I know. I didn't believe it when I first heard it, either. But this is not a drill. It's 100% true.
Let me start from the very beginning (a very good place to start, right?):
A few weeks ago, I submitted for a national STAR WARS contest I thought I had no chance of winning. (I mean, seriously...who actually wins things? Not me!) Each applicant had to fill out an online form and was strongly encouraged to submit a video that would convince the judges that you were the person for the dream job (more details on that in a moment). Here's the video I submitted:
Well...to make a long story short (you're welcome)...
The judges must've liked what they saw, because they called me on December 13 to inform me that I had been chosen out of 10,000 die-hard STAR WARS fans to be THE CHOSEN ONE (aka a Jedi).
I was floored. I kept pacing around the house in disbelief. "Me? Li'l ol' me? Don't they know I live in the cornfields of Iowa!?" But the more I thought about it, seeing as Iowa is to the United States as Tatooine is to the STAR WARS universe, the parallel between Luke Skywalker and myself is uncannily perfect. So really, it makes complete sense.
So what did I win? Well, CableTV.com agreed to pay me $1000 to watch all 10 canonical STAR WARS before December 20 (the premiere of the all-new STAR WARS IX: The Rise of Skywalker) and document my adventures on social media. For all you curious minds out there, that averages out to $45/hr to watch some of my favorite films of all time. Dream job, am I right? It was SO MUCH FUN.
Oh, and if $1000 wasn't exciting enough, they also sent me all 10 STAR WARS films on Blu-ray (with tons of bonus features included), an R2-D2 popcorn popper, a Han Solo nerf blaster, and yes...a Chewbacca onesie.
Major high-traffic sites such as AOL, Insider, Yahoo, Funny or Die, Comicbook.com, etc. were promoting this contest. If you Google "CableTV.com STAR WARS $1000", you'll find pages and pages of relevant results. When I saw how much publicity was behind the contest, my expectations of winning waned a bit. But...my expectations were proven wrong and my high hopes were rewarded.
I won't burden you with all the details of my STAR WARS dream job, but I thought I'd go ahead and share some of the highlights for your viewing pleasure.
After watching STAR WARS I: The Phantom Menace, I decided it would be a good idea to create a budget-friendly, time-efficient, Queen Amidala makeup tutorial. The results were...well...see for yourself.
And after viewing STAR WARS VI: The Return Of The Jedi, I wrote/filmed/edited/produced/acted in my very first STAR WARS infomercial about the ever-so-successful Galactic Dream Cream (starring Emperor Palpatine himself!).
And there ya have it, folks. If you want to see a more complete look of my 7-day dream job, visit my Facebook page and scroll through the past week of posts (at your own risk).
So many people supported me, encouraged me, and laughed with me through this week-long, memorable, once-in-a-lifetime STAR WARS journey and I couldn't be more grateful. Thank you, CableTV.com, for choosing me!
For those of you who know me well, you know that I've been a huge STAR WARS fan for many years (more specifically, the music of STAR WARS). I began collecting the STAR WARS soundtracks when I was in grade school, purchasing them with my own money whenever I could afford them. John Williams' music has been instrumental (pun definitely intended) in the success of STAR WARS' 42-year run. That's about the only thing die-hard STAR WARS fans can agree on these days...
When I was 18 years old back in 2008, my dad gifted me a trip to Chicago to see John Williams in action as a high school graduation present. It was an evening I will never forget. 10 rows back from the stage of the beautiful Chicago Symphony Hall, I watched Williams conduct one of the most talented orchestras in the world. I was captivated. It was on that night that I decided to become a film composer. I didn't think about the improbability of such aspirations at the time (news flash: Iowa is not the film composing hub of the nation). I just knew that I wanted to follow in Williams' footsteps as a composer who understands the importance of "story" and the power of thematic/melodic development in film.
Fast forward 11 years, I'm now doing music full-time...FROM IOWA.
Sounds crazy, right? Well, maybe it is. But I'm absolutely loving it.
It hasn't been easy by any means. Many of my clients are in LA and everyone there keeps encouraging me to move to California. I was recently told by a potential agent, "Aaron, I think you have what it takes to succeed in the film scoring industry. I just don't know anyone who has made it work from the middle of the Midwest. It just hasn't been done."
Well, folks...I want to be the first. :) This is America, after all! The land of "anything is possible."
Someday, I hope to meet John Williams to tell him how grateful I am for his influence. His commitment to his craft, his genuine humility and gentle spirit are an inspiration to me and countless other young composers.
Maybe...just maybe...winning this contest will open up that opportunity.
Oh, and I wouldn't mind scoring one or two of the new STAR WARS films/series if Disney and Lucasfilm are open to the idea. Well, Disney? Lucasfilm? WHAT SAY YOU!?
If you've enjoyed reading about my latest endeavor, please do share! I don't have a publicity agent (yet), so any and all PR help is greatly appreciated.
May the force be with you all,
P.S. One more fun fact:
Back in 2016, I composed a STAR WARS tribute piece in honor of John Williams' 84th birthday. Much to my surprise, Ram Bergman (producer of the new STAR WARS films) listened to it, called it "a very nice piece", and kindly passed it along to Williams' agent! I'll never know if John actually listened to it, but it was such a thrill to be able to work with his iconic themes to compose the piece. You can watch/listen to the tribute below. (P.P.S. I wrote this 4 years ago, so forgive the somewhat amateurish orchestration throughout. Please and thank you. I hope to write a "new and improved" version soon!)
For interview requests, please contact Aaron directly.