Music for Action Movies
How do you get music for your Action Movie?
Spend money, people want and deserve to get paid, but how do you do it if your budget is tight.
Music can carry a film and set the mood from scene to scene and don't underestimates it's ability to fix a bad transition or edit. Sound is an amazing thing in films and it is so important that you don't make it an after thought and that it is part of the planning process.
One thing should be clear, music is about copyright, who owns it and who can release it's rights and for how much.
So how do you get a great soundtrack for your movie?
Pay for it
Let's tear that band aid off and just say that you can pay good money for someone to do an amazing job. They are easy to find, they have agents usually so you can find them on something like IMDb but you usually need a Pro account to get the contact details. If you watch something and the music score you think would fit your film, just check the composer credits and go from there.
Most people staring out won't take this step, but what you are doing is assuming you know the mind of another person. Try reaching out to someone and lay it out how much money you have and give them the option to accept the deal or not, you never know you may catch them at a time that they feel like doing something and like your project and the money isn't that important to them.
So let's assume that the time money or project wasn't right, and you didn't get the composer that you wanted or you just never tried. It's all good welcome to the world of making movies. Don't stress there are still plenty of other options to get your film done and change your place in the film marketplace.
So what are our free or as close to it as possible options.
I think you should always pay something, even $50 (you will get hired back by them in the future for money if you do), give them fuel money and some food at least. If you don't pay then you are asking someone else to subsidise your business. Treat you film career as a professional business. If you can't pay and are just starting out, barter off the money with your skills or time that they can use. I once funded in part a feature film by dong commercial work for others for free. They worked on my film for free and food and I worked on their paying gigs for free until i had worked it off. That is a good way to get you film made with no money down.
Write it yourself!
There are endless places you can get free sound effects and you can lay these sounds down in your audio tracks and create layers to generate your soundtrack, yes you can write your own sound track, the technology is there if you have the skills musically so that it works.
If you have access to a synthesiser then you can use your midi system or direct input (DI) and make you own music. There is software that you can use your computer keyboard like a piano keys and you can change other instruments as well, garage band was good for this.
It may not be great but it is free.
Do you have any musical friends?
We all have a few friends in different bands or friends who like to produce music in some way. These are the people who would probably want to work on your project for free because they want to get noticed and if they are friends then it is a fun thing that you are doing together, so keep it fun, remember it's about the project and you shouldn't make it personal.
Remember that if they are good at music it doesn't meant that they understand film language so as a director you will have to work in the edit to guide them more. Be clear about what you want and if you can show them examples from other films or music that you think will fit it will help them to give you the type of result that makes you both proud and doesn't impact negatively on your friendship.
Emerging Film Composer
If you can't find an emerging film composer who is wanting to make a name for themselves then you need to join some kind of social media group or just type it into a search engine, you will find heaps of them.
These are great people to find as they have spent time to learn the craft and have invested in the gear they need to create their score. They tend to be really good as they are at that level where they have some credits and are building up to being full time professionals.
Give them the guidance and direction they need and you will get a great finished product.
Be kind to them even though many will work for credits, but it is nice if you can offer them something, plus you never know they might recommend you for gigs in the future. This is how the film industry really works, we help each other book gigs. You remember those who have gotten you on good projects and have gotten you paid. We tend not to help those who only take and don't give.
Search copyright free music
This is an amazing thing when you find a few sounds or mood music and complete songs that will allow you to use their music for free and all you have to do is credit them.
How do you become a composer?
Obviously if you are into film composition and music then you have probably already started. So practice with footage you can find and then start to work for free. Find the gigs in film groups and schools etc and build your credits up until you can start to get paying gigs. After that it is just the gig and the budget, but you are a full time film composer. You go you, you good thing you, congratulations.
There is other ways so let's look at the conventional ways.
Study under someone
If you can be mentored directly under a recognised composer then that is probably the best as you will learn and can be earning faster and get onto the bigger gigs through their connections.
Film composition schools
Schools are also great things as well and you can learn a lot and build more connections. Try to pick a school with teaches who have worked or are currently working in the industry. The last thing you want is to be taught by people who went to school and are now teaching and have barely worked in the industry. School is good but we respect experience and connections. You know that old saying "if you can't do teach, if you can't teach then critique". So why would you want to be taught by someone who can't even book the gigs that you would want.
Become an a accomplished musician and transition across
This one is so easy to write but the life of a musician is tough, but not impossible.
If you got the stuff and play the game and get musical recognition then you can use that to transition over into the film industry. Usually small at first with a composer using your songs, but it's the time to learn from them and educate yourself about film language and then you can book the gigs, easy right.
Wrap it up already
Alright that's enough, you can really go into these ideas more and find what you need for your film and your career and we always wish you the best of luck.
Just start and work for free on projects until you can start to charge when you have some credit behind you.
Filmmakers don't care about education if you have good film credits as it builds confidence in you and the producers have something to work with in marketing the film to return a profit.
Best to you and all your success
See you on set
Action Movie Star TV