Universal Opens Submissions For 2021 Inclusive Composers Initiative

Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG)’s Global Talent Development & Inclusion (GTDI) has officially opened submissions for its yearly Composers Initiative. Applications will be accepted starting today through August 23.

GTDI teamed with Universal’s Film Music department for the Composers Initiative which was launched in 2018. The first of its kind, the Initiative set out to identify up-and-coming and novice talent at various points of their creative journeys for music production opportunities across the Studio and its wide industry network. The Composers Initiative comes at a time when the Hollywood landscape demands more representation from underrepresented voices in front of and behind the camera. The Initiative seeks to find artists from both traditional and unconventional backgrounds that possess unique, global perspectives they can translate into distinctive musical expressions.

The Initiative was originally a one-year program launched with DreamWorks Animation and has since been upped to two years. Participants will now be exposed to more potential opportunities and have more time to develop key industry relationships. Those in the program will have unparalleled access to the studio and network process, while the GTDI team increases the awareness of this underrepresented talent among NBCUniversal’s vast network of executives, producers and directors, leading to additional industry connections and mentors.

Alums from the first year of the Composers Initiative included Amie Doherty who worked on Focus Features’ musical feature The High Note directed by Nisha Ganatra and starring Tracee Ellis Ross and Dakota Johnson. She also worked on the Jurassic short film Battle at Big Rock directed by Colin Trevorrow. Doherty has recently been chosen to score DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Riding Free feature which is slated for a May 14, 2021 release. In addition, Orlando Perez Rosso scored the theme music for an NBC Sports show and worked on two silent films for Universal’s film restoration program. Two female composers from the program scored short films for DreamWorks Animation.

Since GTDI’s launch in 2017, the department has created and cultivated programs and initiatives that have led to real institutional change across the studio and throughout the industry. GTDI’s talent development work also includes the Universal Writers Program, Universal Directors Initiative and Universal Animation Writers Program. GTDI now has nearly 100 alumni and current program and initiative talent with 40% having secured production credits. 50% of the produced credits are within NBCUniversal.

Watch the video about the Composers Initiative above. Applications for the Composers Initiative can be found here.

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