ReelCrafter co-founder Sam Hulick chats to Gilde Flores to find out how ReelCrafter fits into his workflow as a multi-genre composer and music producer. Plus, Gilde shares some pro tips on how the platform’s unique tracking features helped him secure his latest composer/music supervisor role on ’The Garcias’ (HBO Max).
Full transcript of the video interview is below.
Sam: Hey, this is Sam with ReelCrafter, and we’re here today talking with Gilde Flores about how he uses ReelCrafter to get work. Good to meet you.
Gilde: Excellent. Likewise. Pleasure’s mine.
Sam: So I’m going to start off and just ask you how long, roughly, have you been using ReelCrafter, and how did you discover it?
Gilde: Well, I’ve been using it probably since the first stretch of it going out. I discovered it randomly through, I believe, a friend of mine who is a fellow composer. (Josh, if I can shout Josh out.) But I saw his approach with it, and I was just like, ‘Whoa, what is this?’
At the time, I was fumbling, trying to find a good method that works to help present who I am and what I do, and I couldn’t really bring it down into one link instead of like a Dropbox or something like that. So moving forward, when I discovered [ReelCrafter], it was just a game changer, as they say. The availability to put your music up and a video and a bio, basically like a one-sheet. So it’s a game-changer for me.
Sam: And obviously, ReelCrafter is built for sending demo reels, but I know people use it in different ways, like different workflows that we didn’t necessarily think of. So how does ReelCrafter fit into your workflow as a composer? I guess including demos, but outside of demo reels, if you use it in different ways?
Gilde: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Well, I’ve been blessed to work in multiple genres. I do a lot of work for TV, film, a lot of visual media, but I also [work in] the recording industry as well. And with that, I’m able to create different links.
So I’ll have one basically, which is my industry reel, which I’ll pitch specifically with my work, and along with — I work under the producer Timbaland’s umbrella. So it’s easy for me to actually truncate and put these specific songs for specific pitches that I want to place on this playlist, send it out, and then keep track of when it’s been opened, how long, which song has been accessed, and fast forward, rewind. And it’s just got full control of what I want as a creator. It’s superb.
Sam: That’s awesome. Love to hear that. So the big question I want to get to is about this TV series you’re working on. So I heard you were asked to pitch for a reboot of a TV show called Brothers Garcia and they kind of re-titled it into The Garcias.Tell us a bit about that whole experience, like, how did they approach you and how the demo process worked out for you?
Gilde: Yeah, no problem. That was a very interesting story. And to sum it up (and to get all the good, interesting parts out) has a lot to do with ReelCrafter. And I’m not saying that because we’re sitting here talking.
I’m being straight, honest, and it’s like I’ve been working and building with a music supervisor who’s been an important part of my journey, and he just randomly, out of the blue said, ‘Hey, can you send me some stuff? I have a director that’s looking to do a show.’ He didn’t go into too much detail, but he was like, ‘It’s got tons of music of every genre, orchestration, EDM, Latin, just everything.’
So with ReelCrafter, I was able to just literally put everything into one sheet and separate it by playlist and by topic. So it made my part really confident because I didn’t have to send multiple links. It was like one link. And with this, I sent it out, and kind of just go back to life.
And then I get a call during dinner, literally, from an HBO Max producer looking for me. And so I call them back, and we end up going to the director and having a chat with the director, Jeff, and he mentions, ‘Hey, man, I love your presentation; it’s very professional. This one link here and I have...’ then he starts reading off everything in categories and listening to a little bit at a time and, ‘Oh, so I see you’ve done some stuff for the Wolverine. I’m actually a Marvel fan.’
He didn’t have to get distracted and click off, click on. It was just everything was in his face. So, yeah, I strongly believe ReelCrafter helped me land the gig because it just made me shine, man. So thank you again.
Sam: Yeah, of course. And there’s one thing I want to mention, too. You said you use the tracking feature. You sent the reel out, and you were able to tell what tracks they were really focused on, and then you edited the reel and added more tracks like that. That’s kind of like a cool Jedi mind trick that you can’t really do with other platforms. So how did that work? Did you add the tracks and then email back again, say, hey, I just added more stuff?
Gilde: No, I actually just kind of watched. When I watched the reel going, it had to go through a couple of people before it got to Jeff’s hands. So these post-producers were digging in, and I could tell which ones they were leaning more towards. And with that, I went ahead and uploaded some more in that genre specific.
So it gave me the upper hand because [composers] blindly send out pitches and kind of just wait for an email or some kind of [response]. Sometimes we don’t even get that. So this way, it gives us the upper hand because we’re able to see what they’re tinkering with, what they’re liking, if they downloaded anything, and just give them more of that without them having to even ask.
