Ed Hartman Music

SFS Film Music Panel INFO


Music For Film or “That’s really great music, but how much will it cost?"

A panel discuss for filmmakers and producers that explains all aspects of music in film.  The topics will include setting the budget for music, finding and working with a composer, licensing songs (theme, underscore, and source music), and editing/syncing the music with picture.



Do I need music for my project?

What percentage of a film budget should go to music?

How can I keep the music budget down?

Is music important to film?

How much music is in a film?

How do I decide what kind of music to use?

What’s the difference of a film composer vs. live music composer, band, musician, or songwriter?

Does music make a film more real or imaginary?

What’s the difference between score, source (Diagetic) incidental music, and songs?

How do I find a composer for my project?

Do composers have agents?

Should I work with a local composer?

How do I pick a composer?

Is experience important?

Does a composer work alone?

If the have a team, how big can it be?

Do I need an orchestra in my score? 

How much would an orchestra cost?

Are there inexpensive ways to make an orchestral score sound better?

What are the steps to working with a composer?

When do I start working with the composer? (before, during, after the shoot, final cut?)

First meeting

Contracts (WFH, Licensing, Step contracts, etc.)

Spotting session

Getting initial theme ideas from a composer

Working with individual cues and scenes

Staying organized

Checking in with the composer

Getting tracks

What if I am not satisfied with the work?

How long will it take to score a film?

Can I or should I use free music?  Is it really free?

What is a music library?

Are music libraries all the same?

Is library music cheaper than a film composer?  

Are there film composers in libraries?

What are the advantages of either one?

What if I need both instrumental and vocal music?

What is a bed, instrumental version, and auxiliary versions?

What if I want a song in my film, how do I get rights to use it?

Do I own the music?

Should I own it vs. license it?


What does a Music Supervisor (MS) do and how much do they cost?

How does a MS find music for my film?

Does a MS contract the music with my production company directly?

How do I know that my music is not ripped off of another artist or track?

Is there a risk?

What if I want a big name music artist in my film?

When are vocal tracks good to use in a film?



How does a composer deliver the music to me?

What a stems, individual tracks, a full mix, etc.?

How do I deal with dialogue and music?

Will the composer deal with dialogue?

Do composers do sound design? (Should they?)

Should I try to mix the dialogue, SFX, Foley, and music myself?

Where can I go for help with mixing my film?

Is a stereo mix good enough for youtube, TV, netflix, film festivals and theatres?

How do I check if my music will sound good?


People involved in film music and sound:

Composer : In charge of creating the main score (underscore, themes, etc.) for a film

Music Supervisor: Helps find music for a film (can include composer, songs, incidental music, source music, etc.)

Post Studio: Recording studio that can sync all audio elements to film.

Engineer:  Records live music, and mixes music during various stages of music recording.

Music Library:  Audio library of potentially 1000s to 100Ks if tracks of all kinds or licensing in a film.

Dialogue editor:  mixes & synchronizes the dialogue with the film

Sound editor:  mixes & synchronizes the SFX with the film.

Foley:  Sound effects (walking, closing a door, etc.) to add a realistic feel to the scene.  Can be necessary, if you have to remove the dialogue due to other undesirable (or un-cleared) sounds during shooting.

Music editor:  mixes & synchronizes the music with the film.

Music Prep:  Gets music ready for the orchestra.

Orchestrator: Takes the composers music and creates a full score to be played by a live orchestra.

Contractor:  Hires the orchestra.

Arranger:  Arranges music for musicians.

Conductor: Rehearses and conducts the orchestra to the film.

The sound designer:  Adds other SFX, Foley, and audio elements to the project.