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Composer Demos: The Art of Rejection

Austin Wintory (Composer, Independent)

Jason Graves (Composer, Independent)

Garry Schyman (Composer, Independent)

Sarah Schachner (Composer, Independent)

Location: Room 3006, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 18

Time: 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core+Summits Pass, Core Pass, Audio Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Audio

Format: Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

Five Composers (Austin Wintory, Gareth Coker, Garry Schyman, Jason Graves and Sarah Schachner) will bring to light the realities of the composer demo process, with a specific emphasis on the MANY times they have each been rejected. For the first time, rejected demos will be played and analyzed and in some cases, compared with the winning demo composed by another member of the panel. The conversation will cover the emotional and professional aspects of rejection, as well as the more controversial aspects of this practice (such as accepting unpaid demos, as well as undertaking large expenses in the process).


This talk will shed light on the common-yet-rarely-spoken-of practice of composer demos. It is intended the audience will learn the professional reasons for and against this practice, the realistic production levels required, and gain an insight into the professional and emotional aspects of having this work rejected.

Intended Audience

All composers or game audio professionals are welcome; there are no prerequisites. This talk is likely most useful to those just starting, and particularly for those lacking in a realistic sense of what is expected of their demos.