Universal Launches Initiative to Promote Diversity in Composition

Bird Karma Still 1 - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of DreamWorks Pictures

Among the top 250 grossing films of 2017, women comprised 3 percent of composers.

Universal has launched a new initiative to promote diversity in film composition. 

The studio's Global Talent Development & Inclusion group announced the Universal Film Music Composer Initiative, whose goal is to nurture novice composers that have had limited or no access to the studio production process.

The accepted composers will have the chance to work with filmmakers, executives and other talent from within Universal Pictures and Focus Features, as well as DreamWorks Animation, Universal 1440 Entertainment and Awesomeness.

The initiative follows the success of the previous inclusion effort, "Universal Film Music Composer Initiative: DreamWorks Animation," a partnership which debuted last fall. Composer Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum wrote and recorded the musical score for the animated short film Bird Karma, which kicked off DreamWorks Shorts.

Submission are now open for the pilot year of the Composer Intiative will once again be a partnership with DreamWorks Animation's shorts program.

“Alongside our inaugural partners at DreamWorks Animation, we take great pride in launching this groundbreaking initiative, one imagined to identify and empower a new generation of talent in the film-music-composer community,” said Mike Knobloch, Universal's president of global film music and publishing. “As we seek out underrepresented artists, this effort furthers our commitment to inclusion and championing voices that demand to be heard."

Composition remains one of the least diversified fields in filmmaking. Among the top 250 grossing films of 2017, women comprised 3 percent of composers, according to SDSU's Celluloid Ceiling report.