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Oticons Faculty

"You are the Music while the Movie lasts"

paraphrased T. S. Eliot

The most innovative film music competition in the world that focuses on Quality in Film Music and calls for all the undiscovered talented artists to finally get heard and discovered!

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you still need explanations about the contest, here are your answers!

F.A.Q.

Now, this is a question we had to answer a lot in the past, especially in our inaugural edition back in 2014. But after so many successful years the result speaks of itself. Everyone is praising the Oticons Faculty as a contest with a unique angle on its Assignments and Awards, an ambitious objective to re-invent film music by discovering the most truly talented film composers in the world that were undiscovered till now.

The Oticons Faculty team still passionately holds the belief that indeed this is by no means “one more film music competition”. We feel that this is a mission and a calling that raises awareness of quality in music but also contributes to shaping-up a bright future for the film music world. If you want a more detailed reply to this question you can read our Mission Statement.
The registration fee represents the service we offer and that the big winners of the previous years have praised in their Testimonials. It represents the truly unique opportunity we give to talented artists for their music to be heard, evaluated and receive Feedback by an ensemble of established working film music professionals. Many of them already, by simply registering to our contest, have enjoyed invaluable mentoring and assistance in their careers. The Oticons Faculty gives a major chance to every participant to develop its skills, and eventually make the next step in the film music industry by winning any of the awards.

Now, upon successful registration every participant acquires an automatically generated unique registration ID. Save this Registration ID since it will be your login password to the submission platform!!!
If registering by credit card or PayPal is not an option for you, then in this case you should simply email us at submit@oticons.com and we will get back to you with the bank transfer details and instructions about how to proceed with the wire bank transfer.
You cannot share the music you composed for the contest's assignments before (a) we announce the top20 finalists that qualify to the 2nd Round and you are not among them or (b) if you are among the top20 finalists, before the accouncement of the winners happens. Typically, every year in the first few days of April we announce the grand winners and the Top10. From that moment on every participant can share his music in any way he/she wants. The reason you shouldn't be sharing it before that point, is because the voting is anonymous, which is the very reason we provide you with a unique registration ID! Your entry's validity will be compromised the moment your music will be attached to your name! So please refrain from sharing your works before the contest is officially completed!
The Submissions Platform for the Assignments' files to be uploaded is enabled annually on January 1st, when also the Early Bird Registration period concludes. Also, given the number of assignments and the expected high number of participants, it would be wise not to leave this till the last minute. An upload of your files within reasonable time before the deadline of February 28th, will be very much appreciated!

The deadlines are pretty strict. Once the page where you need to login & upload your files gets closed, you cannot upload them anymore! So please double-check you have your deadline right based on your timezone! (click for a TimeZone Conversion here)
Sure you can. But as you’ll see in the registration form, you are asked to fill in the details of only one person. This also means that if you are indeed one of the finalists that will win any of the Awards, then only the composer who registered with his own name will be eligible to enjoy them, in particular the attendance of the festivals.
In brief, the participant-composers will retain 100% the ownership of all compositions they will submit to the Competition. What might seem confusing as stated in the Official Rules, is the part that we ask the right to "exploit in perpetuity and for all media" (typical Legal language in English) the music - i.e. to grant us the license to use the submitted compositions in respect with the given assignments, awards and promotional activities of the Competition. This will allow us to use them within the Competition's structure: e.g. to share them with the jury on our online platform, use them for promotional purposes, place them on Soundcloud, etc. Other than these purposes Oticons won't have the right to use them in any way, commercially or otherwise. Unless we'll contact the finalists specifically regarding the Oticons Sync Catalogue, the composers will always be the sole owners of their music.
There is some flexibility about the requested duration but not much. The challenge is not only to create beautiful music but also within the duration limitation we give you (60'' for the first two assignments and 90'' for the third one). If a cue you create is not exactly that duration, but shorter or longer by max. 10'', that is acceptable and won't affect the jurors. If it is more than that then it will be interpreted as a weakness to tackle the challenge and affect your final rating. The more precise you are, the better!
Never. No names or other info are ever disclosed to the jury members. As stated right before, the participants’ compositions that the jury will listen to and vote for on the online voting platform will only be identified by each participant’s unique Registration ID. Only when the TOP-10 finalists and Winners will be announced, will the jury members find out their names.
If the participant-composer is also the one who will make the orchestrations then he/she has to mention their unique Registration ID instead of their name. If there is someone else who will make the orchestrations instead of the participant composer, then they should leave empty the "name" field on the score sheet . As for the CV, this is only accessible by the President of the Jury and only taken into account (if at all) during the deliberation process of the 2nd Round.
Undoubtedly, Orchestration is part of Composition. But we are aware that numerous talents although they're very good composers they don't prefer to orchestrate themselves, usually because they consider it an art of its own.

