Adventures in Music Licensing November 2019 Vol. 7, No. 11

Ed Hartman's

Adventures in Music Licensing & Scoring!


November 2019 Vol. 7, No. 11



*  Welcome new readers!  Please feel free to email questions about music licensing (and scoring).  I will answer you by email, and add your questions (anon.) in the next newsletter. (see below)

* Happy football season! This is my best selling track -a southern marching band style performed on some older Roland keys and live percussion.  It has been used in The Blind Side, Scooby Doo The Mystery Begins, Capital One, ESPN, Rise, The Turkey Bowl, and other.

*  I will be at the  Seattle Film Summit, in Renton, WA (south of Seattle), November 19, 2019 on a film scoring panel along with some great local composers!  (I put it together last year, and this year I am just participating.).   This is a great event to meet NW filmmakers.  

* The next licensing class is Sat, February 29, 2020. (
Please share this with any musicians, bands, songwriters or composers you know in the Pacific Northwest. If you live outside of the Pacific NW, I will be taking my class on the road. Please email me, if you have any connections with music schools in your area. I can offer a combination morning Licensing Workshop, and afternoon Percussion Clinic!
Can't make the class?   I have been doing a lot of "one-on-one" sessions with folks.  It's a great way to answer nagging questions about licensing, and help organize your process for pitching, etc. We can take a listen and analyze at your music for licensing potential.  I generally do sessions in my studio in Edmonds, WA.  A band can come together to share the cost.  Otherwise, I can skype, phone, or FB Video with you. Email for info.

*  Sorry to say I will not be at the TAXI Road Rally.  I am too involved in other projects at the moment.  It's an outrageously incredible event to go.  (see below).  Have some bacon for me, and say hi to Michael Laskow (runs TAXI)!

* I would very much appreciate any testimonials you have about the class or individual sessions. This feedback helps with promoting future classes. Please email me (see below).

"As the Earth Turns" (1938 unreleased silent film I composed and produced)

We had a wonderful 7-day run in LA.  It was mostly done to qualify for the Oscars. See below for the story!  Distribution is next.
"As the Earth Turns" has been in 109 festivals, and won 125 awards/nominations, including 31 for best score, to date.

Upcoming confirmed screenings of "As the Earth Turns":

Austin Indie Film Fest, Saturday, November 9, 4pm, 2019, Holiday Inn Conference Center, 6711 East Ben White Boulevard, Austin, Texas, 78744

Reel East Texas Film Festival, Thursday, November 14, 2019, 2pm Kilgore, TX

East Europe International Film Festival - Warsaw Edition, Tuesday, November 26, 2019, 12:40pm, Room 1.  (Location, TBA) Warsaw, Poland.


Round THREE in LA for "As the Earth Turns"! 7-Day Oscar-qualifying run at the Laemmle Glendale. (One block away from the YMCA where Richard Lyford, the 1938 director of the film first stayed in when he went to work for Disney!

It's amazing to see your poster in a theatre lobby!

And on the schedule!

With the amazing Bear McCreary!  (He gave a great talk put on by the Academy of the Scoring Arts in LA) He's originally from Bellingham, WA.  He met Elmer Bernstein there!

Recent adventures in licensing and scoring: 

*  Boom! Another placement, courtesy of Crucial Music Drum Wars, an epic world drum piece was used in Castle Rock (HULU) Episode #204 Stephen King, JJ Abrams, Tim Robbins)!.  Upfront sync fee (will take months), and expected backend (Hulu probably won't pay huge, but should go on for a while!).  I did watch the episode (10-30-19), and frankly, it was difficult to hear the track.  It was embedded into the sound-design toward the end. They may have slowed the track down (that's OK!).  In the end, it's ALL about the credits.  Placements are not always very sexy, but they really can help your bio.  One more network on the list, too!

*  "As the Earth" is officially in the Oscar race!  (at least at the starting gate - The chances of a nomination are the same as me becoming President of the United States:) 
Exactly one year ago, I started this project with my co-producer, the great-niece of the director, Richard Lyford.  It began as a personal project for the family and has blossomed into a huge exercise in marketing and filmmaking.  I have learned an absolute ton of information about what producers do.  I can tell you, you NEED to know this.  This is the key to success.  You need to move from composer to producer, whether you are writing tracks for licensing or scoring.  
In the last few weeks, I have filled out Oscar submission forms, been in touch with the Oscar staff regarding a LOT of rules.  I have been prepping the film, stills, synopsis, nomination information, etc.  The film will be available for streaming to Academy members. We are also sending out DVDs to selected membership (through a fulfillment company that works with the Academy).  There are some very interesting hurdles with doing this.  The campaign rules are very strict on how you can communicate with the voting membership.  What I am doing is usually done by a department at a major studio.  Artwork, layout, design, written descriptions, decisions about nominations, technical details about the video files and a lot of other details go into this.  I had no idea.   It's not impossible, and a year's worth of submitting to film festivals has certainly helped me get ready for it. 
This is the culmination of our festival run.  We are really doing it to get more eyes on the project.  It is possible that Speilberg or Scorsese will look at this film (I know they will love it, too).  My hope is to finish a documentary and get a biopic going about the director.  In LA, I did meet with a major cable company about the film and have made a number of new connections because of it.  The project has focused me on scoring with new energy, and I hope to do a lot more.  I do have a short I am currently scoring, and expect to do a feature in 2020 for a director that runs a festival we were at last year.  Everything leads to something.  Keep doing everything you can.  You NEVER know where that next connection is going to lead.  Believe me on this! 

