La La Land’s Justin Hurwitz on Networking and Working Hard

So, by now you’ve heard of the movie La La Land, right? It’s the musical movie that everyone is crazy for, and swept the golden globes, and had… a memorable moment at the Oscars.

In reading interviews with the cast and crew of La La Land, I ran across two really interesting things about the film’s composer, Justin Hurwitz.

  1. How did he get the gig? How did a guy who has only scored two other movies get the gig for such a great movie? He and director Damien Chazelle went to school together. They’ve known each other and have been working together since their college days.
  2. How hard did he work on this movie? Very. Justin Hurwitz sent Damien Chazelle 1,900 piano demos for this movie. 1,900! He admits that, “I send some very bad ideas, I send some good ideas, and I send some really good ideas”


Here’s the takeaway that I want you to think about this week: 

  1. Who do you already know that is out there doing awesome stuff? Whether they’re musicians, film makers, artists, chefs, “lifestyle bloggers” or anything else cool. Shoot them a text just to catch up. They’d probably love to hear from you and what you’ve been up to lately. Who knows, maybe you guys can collaborate on something together. Maybe you’ll win an Oscar. I don’t know. I said maybe.
  2. Justin Hurwitz won an oscar for best song AND for best score. Is he a musical genius? No. He just worked really hard. Like 1,900-demos-for-one-movie hard. Most of those the director didn’t like, but because he made so many, he had more gems on his hands. So get to work. Practice hard. Keep creating. Then you just might have a few gems on your hands by the end of the year.
I've been waiting 3 years to use this picture.

I’ve been waiting 3 years to use this picture.


The more shots you take, the more shots you make. Get out there, talk to your friends doing cool stuff, and keep making things!

Oh, you know what? Wrong movie. I’m thinking of Moonlight. Nevermind.