The main reason of asking for the score sheets is to make the assignments, even more, challenging. Even if you'll outsource this work and ask for help, it is still part of the "exercise" that might even lead you to learn something new and beneficial for you in the process. The Jury always looks at the score sheets while listening to the music but their final decision is not too affected by the orchestrations... except if they are truly brilliant. Last, we are only asking for the full score, the Conductor's Score in A4 PDF format, not all separate parts!
It is only natural that not all composers own all the right digital tools or are fluent to work with the sample libraries. What matters first and foremost to our contest though are the ideas, not their production. However, it's best not to rely solely to your notation software's inherent samples. You don't need to deliver impeccably sounding demos, but in all the years of the contest, "decent enough" sampling that help the ideas to be heard clearly, is better for any contestant's entry because the jury understands very clearly every single note and layer and gesture.

Approach the task of composing for our contest's Assignments, as if you were asked by a real filmmakers to send them your demos for their real project. Think of it as if your selection to score their project was counting on the demos you delivered. Our advice is to get some help from a good virtual orchestra programmer. Outsource this kind of technical work to someone more experienced and learn from them.

Still what matters most are the core ideas, the core elements of your compositional thinking and creativity!!!
The answer to this dilemma, without getting into too much detail to confuse you, lies in the answer to the following question: do the instruments you have in mind also qualify as strings? If the answer is "no" then you're not allowed to use them at all. This includes marimba, glockenspiel, bells etc. If the answer is "yes" (e.g. piano, harp, guitar, etc.) then you can use them. But with one rule in mind: do not generate percussive effects or use them with your hands like percussions (e.g. take the cellos or guitars and hit them to create percussive sounds). This isn't allowed and it will disqualify you.
No electronic instruments mean no purely electronic sounds. Of course we are NOT requesting from the participant-composers to record real string instruments! They're welcome to do so if they do have that possibility. Otherwise, all assignments should be completed with whatever composing, orchestrating, sequencing and programming or other (if any) recording capabilities each composer has available. Remember, this is a task that composers need to prove the writing skills exclusively for strings. So we need to hear string sounds, sampled or real, whatever every composer can produce.
Well, no one can really stop you from taking out of the drawer old works and revising them for the competition's assignments. Nonetheless it will be extremely appreciated and most certainly a very helpful exercise for you, to make something new and fresh just for us. As long as there is no violation of rights or any kind of copyright infringement in the compositions you will submit, then you are free to work for the Assignments as you see best. But don't forget that if they are existing works most probably the jury will figure it out; especially if there are fade outs or the duration of the submitted cues won't match the requested limited duration of each assignment.
No!!! This is something you should be very careful with! (not to do) The platform allows you to upload all your files for Round One only once!!! Make sure you have completed all three assignments and the respective files are within the right specifications before uploading. Once the upload of all materials for the first three assignments will be completed and validated your login will be locked! So be careful and don't be hasty! Read the Specifications for more details.
Actually you are only limited to not to use vocals in Assignment #2. Therefore, since the specs of the other assignments don't prohibit you from this then you can of course use vocals any way you see fit.
For Round #1 each jury member accesses the Oticons Faculty online voting platform to listen to the submitted compositions of all participants. There they vote and write notes on each composer's "Listening" page. All rates and notes are gathered and upon deliberation among all jury members with both the President and the Administrator of the Jury, the final list of the TOP-20 Finalists that qualify is solidified.

