How to Sell Your Music to Movies as a Film Soundtrack

List: Posted: 08/03/11

Just about every movie ever made has music in it, including old Charlie Chaplin films.  Whether it is over the title or end credits (as in the case of some documentaries), the score, or even just a song heard in the background, movies can't exist without music.  Music and movies are dependent on one another. 


If you are a musician, you are probably wondering how you will be able to get your music into the hands of the movie studios.  Here's a brief guide.


Own the Copyright


It can be difficult to break into the film industry, but it isn’t impossible.  Make sure that you own the copyright to your music and that you can prove it.  If you don’t have a copyright for the piece, someone else can claim it as their own or even duplicate it in a music studio and claim they wrote it. 


So before you send out a single demo tape, make sure you register all your songs at the U.S. Electronic Copyright Office by visiting  Mailing a copy of the tape or CD to yourself in a sealed envelope is no longer legal proof of copyright, as it is easy to forge a posted sealed envelope.


Music Libraries


How can you get your music heard by the right people so that it can be in a movie?  Uploading it to a music library is a good choice.  You can add your songs to the library, and when people browse the catalog and they are looking for music for movie trailers or the film, they can hear what you have to offer.  The libraries generally work in conjunction with a licensing company, so when someone expresses interest they will be able to legally license your work.  This means that you can make some money, too.

Go to the Industry - it Won't Come to You


If you are dead serious about working in the movie industry, you usually have to move to or near to Hollywood, California.  Most of the major movie studios, producers and directors live there, and if they want you to come to the studio and work on a movie soundtrack, they'll want you to start on Monday - not in 3 months when you've saved up for the plane fare.  If you're not instantly available, they'll just hire the next guy.  Always remember that in the city of Hollywood alone, there are 100,000 other 'next guys.'


It's All About Who You Know


The old saying goes that who you know is where you end up.  If you happen to know Steven Spielberg's second cousin's husband, then you have a breadcrumb path that can eventually lead you to stardom.  Never be afraid to ask for helping hands, and always offer to do work for free since that work and those connections can lead to an open door in the future.  It will also build your resume and make you more qualified.


Of course, there are no guarantees for profit when you put your music up on a music library.  If you produce quality work that is commercial and better than the stuff you hear in some movies today, then you might want to try it.  You never know what success may await you.

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      The material in this article is for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of See Additional Information

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