The InMICS Composers Lab is a European project that gather three (film) music festivals from Belgium (Film Fest Gent), France (Festival International du Film d’Aubagne) and Poland (Krakow Film Music Festival). The three festivals are involved in an educational partnership of four higher artistic institutions which developed the two-year master’s degree InMICS, represented by the Lyon Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse. Together they decided to share their knowledge and experiences and join forces in order to build an intensive training programme that will be integrated into this new master’s programme: the InMICS Composers Lab.

The idea grew out of previous collaborations between these institutions and other film festivals and more in particular out of a successful collaboration supported by the Erasmus+ programme which led to the creation of the InMICS programme. Throughout this previous partnership, the partners identified and analysed specific challenges and needs for young composers for screen. The festival partners observed that artistic excellence is not enough to forge an international career as a music composer for screen working at an international level.

This is why the professional partners decided to back the academic InMICS master’s programme with a training programme to respond to the challenges that the new generation of composer for screen will face. During this training programme, the participating composers will further develop and learn skills through masterclasses and training sessions given by international professionals and workshops with audio-visual artists at each festival. They will learn about the particular features of the international audio-visual (co-production) market and gain access to professional opportunities by participating in cross-border networking activities.

The students will be able to follow this in-depth training by travelling to the three participating festivals (Festival International du Film d’Aubagne in March, Krakow Film Music Festival in May and Film Fest Gent in October) over the course of the two-year master’s programme, meeting each other for collective workshops, masterclasses and networking activities.

The InMICS Composers Lab programme is built around five main topics:

  1. First steps into the industry: during this series of masterclasses and workshops, professional experts teach several theoretical topics concerning the business side of composing for screen. They will explain all about the legal and administrative part of the job.
  2. Artistic collaboration between composer, director, sound designer and editor: the creation of original music is a very important component of the audio-visual creation. In order to stimulate the artistic symbiosis of music and images, the composer is best included from the very beginning of the creative process.
  3. Recording music for audio-visual projects: several international experts will introduce the InMICS students to the realities of contracting, conducting and music supervision. The students will have the opportunity to record (a part of) their composition during a hands-on workshop.
  4. Innovation – composing for new visual media and/or how new technologies (can) influence your composition: nowadays we are surrounded by a growing number of audio-visual media of different types. The boundaries between productions for film, series, virtual reality, 360° experiences and interactive web documentaries are fading. It is important that ‘screen’ composers have an open mind towards this great diversity of audio-visual media.
  5. The industry today: by participating in panel discussions, young screen composers will be updated about the recent evolutions of the constantly changing and challenging audio-visual production industry.

At each festival, the InMICS students will participate in several networking opportunities such as matchmaking sessions, the 3rd Character programme and other networking activities with several cultural actors within the film music industry (both emerging and established composers, filmmakers and producers, agents, publicists, orchestrators), which helps them to build a network as early as possible.

The InMICS Composers Lab is supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, and was launched during the 45th edition of Film Fest Gent in 2018.