Changing the film industry for the better

As every artist knows, the start towards a career as an artist is an uphill battle.  Starting out your resume might be sparse but your enthusiasm for the work makes up for it.  Yet you still find yourself without work.

I found out firsthand just how difficult it is to try and break into the film industry.  After getting a masters degree in Film Scoring, I moved to LA with the notion that degrees equals work. However, that is not the case.  School definitely does not prepare you for the challenge of working as an artist. Don’t get me wrong, school is important but in the film industry  talent, passion, perseverance, and a little luck are what will set you apart from everyone else and ultimately get you work.

When I moved to Los Angeles with my graduate school classmates, we all set about getting work in our desired fields.  I chose to work towards being a film producer, while everyone else worked towards being a film composer.  But for most of us it was a struggle to find jobs in our career of choice.  Lack of talent was not an issue, as these people are some of the most talented artists out there, but it was competition and people not knowing your name.  Not to mention the fact that an entry level job in the film industry in Los Angeles now requires 3-5 years experience.  This is dumbfounding!

As I was struggling to get my foot in the door in LA, I realized what a daunting task it was to find work in film, even Production Assistant jobs.  Applying to 8 different sites every day and not getting a single call will wear down just about anyone.  And when IArtist Untapped Logo worked on set, I would have directors asking if I knew any film scorers.  Yes, I do!  And then my classmates would ask if I knew anyone who wanted a film scorer.  Yes, I do!

It was then I came up with the idea of Artist Untapped.  A single site where artists can display their work, build a portfolio with everything needed to get hired, collaborate with other artists, find jobs, and bridge the gap between artist and employer.  An all inclusive site, so you don’t need to apply to 8 different sites daily.

Even though I had this idea, I did not have the means to create it.  It wasn’t until I moved back to Denver that I saved up enough to start the site.  Helping artists has become another passion of mine.  Seeing how much talent is out there and the only thing preventing them from finding success is getting noticed, I knew I had to help change that.  Artist Untapped is not only a place to put your work (goodness knows there is plenty of sites already) but it is a place to build your success.  Whether you are a director, screenwriter, or cinematographer, Artist Untapped is there to help you achieve success.

I am determined to change the way artists are found.  As a budding film producer myself, with multiple projects in development, I am constantly looking for talent for my next film.  Finding new and rising stars makes me even more passionate about Artist Untapped.  Giving a voice to all artists out there is what Artist Untapped is all about.

Michelle Tyler, Founder                                                                                                                         Artist Untapped, LLC                                                                                          


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Gabrielle Louise, Singer/Songwriter

This week’s singer/songwriter is a throwback to the sounds of early Joni Mitchell.  Singer/songwriter Gabrielle Louise combines her sultry voice with a variety of musical styles.  Whether its American folk or Argentine tango, she is sure to capture your attention.  This superbly talented singer not only writes her own work, but her award-winning lyrics, beautiful voice and her captivating stage presence make her an artist to watch for.

Gabrielle Louise is a nationally touring troubadour noted for her poignant lyrics (a two-time John Lennon Songwriting Contest finalist, winner of the Jack Maher Songwriting Award) and lush voice. The daughter of two gypsy [vagabond] musicians, Gabrielle inherited the genetic predisposition to wanderlust and song.

She has toured and recorded with a wide variety of configurations, but all presentations fall under the creative umbrella of “The Gabrielle Louise Show.” Variety is the ticket. Don’t be surprised to catch a tango performance by the dancers who frequent her shows, or an exhibit by a local artist or photographer. She can be found serenading and storytelling around the country, sometimes solo, sometimes with a full band in tow.

Gabrielle Louise’s music is anchored deeply in folk, but undeniably drawn to rich harmonies and melodic adventurism. Her sound has the earthy feel of early Joni Mitchell while also veering into the spirited delivery of fellow genre-hopping artist Martin Sexton. Unafraid to take a random musical escapade in the name of inspiration, Gabrielle is at one moment folkie and ethereal, the next moment a smoky jazz chanteuse. Recently, she’s fallen very much in love with Argentine Tango, and is committing time to studying to play and sing tango standards.

