you play your score for the Director and Musical Director, making sure the entire piece meets their expectations.

Audiences sometimes love the music so much that they want to own their own copies of the score. When this happens, you may adjust the recorded music once more to create one long piece that contains all of the variations you created.


Should I be a Film Arranger?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Film Music Adapter

    How to become a Film Arranger

    Film Arrangers often have an Associate's degree or higher. Chart?chd=s:59a2ja&chl=no+college+%2824%25%29|certificate+%2826%25%29|associate%27s+%2811%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2823%25%29|master%27s+%2815%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,24,26
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