It’s not easy and it’s not cheap, but it is possible to get your music onto the big or small screen, especially with the number of film and television projects that take place in New Mexico. Before you pitch your music, know what the industry expects from you and comply with industry standards. Here’s ten quick tips to get you started.
1. Record, mix and master your music in a professional recording studio. Rates start at about $50.00 an hour. (While mastering you should tag your music with all the info listed under #5.)
2. Chart and copyright your music with the US copyright office if you haven’t already. Without a copyright certificate, you’re dead in the water.
3. Join a performance rights organization (PRO) like ASCAP, BMI or SESAC. (Look it up.)
4. Create and register a publishing company or find a publishing company you can work with.
5. Make sure your music is tagged with the song title, your name, contact info, copyright info, publisher info, style, genre, tempo, beats per minute (BPM), charts, lyrics and PRO info.
6. Research. Music publishers, music supervisors, networks, film companies, production companies and production music houses. DO NOT SEND UNSOLICITED MATERIAL TO ANYBODY. IT WILL BE INSTANTLY REJECTED AND YOUR E-MAIL AND CONTACT INFO WILL BE DELETED AND BLOCKED.
7. Query the companies that you believe you have the best chance at getting your music to. There are 200 television networks in the US, 600 worldwide and hundreds of film and commercial production companies.
8. Start small. There’s nothing wrong with composing music for a commercial, industrial film, public service announcement, etc. In most cases, these gigs usually pay better than film and tv gigs and they give you a resume.
9. Be the easiest person to work with. You don’t have to give up your rights, but you do have to be willing to compromise.
10. Don’t expect to be handsomely paid your first 100 times out. You are building brand and creating demand for your music and you can’t make demands. Be smart about what your doing and make sure that you have an attorney represent you in every negotiation.
If you can’t do these things yourself, hire someone (not a friend or relative, but a professional with proven credentials) to get it done. These are just the basics and it should take you months to accomplish these things. There are no shortcuts in this business.