In the original songwriting realm, she has 100% independently released five records, Journey (2006), Around in Circles, the E.P. (2007), Cigarettes for Sentiments (2008), Live in Coal Creek Canyon (2009) and most recently, Mirror the Branches (2010.)

Gabrielle’s music has been best appreciated in listening atmospheres with introspective, attentive crowds. She is striving to communicate more soul than special effect and gently entice her listener to release their grip on the status quo. In a music industry that tends to view its artists as either super-stars or failures, Gabrielle aims to break the trend by offering her creative personality as-is, a professional presentation of her private journaling.

As a performer and songwriter, Gabrielle has made a commitment towards the environment. Most recently she organized and co-wrote the sustainability themed musical, The Muse’s Market, which sought to address social issues and present sustainability-focused solutions through multi-media art. In the past she has assisted the “Save the Arkansas River” campaign by releasing a single for the campaign and continues to do the majority of her touring in a vehicle powered by bio-fuels. The marriage of creativity and environmentalism has been powerful for her.

When Gabrielle Louise isn’t performing, she’s most likely tango dancing, hiking a mountain, or jumping off a cliff into some summer river.

*Te Amare Norm will be on Gabrielle’s newest album, set to release in Spring of 2012.

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Andrew Edwards, Film and Theater Composer

I would like to present another very accomplished film composer, Andrew Edwards. I had the great pleasure of studying Music Composition for the Screen with Andrew at Columbia College Chicago.  Right off the bat, he took me under his wing and mentored me throughout the two-year program.  His music is inspiring.  Andrew has incredible talent and is deft at bringing films of all genres to life through the music.

Andrew Edwards is a Chicago-based film, web, and theater composer. His textural style is flavored by his twin loves of pop and contemporary classical music, and is frequently tinged with melancholy. He received his BA in Music Composition/Theory from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and — under the direction of Andy Hill — his MFA in Music Composition for the Screen from Columbia College Chicago. He is the owner of Blue Police Box Music; a full-service music creation studio on the North side of Chicago, and the composer-in-residence for Chicago Tap Theatre. His music has been heard in national commercials, international trailers, and countless short films and documentaries, including, A Message From The East, Bringing Hope To Justice, and the forthcoming Bailout. His work on web series’ includes: Trep Life, DorkumentaryTV, and the upcoming Robin Hood update, Prince of Thieves. He just completed work on a Doctor Who spinoff audio drama for Big Finish productions, and is writing the original score for a “Tap Opera” based on the 1960 French horror film, “Les yeux sans visage”, with Marc Smith (the creator of the Poetry Slam). He lives adjacent to Chicago’s beautiful Andersonville neighborhood with his partner, also Andrew, and his stalwart cat, Max.

The Shadow Suite

Humanity (Part 1 & 2)


To contact Andrew, please visit Blue Police Box Music.  All you filmmakers out there, keep Andrew in mind for your next film project… you won’t be sorry!!!

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Bryan McClure, Actor

I hope you all are enjoying these fantastic artists!

This week I am focusing on the very gifted actor, Bryan McClure. Before I introduce him, I want to congratulate Bryan on his booking a role on Hawaii Five-O!!

Bryan and I met on the set of Michael Montgomery’s The Garden in the fall of 2009.  I was working as a production assistant and Bryan was one of the producers.  Everyone working on set was so invested in this incredible film; it was a true honor to work on The Garden.  It was on set that Bryan and I bonded over our love of film and I am so excited to see his career thrive.

Bryan, who is originally from Council Bluffs, IA, is now based in Los Angeles, CA. Before moving to Los Angeles, Bryan spent many years in Omaha, NE, where he developed his love of acting.

While in Nebraska, Bryan joined the Nebraska Film Group, where he got involved with as many films as he could.  This passion and drive led him to Los Angeles, where he is honing his craft and expanding his impressive resume.  Don’t believe me? Just check out his IMDb page!

“Since I was young, I have been interested in the arts.  I have studied many different art-forms over the years from studio art and graphic design, to acting and film making.

Having recently completed a 2-year Meisner Training class from Bill Alderson, I am currently keeping my skills sharp studying acting at Improv Olympic West and with Billy O’Leary.