*  I'm still waging a battle on getting my YT royalties for this documentary video that is getting 1K views a day (est$1 to me/day).  It is nearing 1M views ($1000).  I have been paid a bit on it, but because of some changes made by a library that I used to work with, I lost about 6 months of royalties.  It seems to be back on track, although it will take several months to confirm. collects the revenue for me, and has been very good to stay on top of it.  The track is :"Rivertrance" - another best-selling track from Tascam 8 track digital, pre- DAW days!  Simple and works for any kind of world-music, ethnic groove!

*  I did pitch this track, "On the Spot Newsbreak" for a custom request.  I haven't heard anything, so I doubt it was used.  It is another track for my library, though. You know the drill...

* Songtradr did ask for PRO confirmations for a few tracks.  I think this has to do with overhead music licensing (see monetization).  I'm not sure if they were through pitches on the site, or simply found on my songlists.

* Locally, I did attend the annual membership committee of the Seattle Composers Alliance.  It's a great organization that is dedicated to helping composers and music creators of all kinds with education and networking.  You need to be a member of this org, if you are in the Pacific NW.  Even better, get on the board.  I can draw a straight line between my years on the board and everything I've done in licensing and scoring!


Tales from the Tech-Side:

I picked up EW Solo Violin.  Really excellent sample instrument, with many articulations.  It is something I have needed for a long time.  I am now using it in a film score.  For orchestral writing, try putting a solo instrument on top of a section (solo violin with violins).  It can add a great highlight, and bring out bowings and other articulations.  Many sample libraries have great strings but tend to be missing solo instruments (especially brass and strings).  Must have stuff!  Watch for occasional 50% off discounts!   Hopefully, I will have a sample of the instrument in a track.


Questions from the Audience...

When you first submitted music for licensing was it a large catalog of your songs or just per individual brief? I have been writing hard for about 4 years but haven't really submitted anything. I don't want to get off on the wrong foot first time out the gate.

You ARE a library, already.  As long as all of your music is registered with a PRO (BMI, ASCAP) you can licensing it yourself or with other companies.  Libraries are the easiest. Non-exclusive If possible, so you can put your tracks in multiple places. Eventually, libraries and publishers will get to know your work and send you briefs. Speed and quantity wins. Quality, when you have time! I did a request for a news-style track this morning between 7:30 and 9 am.
What you submit depends on the library and your catalog, of course. Some libraries just want a few tracks to check out, and others will take everything you have!  Your goal is hundreds of tracks. Ideally 500-1000+ They don't have to be masterpieces. Use Songtradr and Taxi (at least to see what is in demand. You don't have to join. Taxi does have some excellent benefits, speaking of Taxi...

Is the TAXI convention useful to develop licensing skills/connections or should I work on that first and go next year once I'm ready to share my music?

I think everyone should go to the TAXI Road Rally (TWO free passes with membership - that pays for your membership twice over IMHO).  It is an educational event, primarily.  It will teach you how to write for sync, what kind of tracks are popular, the process of writing and recording, the pitch mechanisms available, marketing, communications, and tons of resources.  It is a Masters's program for composers and songwriters. 
TIP:  There is a discount to stay at the host hotel (Westin at LAX).  It may be still available  Staying there is best.   There are jams and a lot of folks in the lobby and bar at night.  Across the street is a La Quinta I think.  The registration opens on Thurs Eve.  It's a great place to meet tons of people.  Things wrap up on Sun. You can check the schedule and sessions.  The luncheons are interesting too (mentors walk around from table to table) There are tons of smaller workshops along with the large panels.  They give away door prizes and there are some vendors with good deals.    It's a very welcoming community.  You will meet dozens of similar folks simply waiting in the registration line in Thurs.  (Go Thurs through Sunday, at least)



Interesting emails from this company: (for $2.95 they sent a list of many free sample libraries)

TAXI Rally coming up! (Sorry, I can't make it.  Doing too many other things right now)  Go if you can!  If you do need to join, call them, and mention my name for 3 free submissions)

Speaking of the Rally, here's a panel from last year:
Make Your Music Easy to Use With Metadata and Stems:

Composer contracts (more for scoring-to-picture)
Music Licensing: Sync Licensing Guide For Success!

Top 46 Sync Licensing Music Libraries 2019:

Hey-I gotta make money, too!   If you have learned anything from these newsletters please check out my SWAG!

Ed Hartman Patreon Page:  (This is a FREE newsletter.  This is the closest thing I have to a subscription!)

Ed Hartman Consultation

I am always available for one-on-one consultation, in person or via phone or Skype (call or email to set up)

One hour: $70.00

Two hours: $120.00

Groups: contact for price

I will be happy to critique your music, make recommendations for marketing, suggest libraries to put you music in, help figure out studio configurations (although I am not a heavy tech person. I can recommend people, though), and give you general career advice. If you are interested, please call or email. 


Joke/Quote of the month:

"If you're going to make a mistake, make it loud so everybody else sounds wrong."
Joe Venuti



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