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Orchestra Contractors “cast” Musicians for feature films. They’re a lot like Casting Directors. Arguably one of the most powerful people in Hollywood, a Casting Director makes all the choices for movies about which Actors get cast in which roles. An Orchestra Contractor does that, too, but with Musicians instead of Actors.
After all, films don’t come prepackaged with Musicians. When you’re making a movie, everything — from scripts to sound effects to scenery — must be assembled and built from scratch, including the music that plays in the background during scenes, called a “film score.” As an Orchestra Contractor, you’re paid to choose for the Film Composer the Musicians who play the film score when it’s recorded, either in a recording studio or scoring stage. More simply put, then: You build cinematic orchestras.
Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that. Picking performers requires a highly developed eye — and ear — for talent. You spend a lot of time conferring with the Composer to find out what types of Musicians he or she wants, then combing through your list of contacts (which you’ve painstakingly assembled over the years by attending performances, reading reviews, holding auditions, and networking with industry insiders) to find the best fits based on factors such as talent, experience, temperament, and availability. Then, of course, it’s up to you to handle scheduling, contracts, etc.
Basically, you’re a Matchmaker between Musicians and Film Composers: It’s your job to pair them up and send them on dates to recording studios!