When Chad Rehmann moved to Los Angeles, the 2003 Michigan State University graduate knew making it in the music industry would take plenty of determination and perseverance.
Eight years later, Rehmann has been selected as one of 12 candidates to participate in the 2011 American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Film Scoring Workshop.
The event features Richard Bellis, an ASCAP board director and film scorer who composed the Emmy-winning score for the TV miniseries “It,” adapted from the Stephen King novel. The workshop exposes the participants to the kind of resources traditionally afforded to Oscar-winning composers, along with advice, experience and access to industry professionals.
Rehmann will get his chance to direct a 60-piece orchestra in a recording session on a Los Angeles soundstage, he said.
“There is a three- to four-minute movie clip that we get to write and record for with a large orchestra,” he said. “It will be a good tasting — we get to write, orchestrate and record some of the material.”
A native of St. Johns, Rehmann has a degree in composition and music theory. Although he’s now reaping the rewards of his hard work, Rehmann says he had to continuously motivate himself to keep his dream afloat in the face of many discouragements over the years.
“(It’s a) humbling experience, sending out hundreds and hundreds of demos and sometimes not hearing back from people,” he said. “I could maybe make 200 phone calls and maybe get two or three people to respond.”
Rehmann continued to compose and began to feel more confident in his talent after writing the score to his first TV movie, the ABC Family network’s “The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation,” which aired last year.
“It was the first time I could call my family and friends and say, ‘Listen to what I did,’” he said.
Rehmann’s other recent credits include the feature film “Abandoned,” with Brittany Murphy, and the Lifetime Movie Network’s “Next Stop Murder.”
Rehmann applied to the ASCAP program five times; he was accepted on his sixth attempt.
“I worked so hard trying to get in that (program), when I actually got in there was a little anxiety,” Rehmann said. “It’s such a big world and such a big experience to walk into.”
While working his way up the ladder with compositions for student films and low-budget independent productions, Rehmann also bussed tables to maintain a steady income during his first two years in Los Angeles, he said.
“It’s been a process,” he said.
“It was working toward a goal and reaching the goal. Everything that I went through over the last eight years is all of a sudden starting to be worth it.”
Rehmann’s future plans include simply doing what he loves.
“Your job is making music,” he said. “Your job is absolutely something you love doing, and if it wasn’t your job, you’d be doing it anyway.”