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5 Tips for Sync Success

The sync licence gives someone the permission to use your composition in a moving picture. To begin the sync process, music has to be pitched to music supervisors.

Last updated: 12 July 2021

Go to events and talk to people

Film festivals are amazing places to network, meet filmmakers and pitch your music, says Kieron Jones (Bounce Publishing). It’s good to stay in touch and build on the relationships you develop, as Directors often use the same composer for different projects. Don’t just do it by email though – personal contact is important, and Kieron advises picking up the phone. Tell them your independent and have been finding it tough, be honest and they’ll have empathy.

Pitch right

It’s the music that counts so keep it short and sweet. If you’re an indie artist with no manager, Jonathan Tester (Head of Creative at Bucks Music) recommends approaching indie publishers with your three best songs on Soundcloud, a photo and a paragraph about yourself. If you don’t get a reply, follow it up six weeks later.

Believe in your own music

You need to remember that whoever is engaging you wants you for a reason, says Jonathan. When it comes to your fee, everything is down to negotiation. Ask what the film budget is first and, if the project is genuinely strapped for cash, Jonathan suggests pitching low at the start and building in trigger points so your fee increases as the film’s success grows. Don’t work for free. Even if it pays the rent for a month, that’s a start.

Make sure you’re registered with PRS, MCPS and PPL

According to John Hywel Morris (PRS for Music), performance and broadcast royalties can dwarf upfront fees – something to remember when negotiating pay. The most important thing as a composer is to double check your cue sheet and make sure you’re registered with PRS, MCPS and PPL.

It gets easier

It’s getting that first foot in the door that’s the hardest part, according to independent artist Sion Russell Jones. Everything fell into place for Sion when his music appeared on TV. People heard his music clip and got in touch, giving his career a boost.

Synchronisation is a growing and potentially highly lucrative income stream, as well as a great way of growing your fanbase. If you’re thinking about it, check out our advice and get in touch with your MU Regional Office.

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