For Round Two the jury members will listen again to all the submitted compositions of the TOP-20 Finalists and cast their vote, again on the online voting platform. They include personal notes for the 4th Assignment here as well. Lastly, after a new deliberation and due consideration of all the votes, the names of the final TOP-10 winners will be announced.
Oticons Faculty is a contest that aims to discover amazingly talented people from every corner on the globe, and give them the chance for their music to be heard by renowned film music artists and professionals: in extent the winners are put under the industry's spotlight in major film music events. This is an opportunity to evolve personally and as professionals through the interaction with established professionals of the industry and we do offer to the composers we discover any kind of help with can: we do indeed invest time to mentor and give legal and other professional advice. Ask the previous Winners & Finalists and you'll discover how much we helped them already. However, none of these actions should be interpreted in any way that our talent agency is looking for new artists to represent!
All participants will be notified by email. The 20 Finalists' unique Registration IDs will also be announced on our website, and our group page on Facebook. So keep checking your e-mail or our Facebook group for the announcement of the 20 Registration IDs that qualified and if yours is included then you are up for the next round!
In every edition of our competition there are small changes on our judging panel, although the core always remains the same. But we are indeed seeking to add to the Faculty judging panel any passionate, significant film music artists, professionals or other organizations and festivals that wish to support us.
Exactly. The 20 Finalists that qualify to Round Two have to choose their "best composition ever" - as also described at the Assignments page - hence an existing one that they have created already in the past. Then they have to upload it to the same page they uploaded the initial three assignments but this time they will only have four days to do so! Therefore we advise all participant-composers to complete this assignment even before we announce the 20 Registration IDs that qualify, since the schedule from then on will be very tight, and be prepared for that possibility beforehand.
Even if the Winners suggest to cover the expenses to make this happen, they’re unfortunately not allowed. These Awards have a very professional nature; hence, there will be a team of professionals dedicated to accompany the winners. The schedule and activities leaves no time to treat these as leisure trips.
If this will occur then you will remain in the List of Winners and we will announce you as one of the lucky Winners! Although you won't be able to enjoy the award(s), your winning status won't be affected.
All the numerous "notes" the jury members write on each composer's page during the voting process are gathered and upon careful compilation of them become the content of the Official Feedback Letter. Such feedback letter is created and sent received by all TOP20 Finalists within two months after the announcement of the Winners. Nonetheless if you are not among the composers who qualified to the second round you are eligible to request feedback for your three submitted compositions, but please be patient till its compilation and delivery since we need to write literally dozens of them every year!
The pandemic has affected all of us, including our contest's Awards. In 2020 one festival was cancelled and another one took place online, which ultimately has been the solution for both our Winners. Until the festivals, which "are" themselves the Awards we offer to the Winners, return to their normal status, we will offering many online Awards to our Winners, which will always be aligned to the philosophy of the current ones and equally valuable for their career.

On top of all this, we at OTICONS, will make extra efforts to mentor and offer any kind of professional help to all our worthy winners and finalists! It is the least we can do to help them grow in these difficult times!

Register & Submit ONLINE

Registration & Submission DEADLINES

Early-bird
Early-bird Registrations 1.9.2021 - 1.1.2022 @ 12 p.m. (noon) UTC
Registrations & Submissions
Regular Registrations & Submissions 1.1. - 28.2.2022 @ 12 p.m. (noon) UTC
Announcement of Finalists & Winners
Announcement of the TOP·20 Finalists by mid-March & of the Winners on April 1st