Do I have
to write instrumental 'scores' to get my music in films and
No way. Though plenty of instrumental music gets placed in
films and TV, songs with vocals (of all styles) are in increasing
demand by music supervisors.
Are my home
recordings good enough, or do I need a "pro" studio
Home recordings get placed in films and TV all the time. The
instrumental and vocal performances must be good, and the
recording quality needs to be reasonably clean, but you don't
need 48 tracks and a live string section at the Record Plant
to get your song placed.
money can I make?
That varies widely depending on the kind of show or film using
your music. Money is earned in two ways: the licensing fee,
paid up front to the writer/artist, and the performance royalty,
which is distributed to the writer by a performing rights
organization ( ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC in the U.S.).
The license fee is determined by the overall
music budget a music supervisor has to work with, and the
negotiating power of the artist. Unknown artists get far less
license money than superstars, for example. TV shows and small
films pay less than major studio feature films. A prime-time
network TV show might pay a license of $500 - $5000 for an
unknown artist - same for the smaller films. Major studio
pictures pay well-known artists in the tens of thousands of
Performance income is determined by the number
of people estimated to have seen the show and therefore heard
the music. The more popular the show - the more money you
make on performance royalties. A network TV usage might pay
in the $1000 - $2000 range for one broadcast. You make new
royalties every time the show is re-run, which is particularly
good news if you've got music on a show that goes into syndication
and airs frequently in markets around the world. Cable broadcasts
generally pay less than broadcast networks (less viewers).
No performance royalties are generated on
theatrical showings of films in the U.S.A. (though they are
paid in other countries), but when the film is aired on TV,
you would make your performance money.
You may also make money when videos or DVDs
are sold, depending on the nature of your original license
Film & TV