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Old January 31st, 2008, 10:05 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Saint Cloud, Florida
Posts: 1,043
Why you should use local bands

I've been meaning to write this for a long time because it is important. Here's my argument -

In your productions you should whenever possible try to use local bands and artists for your scores/soundtracks. Now if you ARE a musician AND a filmmaker you have the best of both worlds -still help out local folk when you can.


I'm sure you can think of a few reasons but I'll try to list the bigger points. Just so you know I was the frontman for two local bands for a few years, so I feel I can speak more frankly to the subject. In no special order:

1. 99% of the time you can negotiate a lifetime, perpetual, $0% contract - for a song for example. ~ I have a simple contract found online and I modified it (Combined Synchronization and Master Use License Agreement). The band/artist reads and signs it and viola -legit for zero money spent! Most local artists won't think twice about getting their work more exposure. These bands are used to not getting paid so the "cool" factor of being on film outweighs the money issue.

2. You receive more exposure for it. ~ That band is hungry for exposure like you and will tell everyone they know how their music is in a film or short etc. Links and embeds will go on their website, myspace and the like. It's like you hired a street team!

3. It is easy to do! ~ Most bands/artists are more than happy to have their work be appreciated enough to get into a visual project. With this in mind it is as simple as a phone call, email, or going to one of their shows if possible. What works best for me is "Hey I REALLY like this song you guys do and want to use it in a short film. Can I get permission?". I only pick songs I like so I'm never lying :-) I also put a link on my website asking bands to submit 3 songs they want in a production. I send out the contract and wait. I have somewhere around 40+ songs in stock now.

4. Quality of music. ~ You'd be amazed at the quality RECORDED pieces some of these local acts can produce. I always listen to recorded stuff from most of these bands prior to any decisions. There are artists I know out there that are literally 100 times better sounding and more commercially marketable than some of the, ahem, stuff I hear being pushed IMHO.

5. Time saved. ~ The time you save having a nicely composed song already at your disposal is invaluable. A few times I have had deadlines to meet and having songs already in stock was a real life saver. Editing pieces with music in hand prior is wonderful for some of us highly visual editors. As fellow filmmakers you know you really want to be filming/editing rather than composing music!!! :-)

6. You may get more business. ~ Some of these bands need demo DVDs, music videos and show coverage. A small percentage can actually pay you for this or negoiate a trade. My favorite trade is a custom song :-)

7. Think of the alternatives. ~ You can pay loads of money in licensing fees for stock music or insane amounts to big name artists. You can go through tons of samples and create your own music on the computer -eating up production time. You can go record your own live stuff and hope that works...

Don't get me wrong, in smaller projects I may create my own music -heck I'm a musician too. But for a piece that needs a meaningful track why not inject something someone or a group has put their heart and soul into? Why not help out other artists around you while you help yourself?

Why am I so passionate about this? Primarily because I've been in local bands. The first year is always the hardest. Trying to get people to come to your shows when you have zero exposure sucks. To have someone come along and ask for permission to use a song or piece on visual media is an outstanding feeling. It makes them feel like they are getting somewhere and provides motivation to, well, get somewhere. It also puts something in their portfolio or media kit. Develop a good relationship with some bands and they will bend over backwards for you. Just be sure to give credit back to them.
Marco Wagner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 1st, 2008, 10:35 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 259
Big time, local bands hooked me up!

I'm on the same page as you, sir. I'm working on the event video for my company's 2007 Custom Truck show. It's an automotive driven field, so I wanted to punch up the video with some music and maybe some music-video-like segments.

So I went on Myspace and did a search for bands in my area (really easy to do in Cleveland, the supposed "Rock-n-Roll Capital"). I got a ton of responses, and other bands who heard about it started contacting me too. Pretty soon, I had way more music than I ever needed, different styles and everything.

And really, really good music too. Actually, I'm going to give the one guy a link right now. http://www.myspace.com/ElijahBlackBAnd

His song "Drive Bye" rocks really hard and is rediculously high-quality and superbly produced (they all are) - and I'm using it in my video for free!!

Local bands rule.
Will Mahoney is offline   Reply

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