View Full Version : Where did you find your music for your film?


Blade_Jones
10-01-2010, 01:28 AM
I'm curious where filmmakers found music for their films and how much some of it cost. Did you license ready made music or did you have someone custom write and record it. If custom made, how did you find them? How much time did they spend creating it and how much did you pay them?

Alcove Audio
10-01-2010, 03:14 AM
Although they were not my projects, I often acted as music supervisor. I would put out a call for composers (and/or contact ones with whom I was familiar), listen to demos, and pick what in my opinion were the better ones for the project. My criteria were composing ability, variety of styles and technical presentation. I would then send the demos and other info of the best eight or so to the director and producer. On feature projects the composer generally had about two or three months to complete composing and recording the score. Sketches and preliminary mixes are due in about one month. I like working with the composer so that the score and sound design work together instead of fighting each other. Final score mixes are due four weeks before the final mix of the film is due. Depending upon the project the composer worked for copy and credit all the way up to a fairly substantial fee, sometimes with a budget for real musicians, the contract negotiated directly between the composer and the producer.

For source music, I generally go through MySpace and a bunch of other sites in my search for suitable songs. The criteria here is style, lyrics and technical presentation. The artist/band signs a festival use contract and gets copy/credit, sometimes with a token appreciation fee. If possible I like to get an instrumental mix and, very unusual these days, a mix that hasn't been compressed to death.

I have also done projects with exclusively library music and source music.

Gonzo_Entertainment
10-01-2010, 09:46 AM
I'm pretty fortunate. I live in a college town with one of the biggest Recording Industry programs in the world. The university has world class facilities. What that means is you can't swing a dead cat in this town without hitting a band doing original music. They are EVERYWHERE. My sound recordist and co-executive producer has the facilitiies to record them. So I have multiple options to find guys to write incidental music, and for soundtrack I just go to one of those bands I like with a "hey guys, we'll give you a pro level recording session for free in exchange for the non-exclusive movie rights to the song".

Happs4321
10-05-2010, 06:02 AM
I have friends who are in a few different bands, i tend to get them to record stuff for me because i do not need to pay them for the copy right, also it expands their name......

if you are really finding it difficult to find music go to your local college or school and speak to people in the music department, you will be suprised at the amount of people who will help you if you offer them a credit.

Harp
10-05-2010, 07:28 AM
There are lots of composers on this site. Most of them have web sites that you can go to and listen to their work. Mine is www.harpstringproductions.com if you're interested.

NickClapper
10-05-2010, 01:39 PM
Yes, there seems to be an abundance of young(ish) composers who are willing to work for free.

If you want pop/rock music it's best to trawl through MySpace and send nice messages to little bands that you like. Most will work for credit, because any exposure is good.

I suspect you are also interested in getting 'recognisable' songs. This is not easy and very expensive and frankly not worth the bother.

firemedic096
10-07-2010, 08:34 PM
I was looking around for some free music to use and came across this site. All royalty free and free to use...and they're some great pieces.
http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/

Blade_Jones
10-07-2010, 09:40 PM
and they're some great pieces.
http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/
Free is nice, but that music is aweful. Sounds like the work of beginner musicians recording in their home.

FrankLad
10-15-2010, 08:26 PM
Blade_Jones,

I recently licensed music for a short (~7 min.) documentary. The publisher initially wanted $300 for this track, but since it was more of a tribute video (totally non-commercial), I was able to get it for $150.

For the short I'm working on now, I plan to license a track from a relatively well-known musician, and it will run around $500 for commercial use.

Prices vary, but I wanted to share some actual figures to give you an idea.

P.S. This is the publishing company for artists under Sounds Familyre, Great Comfort Records, Asthmatic Kitty (Sufjan Stevens), etc. I would imagine the mainstream publishers are more expensive.

Blade_Jones
10-15-2010, 08:52 PM
Thanks for the info FrankLad. Do you have any links to these songs? PM me if you can. I am curious as to the quality of the songs as well as the production quality of the songs.