Gilde: And I had one Latin track, I believe, on there, and when I saw that they had downloaded it, that was an indication that, okay, that’s got to be a big part of whatever this is. So I threw up about five more, and they were downloaded immediately. So okay, man, throw the cannon at them. Throw everything I got, and literally [I added] about ten tracks, and they downloaded them. And yeah, it was cool.
Sam: I can’t help but wonder how the pitch would have been different. Like, if you’d used just Dropbox and just sent a zip file of tracks, like not being able to organize it or tell if they opened it or what they listened to.
Gilde: It would have been limited because it may be, in this world, it’s like a lot of the stuff we, again, don’t know what they’re looking for. They give us these trivial type things, briefs or what not, that we have to decipher and say, okay, well, these guys need more this, more that. And again, it’s just like, man, we know exactly what they’re aiming towards and even how long they listen to it.
And I remember one queue specifically. I know that it had like a pretty long intro, and it went into this whole spill. And then, towards the end is when this really dynamic part I wanted to show off happened. So when I saw that they were listening to things in that category, I actually went in and edited and brought [it in so it] starts in a specific area. Again, another tool that ReelCrafter offers. And sure enough, they went, and they listened to it, and they repeated it, and repeated it, and repeated it and downloaded it. So, yeah, I’m telling you, I’m excited. I get excited with this kind of stuff.
Sam: The snippet editor is a great way to direct their focus because maybe the track starts off on the wrong tone, it’s too slow-paced, and you want to jump them right into the main meat of the track.
Gilde: That’s the part I want to show off.
Sam: Right, exactly. That’s what sells you. Did your experience pitching for this project using ReelCrafter change your future approach to pitching?
Gilde: Oh, absolutely. The Garcias was amazing. It was my first full-on ten-episode series. It was probably about 32 to 36 cues an episode. And I was basically the music supervisor as well. I had a really rare instance where I got to wear multiple hats. But I was working directly with music editors, and I think for one [meeting], even the colorist popped in for a conversation. But even with the music editor, I know he’s got a subscription [to ReelCrafter] because I told him about it, and I sent him a link, and he was floored with it too. And this guy works like, on Desperate Housewives, worked on Friends back in the day. So I’m really hoping that I’ve sold it for him because he was so pumped about it, too. He was like, wow, man; this is awesome. And he kept [asking], what is it again? And then he texted me out of the blue, hey, what was that site again? So I knew you guys stuck with them.
Like I said, I became a vendor with like NFL and MLB and Universal, and every single one of them, Warner Chapel, every single one that I’ve gotten a hold of, I’ve done this ReelCrafter gig and again, anywhere I’m at, it alerts me through email. ‘Your reel was opened.’
So then I get on, go to the dashboard, check it out, and I knew exactly where I sent it to. So it’s cool because it allows you to again [see] specific links. And I knew when I sent something to Warner; they’re the only ones that could open it. And when it was accessed, I knew immediately. And then I did the same approach. Watch the dashboard; watch what they’re listening to more of. They’re in epic trailers? Throw five more epic trailers up by chance. So totally an upper hand.
Sam: Yeah, it’s a lot better than not knowing. Then do you follow up or not? Do you send an email? This way, you know, they just opened it. You might back off for like a few days and give them time to just kind of soak it in. But yeah, that’s really great.
Gilde: And then you do that follow-up. ‘Hey, just by chance, I was wondering if you opened that or if you got to check out the work?’
Sam: You know they opened it.
Gilde: [It’s] that upper hand, dude, it’s magic.
Sam: It is. That’s really cool.
Gilde: It’s like fortune-telling stuff.
Sam: That’s awesome.
Gilde: I love it, man.
Sam: Well, it’s great. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I really appreciate it, and I hope you land a lot more gigs using ReelCrafter.
Gilde: I will. And I’m the type that. Again, because I know that you all put your heart into this thing, so every time I do get a gig, don’t be surprised you get that DM on Instagram. “Hey man, thanks again,” because I’m going to be thanking you all forever.
Sam: Looking forward to that.
Gilde: Thank you, Sam.
Sam: Alright, awesome. Thanks. Take care.
Gilde Flores is an award-winning, Grammy-nominated, multi-genre musician/composer/producer. From composing HBO Max’s family series, The Garcias (a reboot of Nickelodeon’s hit series, “The Brothers Garcia”), additional music for feature films, such as “The Wolverine,” composing trailer music for a Triple-A titles, “Uncharted and Far Cry 4,” to being awarded “Best Score” for his work on a few independent films, and working under the Timbaland umbrella, Gilde has made his mark in the visual and multimedia arena and continues to be an aggressive force in the industry.