In addition to working with Tom Arnold in Andrew Robinson’s film, April Showers, some of my other notable credits include Lucky, starring Colin Hanks, Easy to Assemble with Illeana Douglas, The Scientist with Adam LeFevre and Bill Sage, as well as many other films. Also worthy of note is my Best Supporting Actor Nomination for the work I did as Marco on the film Bountiful.”

“When I first arrived in LA, a successful Omahan actor recommended that I study the Meisner Technique with a gentleman by the name of William Alderson. [Bill] taught me the importance of being truthful in your work. Bill really taught me the core of acting. He always compares the Meisner Technique to “the floor of a dancer’s. It gives a foundation and a place to push off from.” I completed his 2 year program and have been off to the races ever since. I currently study improv at iO West and On-going Scene Study and Audition technique with Billy O’Leary. I feel truly blessed to be doing what I love!

Keep an eye out for this accomplished actor!  He will one day be taking over Hollywood.  If you want to contact Bryan, his email is

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Looking for artists

First of all I want to thank you all for visiting my blog.  In the next week or so, I will be showcasing a very talented filmmaker as well as a great band, so stay tuned.  I hope you are enjoying all these incredible artists.

With that being said, I am looking for new artists to feature.  If you are an artist or you know an artist, please contact me.  There are so many talented artists out there and I want everyone to see how talented they are.

Till the next post,



Amy Levenson, Photographer

This has been a pretty busy blog week for me.  In addition to the concert and film festival posts, I am focusing on a very talented photographer by the name of Amy Levenson.

Amy Levenson is a New England Native who relocated to Glenwood Springs,Colorado 5 years ago.  
Since that time her passion for nature photography was re-ignited by the beauty and splendor of the area.

“My desire is to always capture the essence of the shapes and colors as well as recreate the mood I felt in that moment.”
As someone who has worked in the difficult field of mental and public health, substance abuse and hospice care, the art of photography and the ‘hunt’ for something special, provides both relaxation and excitement.

Several of these shots were taken last year on a trip to southern California, while the rest were taken in and around the Roaring Fork Valley in Colorado.

To see more of Amy’s beautiful photographs, email her at


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Starz Denver Film Festival – Nov. 2-13, 2011

It’s that time of year again.  For all you filmmakers out here in Denver, you know what I am talking about.  It is the 34th Annual Starz Denver International Film Festival.  This prestigious event is going on from today, November 2nd, through November 13th.  The films will be played at many venues around Denver, including: Boettcher Concert Hall, Denver FilmCenter/Colfax, Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Highlands Church, King Center, Knights of Columbus Hall, L2 Arts and Culture Center, Starz FilmCenter, Tivoli Student Union.

The festival kicks off tonight with the film, Like Crazy.

There are so many great films being premièred over the next couple of weeks, there is surely a film for everyone.  Not only are there some kick-ass films, but there are over a dozen VIP events as well as exclusive post-film parties.

While the festival starts today, make sure to buy your tickets in advance as some of the films have already sold-out.  This is the perfect opportunity to expand your film knowledge as well as rub elbows with some talented people in the film industry.  Ever wanted to be a part of a red carpet première, then check out the 34th Annual Starz Denver International Film Festival.

What film(s) are you most looking forward to seeing??

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Parachute Concert – Denver, CO October 27, 2011

Hey Everybody!!

Last Thursday I had the great opportunity  to see Parachute in concert at the Marquis Theater in Downtown Denver.  I also was able to attend the meet and greet prior to the show.  Let me just say, it was an amazing day!

The meet and greet started around 4:00pm and lasted until 5:00pm.  Parachute serenaded us with the songs What I Know and White Dress.  The video below is of the performance of White Dress.  All the videos are courtesy of Lacey Eaton.  Thanks, Lacey!!

After the perfect private concert, the boys came out and met with us.  They took pictures and signed our posters and VIP passes.  Not only are these guys talented, but they are so incredibly sweet!!

Parachute consists of band members Will Anderson (lead vocals, guitar, keys), Kit French (keys, sax, percussion), Alex Hargrave (bass), Nate McFarland (guitar, vocals), and Johnny Stubblefield (percussion).