A few years back I licensed a song with vocals from a small publisher. The song had been released by an 80's metal band that was signed but never really "made it". I am VERY familiar with 80's metal but I had never heard of this particular band. Nevertheless I had to pay the publisher $600 for this song for my indie feature. Apparently the publisher split the profits 50 / 50 with the band. It's very hard to find well written songs that sound professionally produced. If you can find and negotiate with a band directly then you can save $$ I'm sure. I was able to license some other songs of equal quality for $400 by dealing directly with the bands. There's lots of bands that spend lots of money recording demos in pro studios but they never get signed. The hard part is just finding good songs. 99% of the music out there is crap.

FrankLad
10-15-2010, 10:28 PM
Hi Blade_Jones!

I just PM'd you a link to the publisher, with additional info.

Hope it helps!

thatguywiththecamera
10-20-2010, 05:34 PM
Myspace.
Not exactly everyone's favorite website these days, but it's still a really good way to contact lesser-known bands, most of which will let you use their music for free.

msdivine
10-26-2010, 09:40 PM
I was looking around for some free music to use and came across this site. All royalty free and free to use...and they're some great pieces.
http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/
I just listened to some samples of the music on his site. It's quite good. I think its great that he has his work up there. Pieces can work in my film.

Blade_Jones
10-29-2010, 09:52 PM
Well if everyone's posting links then here's my 2 cents http://www.insaneasound.com/Music.htm

rocksure
03-21-2011, 03:01 AM
There are plenty of places with quality music out there, and plenty of us composers out there too. If you can't afford to pay the fees of big name composers, then there are a number of good production music libraries out there, and if you search the net you will find some good links to individual composers too. Royalty free music libraries are a good option in many cases because the cost is usually very reasonable with most of them. I hope I don't get shot down for mentioning the site I am involved, with but it seems a number of others here have done that, so here it is. http://rocksureoundz.com . However, if you want to keep the music close to home and in context with your film, a good option may well be to search out musicians in your circle of friends that are prepared to let you use their music for the exposure they gain. Many are only too willing to do that.

JoshL
04-12-2011, 10:54 AM
As for the how and where, coming at this from the reverse side of things, when I started focusing on scoring, I put some flyers up at the local film school (here in Pittsburgh). I hooked up with a team for the 48 hour film project to refine my skills (this will be my third year doing it) and did as many student films and small projects that contacted me. An actor on one of those projects was editing another film, and he liked my work so he called me, leading to my first full-length. As far as time, it took me about 3 months to do over an hour of score and two 5-minute songs (though I was given little-to-no direction, tempscore or supervision other than getting approval for drafts). I'm sure future projects will be faster (and I do work a full-time job, so a full-time composer will be a little faster than that).

As far as costs, that's usually VERY negotiable. Many composers like myself are starting out and will work for peanuts (and portfolio pieces!) but good music is a LOT of work. Like anything else in life, find good people and treat them as well as you can. If I feel Director A is taking advantage of me, I won't be encouraged to work with them again. But if director B is paying me much less but treating me much better, I'll want to work on future projects, with the knowledge that if there IS money to be had in the end product, they will do well by me and send some my way.

escher
07-09-2011, 01:57 PM
I wrote the musical score for Adam Funn (http://vimeo.com/12590799) using Logic Pro. It was four terrifying months of self-doubt, late nights, and gallons of Red Bull putting that blasted score together.

Pros: More fitting than pre-recorded music. Cost after software purchase: $0
Cons: Terrifying. Did I mention the self-doubt?

indietalk
07-11-2011, 06:58 PM
THIS THREAD IS NOT FOR ADVERTISING!

Posts removed.

Tinalera
07-11-2011, 08:04 PM
I got my music for free from a dear friend of mine who's a talented musician :)

silverbird
07-13-2011, 12:40 PM
I cant work out how to place a post on indie talk (clear as mud) so Im using this comment to post it .(Apologies)
I am about to make my very own 1st film .It will be a little bit different .It may not get past my sitting room but what if it did go Viral??
I dont want to do anything wrong so I need advice.please...
I will use about 20 seconds of music from a big Rock band from thier album in 1968. as intro and finish,
Later I will have a scene of an audience watching a concert which is a DVD of an American Folk singer in a concert in Sweden in 1966.
Do I need to get permission to use this music? If so, from who do I get it.(in Australia)
Do I have to pay for the use of it? If so how much do they charge to use this music..No one around me seems to know anything and I get heaps of conflicting advice from heaps of different people who say they are making films.... I wouild Grateful for some constructive advise in this area.
Thanking You ,
Silverbird.

