Joe Smith, Professor
"A film scorer needs a diverse musical vocabulary to be able to write different musical harmonies for different kinds of projects. You're obviously not, for example, going to write the same kind of score for Mrs. Doubtfire as you would for Silence of the Lambs—both of which Howard Shore did."
"When you discuss things with directors and producers, you're not usually speaking in musical terms, but in dramatic terms. So it's very important to be able to get inside a project from their perspective and then interpret that to music. Which is not easy—even for people who've been doing this for a long time. The hardest part of film scoring is the drama part."
"As a teacher, you have to be completely open to getting approaches back from students that are entirely different from your own. But while I don't want to shove what I would do down their throat, I still guide students from the perspective of their strengths and where I think they need help. I went through all these same processes myself, and I remember like it was yesterday where somebody helped me turn on the light."
"I wear the director's hat to tell students subjectively what I like and what I don't like about something they've done—which is important, because that's exactly what they're going to get from a director. But at least I can tell them why something just isn't working for me, and tell them not to take it personally. I tell them, 'Even if you think you're right—and even if you are right—it doesn't matter if you can't convince the director.'"
- Diploma, Berklee College of Music
- B.M.Ed., West Virginia University
- M.M., University of Miami
- Performances, compositions, orchestrations, and arrangements for numerous television productions, including Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, Cousteau Society episodes, National Geographic episodes, and ABC Kane
- Performances, compositions, orchestrations, and arrangements for movies including Bull Durham, Missing in Action III, Far Out Man, and Relentless
- Arranging for recordings with singer/songwriters Leni Stern and Kenny Loggins, among others
- Former dean of the Professional Writing Division
- Previously taught at the University of Miami and Miami-Dade Community College