The real concert started at 7:00pm and was opened by a new band, Empire Kids (formerly The Rebels), based out of Boston.  They were really good. I look forward to hearing more from them.  After Empire Kids, Kate Voegele – who is on tour with Parachute – took the stage.  She was wonderful.  And finally, after Kate, Parachute took the stage and the crowd went ballistic (granted there were a lot of teenyboppers, but still).  🙂

Parachute was unbelievable!  They were so energetic, engaging, and talented.  Will frequently hopped into the crowd and interacted with us.  It was amazing.  Not only are these guys talented, sweet, and adorable, but they are incredible performers.  I cannot remember the last time I had that much fun at a concert.  I was really blown away!

Parachute has two albums out, Losing Sleep and The Way It Was. I highly recommend you check them out.  Also, they will be on tour with Kate for the rest of the year.  So, if you get a chance to see them, I urge you to go and check them out.  You will not regret it.

I hope you enjoy them as much I do.


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Duncan Blickenstaff, Film Scorer

I am sorry this post is so late this week.  Last week I focused on the singer/songwriter James Lee Baker.  I am going to switch it up this week and showcase an artist in the film industry.  For this week’s featured artist, I would love to introduce Duncan Blickenstaff, a phenomenal film scorer based out of Los Angeles, CA.  All you filmmakers out there, keep Duncan in mind the next time you are looking for someone to score your films.  I am telling you, this kid is amazing.  Check out his work and see for yourself.  Move over Hans Zimmer, Duncan’s going to take over Hollywood.

Duncan Blickenstaff is a Los Angeles based composer of music for film, television, web series, and new media with a lyrical style and an ear for the shadings of character and drama.  He received his MFA in Music Composition for the Screen at Columbia College Chicago under the direction of Andy Hill.  In addition to composing, he can be seen playing piano for improv comedy groups around town.

Duncan is currently working as a composer assistant for Mychael Danna and Rob Simonsen, and has had the opportunity to be a part of studio feature films and primetime television shows including Moneyball, Going the Distance, Blue Bloods, and Camelot.

Music Samples:

Duncan’s complete demo reel can be found here.

Check out these opening credits to a film called Walter’s Wife.  Every time I watch these opening credits I want to cry.

To contact Duncan, he can be reached at:

Hope you all enjoy his music as much as I do.  🙂

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James Lee Baker, singer/songwriter

For my first artist-featured post, I would like to showcase James Lee Baker, a very talented singer/songwriter based out of Denver, CO.

James Lee Baker is a soft combination of artists like Cat Stephens, Ellis Paul, Matt Nathanson, and the Wallflowers.

James lists his musical influences to include: Ellis Paul, Matt Wertz, Mat Kearney, David Mead, John Gorka, David Gray, Third Eye Blind, Gavin DeGraw, and Lifehouse.

Music was in James Lee Baker’s life long before he was born as both of his parents were talented musicians. His Dad crafted a unique art in percussion and successfully toured in several Rock-n-roll and Contemporary Christian bands. J.L.’s Mom was herself an aspiring songwriter and played acoustic guitar in younger years. Coupling the influences of his childhood with his later education in music composition and theory, J.L. has become an aspiring and accomplished singer/songwriter in his own right. His goal as a songwriter is to bring new ideas to familiar concepts and touch the emotions of listeners in a way in which they can meaningfully relate. Through his knowledge of music and a desire to share life experiences in song, J.L. is ready to make a lasting mark in pop music.

J.L. has recently released a collection of recordings made at various studios from 2010 – 2011 all written by James Lee Baker. Studio contributions by Tyler Ward at Ray Ward Studios, Mike Binder and MGB Records, and Christopher J. Bloom at Blooms Room, all in Denver, CO.  This album includes a cover song of Ellis Paul’s “Everything’s Broken”.

The music of James Lee Baker is available on, iTunes, and Napster as well as other digital distribution channels. You can learn more about J.L. on his personal website, Facebook, MySpace and other widely accessed social networks. James Lee Baker may also be seen performing live in metro Denver, CO venues.

Visit James’s website to learn more about this accomplished artist.  To download James’ music, please visit James’ store at ReverbNation.

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