silverbird
07-13-2011, 12:47 PM
[QUOTE=silverbird;202127 xy]I cant work out how to place a post on indie talk (clear as mud) so Im using this comment to post it .(Apologies)
I am about to make my very own 1st film .It will be a little bit different .It may not get past my sitting room but what if it did go Viral??
I dont want to do anything wrong so I need advice.please...
I will use about 20 seconds of music from a big Rock band from thier album in 1968. as intro and finish,
Later I will have a scene of an audience watching a concert which is a DVD of an American Folk singer in a concert in Sweden in 1966.
Iam obviously an ametaur but have to look at the situation if the film is recieved well ,abdcv
Do I need to get permission to use this music? If so, from who do I get it.(in Australia)
Do I have to pay for the use of it? If so how much do they charge to use this music..No one around me seems to know anything and I get heaps of conflicting advice from heaps of different people who say they are making films.... I wouild Grateful for some constructive advise in this area.
Thanking You ,
Silverbird

Alcove Audio
07-13-2011, 01:05 PM
Do I need to get permission to use this music? Yes

If so, from who do I get it.(in Australia) Whomever owns the copy rights

Do I have to pay for the use of it? Yes

If so how much do they charge to use this music Whatever the copyright holder asks for

bailey
07-13-2011, 04:18 PM
it could be very naive question, but I think i heard a filmmaker saying we can use the famous music as soundtracks if the film would be screened only in the festivals, is that true?
Just say, if I wanted to insert the part of the song of 'Coldplay' in my short which will be submitted to the indie film festival, what is the fact? want to hear some professional answer, THX in adv.

Alcove Audio
07-13-2011, 04:59 PM
Some festivals permit use of copyrighted material, others do not. In fact, if you did not read the submission documentation thoroughly that may be the ONLY reason you didn't get into a festival, and you may never know that that was the reason you were turned down. It is the course of least resistance to avoid the problem altogether and get some fresh indie tracks from a really cool indie band for your indie film.

Another consideration is that after the festivals you post it on-line and the copyright holder comes after you. Not only do they want your project taken off line, they want a couple hundred thousand dollars compensation (Prince is notorious for that; his material cannot be posted on YouTube or other places. I've heard that he has over 100 outstanding lawsuits). Even if you win the case you have still spent thousands on an attorney that could have gone into your next project.

A third consideration is you suddenly get a distribution deal - now you have to either pay huge sums for the tracks OR you have to find new tracks to replace the copyrighted tracks and re-mix your film; I just went through this on a feature on which I did the original mix over five years ago. Dropping in the new tracks was the least of my worries, but that's another story.

Blade_Jones
07-13-2011, 05:05 PM
Some festivals permit use of copyrighted material, others do not.
I think you mean that they don't require copies of releases and they only want for you to represent that you own or have all of the permissions from the copyright holder.
Internet distributors never require copies of releases.

Michael Allen
07-13-2011, 06:15 PM
Silverbird. Because you are in Australia contact APRA/AMCOS. http://www.apra-amcos.com.au/MusicConsumers/Findalicencetosuityourneeds.aspx
or you can hire a music supervisor.
Another alternative would be to contact the copyright owners directly.

ItDonnedOnMe
07-13-2011, 11:55 PM
I get most of my music from jamendo.com - they have tens of thousands of albums from around the world available under a variety of creative commons licenses. The challenge of course is finding the good stuff, but over the past couple of years I've collected about 100 albums of potential music for future projects - the trick is to listen when you aren't actively looking for something. I actually got tired of hearing songs on the radio that I liked but couldn't use in a video, so I mostly stopped listening to the radio and just pull up jamendo's top 100 or a genre playlist to listen in the background while I work.

