Universal Pushes for Women and Minority Film Composers With Diversity Initiative (Video)

Application period for 2020 Universal Composers Initiative opens Wednesday

The latest wave of Universal’s Composers Initiative to promote the advancement of women and people of color as film composers has opened its application period Wednesday, and the studio has released a highlight reel of some of the alums of the program who have already gotten jobs through the initiative.

The Universal Composers Initiative was created in 2018 in response to data that showed less than 3% of all film composers were women and people of color film composers were virtually non-existent in Hollywood.

In a new video teasing the success of the program, it was revealed that composer Amie Doherty, who scored Focus’ “The High Note” and a “Jurassic World” short called “Battle at Big Rock,” was hired to score an upcoming DreamWorks Animation film “Spirit Riding Free,” set to release on May 14, 2021.

Further, Orlando Perez Rosso scored the theme music for an NBC Sports show and was also hired for the restoration of two silent films at Universal. Two other female composers as part of the program were also hired to score short films at DreamWorks Animation.

The application for the latest submission period into the next wave of the two-year program can be found here, and the application period will be available through August 23.

The initiative launched as a one-year program through DreamWorks Animation in 2018 as part of Universal’s Global Talent Development and Inclusion (GTDI) department in partnership with the Film Music department. It aimed to identify up-and-coming and novice talent at various points of their creative journeys for music production opportunities across the studio.

Now as a two-year program, the initiative welcomes people from all creative and professional backgrounds, and admitted applicants will be able to have access to the studio and network process, compose actual work for Universal projects and get guidance from other executives, producers and directors.

The Composers Initiative compliments the studio’s programs dedicated to writers, directors and animation writers. Universal says that its GTDI has 100 alumni and current talent across all of their programs and initiatives, and 40% of them have secured production credits.