This year marks the final year that multi award-winning film composer Guy Gross will oversee both the Screen Music Awards and also the careers and interests of Australian screen composers.

A tireless advocate of the screen music industry, Guy Gross is a recipient of the APRA/AGSC International Achievement Award and President of the Australian Guild of Screen Composers. While he’s guest lectured at AFTRS and the Sydney Conservatorium, he is perhaps more widely known as the composer of BAFTA nominated score to the international hit The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Over his more than 30-year career, and during his time as AGSC President, Guy Gross has seen the screen music industry change dramatically to accommodate a new wave of digitally-minded creators. In the opinion piece below, Gross details those changes, and his wishes for the industry moving forward.

I am proud to say that beside my recent Presidency, I have been involved in the AGSC since its reformation some 30 years ago.

Obviously we’ve all seen a great deal of change over this time specifically from a technological point of view, but also from a broader craft perspective.

Whilst there still exists “good old fashioned film scoring”, a great deal of work our members are involved with falls well outside what was once considered an essential and normal part of film/tv making. That is; conventional, thematic, melodic, live, homogeneous, well budgeted and well directed story driven underscore. Today our composers are as likely to be composing pop tune sound­a­likes, ambient soundscapes, synthetic orchestral cues and loop and sample based underscore, often for disparate screen sequences for an enormous variety of screen based entertainment.

In some ways it’s an exciting time for the fact that there are so many professional paths a screen composer can take, whilst it’s lamentable that the original craft and skill set is so often not required. Of course there are lovely exceptions. Andrew Urban makes a great listening list with his “20 of the best” article for ScreenHub recently.