When I hear a song I like I'll check the license on the album (not all CC licenses allow you to use the work in a video) and if it works for my needs I'll download it for future use. Many of the licenses specify non-commercial use which is generally fine for festivals, but jamendo also has a 'pro' system that some artists use that lets you get a commercial or broadcast license easily. Even with the non-commercial stuff you can usually negotiate directly with the artists and get a license for a reasonable price, I just had to do this recently for a broadcast license.

msp1518
07-16-2011, 05:28 PM
For my shorts, I went a variety of directions.

For THE WATCH, a comedy about a guy who gets laid because he's wearing a fake Rolex, I went online and started looking around for "free music." I came across a guy who had some cool sounding dance/club stuff that would fit and emailed him. A collaboration was born. He had never scored a short film and just wanted to do it. Problem solved.

For my short film Miscommunications I posted on Craigslist that I was looking for a composer/violinist and described the short film's tone and feeling. I was flooded with responses. More than I could handle. it was insane. And many were so good that it was hard to choose who to go with. In the end i chose this girl who also lived in the NYC area and she is stupendously amazingly awesome. Her music is now so inseparable from the film I cannot imagine not having her talent involved.

There is free music out there. Just look.

MediaCureMusic
08-16-2011, 10:46 PM
Yeah, there are plenty of options these days, which is great. But, like mentioned above, you get what you pay for, so beware the freebies.

trueindie
08-17-2011, 01:25 AM
I bought this:
http://www.partnersinrhyme.com/royaltyfreemusic/Classical-Music-and-Orchestral-Collections/Apollo-Symphony-Orchestra-Greatest-Hits

and I use it a lot

ublink
09-27-2011, 06:13 PM
If you wanna use our music for free, go ahead.
Also, we can create original music for you for free, we're just trying to get our name out there.


Heres some of our work

http://soundcloud.com/path-wheel-pro...ns/gray-waters
It starts slow and slightly haunting, but with an epic feel to it.

http://soundcloud.com/path-wheel-pro...intro-to-night
This is our tribute to minecraft

http://soundcloud.com/path-wheel-productions/jade
Slow piano piece with saddened heroic tone over it


We can tailor the music carefully based on your ideas and needs for the project :D

If you're interested just email us at pathwheelproductions@gmail.com

don patterson
09-27-2011, 06:29 PM
I am a musician (I was One St. Stephen in the 1970's -- do a yahoo search) and still make music (noise). I also know a lot of musicians that do original work and like the challenge. I also purchase (with 99 year contract) and make use of some 'royalty' free music for background spice.

Diversify the musical sound(s). Get from as many sources as possible, or else, your movie could sound like a broken record.

Feutus Lapdance
09-27-2011, 06:30 PM
If jou want to do somting richt, jou have to do it jourself. Musich and sound making is the most fun thing to do. Just get Renoise and Audacity.
There is nothing as rewarding than having some good sound in joure movie. look at Eraserhead from David Lynch, one of the best self made soundtracks ever.....

Feutus Lapdance
09-27-2011, 06:32 PM
I am a musician (I was One St. Stephen in the 1970's -- do a yahoo search) and still make music (noise). I also know a lot of musicians that do original work and like the challenge. I also purchase (with 99 year contract) and make use of some 'royalty' free music for background spice.

Diversify the musical sound(s). Get from as many sources as possible, or else, your movie could sound like a broken record.

Cool...I make Noise to (and IDM, Breakcore, Jungle and soundscapes).

Blade_Jones
09-27-2011, 06:34 PM
What keyboard are you using for the piano sound?
http://soundcloud.com/path-wheel-productions/jade

ublink
09-27-2011, 10:15 PM
What keyboard are you using for the piano sound?
http://soundcloud.com/path-wheel-productions/jade

We're using a sampled piano, but we threw some nice effects on top of it to give it that distinctive echo like sound to it:)

Blade_Jones
09-27-2011, 10:36 PM
Sounds like more than just your average Synthogy Ivory.

JoshL
09-28-2011, 08:28 AM
Cool...I make Noise to (and IDM, Breakcore, Jungle and soundscapes).

Awesome, me too! I wonder how many noise artists end up doing filmscores! Probably most of us; at least around here, most of the audience at noise shows are performing there too. Tough to make a living at that, particularly given that it's a genre that by definition, most people will not like (even if they sit down and give it a fair listen).

wheatgrinder
09-28-2011, 01:40 PM
BIG SUPPORT from me for Rob Scales Music, Rob is an IT member.
I just heard his score for the Power Up short film, I literally cried in my office. Its embarrassing! EXCELLENT JOB, GREAT TO WORK WITH, AND HE BRINGS THE GOODS!

2001 Productions
09-28-2011, 02:08 PM
I got very lucky.

An actor in my film had a good friend who wanted to get into film composition. I listened to his samples and liked what I heard, so I took a chance. Originally he was just going to perform and record the music himself, but came to me at some point and asked what I thought about his using a string quartet playing acoustic instruments. I said, great!

To make a long story short, he got so into it that he wound up scoring for a full orchestra! I ran a KickStarter campaign and raised the funds to hire professional musicians and a recording engineer, rent a performance space and pay for editing and mastering sessions. Our arrangement has been mutually beneficial: he got an opportunity that would have cost him a lot of money to do himself, and I got a first class orchestral soundtrack for my little movie!

If anyone is interested, his site is here: Tylor Neist (http://www.tylorneist.com).

wheatgrinder
09-28-2011, 02:16 PM
I cant wait to hear it Friday!

hayward
10-21-2011, 02:04 AM
Hi all! I've been looking for places to post my link so folks will
find my free music. If this isn't an appropriate forum for that let
me know. You can find my music here
http://taylorhayward.org/freemusic.htm . I made it royalty free and
it's currently being used in about three-hundred videos on the web.
Enjoy!

Taylor Hayward

Tinalera
10-21-2011, 10:58 AM
I have a lifelong friend who's a musician who requested to do the soundtrack for "Showing Face"-she's doing it for free, and she has a "real" life as well, so it's taking a fair bit of time, but I'm not worried about it-it gets done when it gets done-she's a perfectionist so she wants to get it right.

Hugo Slime
11-29-2011, 03:47 AM
I joined this site in order to try my hand in making music for film. It has been a great experience. I am currently working with a member on his sci-fi horror thriller, and also picked up this ad for Sony
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKaTQ0A3aHg

It is really competitive and there are some super talented musicians out there, but I think I offer something a bit different.

rocksure
12-01-2011, 03:43 AM
Let's face it, it is super competitive out there, and there are plenty of places to find good music, and plenty of talented people to compose it. At http://rocksuresoundz.com we provide royalty-free music and sound effects, as well as making music custom for clients. We are just one such place in the midst of many, but at least our hat is in the ring so to speak :)

Matchstick Sync
09-20-2013, 06:19 AM
We have a ton of fantastic music, and represent award winning composers who can score for you!

Whatever the budget, were here to help : )


www.matchsticksync.co.uk

manneringmedia
01-04-2014, 08:58 AM
I was writing a script for my film (still in planning) "The Haunting of Sue Bancroft" and although it is a Ghost/Horror, i wanted something lite as the main theme... not all Cello drones.

So i composed this for the main theme music... http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UUyRDrqL2gI04ciNYJmMyKiQ&feature=player_detailpage&v=1np2u61ZMtk

but will use much darker sound for mood/effect throughout.

krm27
02-18-2014, 05:00 PM
In today's market, I'd think you can find musicians looking to break in who would do a film for free. Of course, you may get something that is not as professional, polished, just depends.

I myself am in this boat, looking to take my music composition and get involved in an indie film project, composing background music, musical numbers, songs for soundtrack, etc., and I've been offering free services as a way to build a resume and make connections.

Ken
krm27@yahoo.com

ChimpPhobiaFilms
02-18-2014, 08:00 PM
In today's market, I'd think you can find musicians looking to break in who would do a film for free. Of course, you may get something that is not as professional, polished, just depends.

I myself am in this boat, looking to take my music composition and get involved in an indie film project, composing background music, musical numbers, songs for soundtrack, etc., and I've been offering free services as a way to build a resume and make connections.

Ken
krm27@yahoo.com

Welcome to IndieTalk Ken!

Also, agreed. There are plenty of hungry indie bands and composers out there that replace royalty-free music any day of the week!

Welcome :)