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Making Money with Garritan

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Making Money with Garritan

Postby kwillcox » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:12 pm

I think there are a ton of short Vimeo videos that need reasonable quality and inexpensive 1 or2 minute soundtracks. Where can we go to sell such soundtracks? Also, can we have soundtracks available in mono, stereo, 5.1, and other formats, and different file formats. Someone would buy the soundtrack and have the right to the audio files in all the different formats, plus the MID file.

Garritan could host such a site, much as iClone hosts sites for their products.

I would love to get a paycheck for my audio work.
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Re: Making Money with Garritan

Postby rbowser » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:54 pm

kwillcox wrote:...I would love to get a paycheck for my audio work.


Wouldn't we all!

It's an interesting idea, "kwillcox," but I personally think it's not practical. I think if someone is wanting to make music with their music and/or audio work, that they need to strike out on their own and make contacts that could possibly lead to work. I'm thinking of a successful composer at the original Garritan Forum who is making money now composing music for a company that makes ebooks which include soundtracks to read by! He got that gig by entering a contest the company held - they offered him work, and now he's doing well with it. He maintains a nice website with examples of work, showing off different musical styles - all rather in the modern John Williams-inspired style, since that's currently the most popular.

But the point is, he's making money due to a lot of long hard work that he did on his own.

Vimeo videos-- If they're already posted, the creators wouldn't be looking for soundtracks. I guess you mean people who are working on videos but haven't posted them yet. What I see is that the vast majority just use free stuff they grab online--They just need some noise or "stuff" to go along with the main thing which is their visuals. I find it highly unlikely that those people would suddenly start paying for what they're currently getting for free.

If you did find a video maker who needs/wants music, he would only need a stereo track to marry to the video track - he wouldn't need different formats, and certainly not the MIDI file. - It's unlikely that he would want just generic music that fits the mood without being very specific to the video. I mean that if he just needed "mood music," he's going to find that already online for free. The only thing I can see that could be interesting to him is if you offered to work with him on composing music very specifically for his video - with synchronized hit points, an actual film soundtrack composition - and that is a LOT of work, and something you would need to charge for substantially.

My thoughts - Not to be negative - I just don't see anything practical in the idea you posted. One final thought--it took almost 2 years for MM to set up this Forum - I can't imagine them wanting to go through the very complicated process of setting up the kind of work-fielding site you're talking about.

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Re: Making Money with Garritan

Postby kingfreeze » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:01 pm

Randy's response shows a wisdom of one who has clearly been around the block a few times regarding acquiring contracts to do ANYTHING in the media/ arts/music biz. And it is good advice. Many performing arts artists spend decades trying to snag their first real show biz contract, it is an extremely fickle, frustrating business and most give up and move on. Still, this medium of using vsti manufactured music is HUGE. Maybe someone will read this, and offer a few keywords or websites to give composers an idea where to go to pursue marketing their compositions. Myself, as a musician that still plays live theatre, am in touch with young college performing arts graduates who know young film makers that in time I might be able to get something used. That makes sense to me. I am a novice at composition with garritan, randy is a professional. Still, hard work and perseverance pays off in everything. good luck.
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Re: Making Money with Garritan

Postby kingfreeze » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:11 pm

I think it's ok if I post this. I copied this from northern sounds written by Chris Hurn, it is a great post for this thread. I had a hard time finding it again after initially reading and wanted it handy.
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Re: Making Money with Garritan

Postby kingfreeze » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:11 pm

Hi Robert,

Good question. First of all, there is some good work in film and games, and as a composer, if you can establish yourself you can make money. However, there are a couple of things to note. It is extremely competitive, and that getting work for games and films is also a very different process.

The first thing and most important thing to understand is that networking & contacts is pretty much everything. This is universal to both films and video games. It's important to be good at what you do, and have a certain style going on, but you can be the best composer in the world and have no gigs if you're not networking with the right people. (There are plenty of arrogent composers who are good technically, but total a-holes who don't get work at some forums that I will not name on here).

The first thing you need to do is get a website. No doubt about it. You need a website with some examples of your work. It can be very simple but at the very least people need to know that you exist, and what your music sounds like and what they can expect by hiring you. There are a couple of problems you'll notice right away:

A) There are a lot of other composers out there.
B) Many of them will be willing to work for free or cheaper than you

Online there is a lot of BS. A lot of crappy filmmakers, a lot of crappy developers with no vision, a lot of people expecting hours of music written for free, I mean you wouldn't expect someone to paint your house for free but when it comes to music it's just tossed aside as a last finishing touch for a lot of people, and because composers want to further their career or whatever, they'll take the gigs for free. Now that's not always a bad thing. You have to take those risky free gigs if you want to make it sometimes. But there's also a balance. The reason I'm saying this is you'll find out right away that it's a lot harder to get some of these gigs just because there's that one guy who will do it for free, and he might not even be as good as you...The problem comes in when you're all composers on different 'levels' competing. What I mean by that is, when you're brand new, you'll take any gig for free just to get the portfolio. But let's say someone contacts you about a little project six months later, by that time you've got enough stuff to ask for some cash. Maybe the project isn't really that important to you, but you'd like the money. Meanwhile there's someone else who was in your position six months ago who will take that gig. And it goes on and on. So one question you will need to ask yourself at some point is...

Are they hiring me for me, or 'cause I'm cheap?

The goldmine for a composer is finding someone who doesn't just land on the composer who can write a copy of some Zimmer chord progression, but the guy who can translate their ideas onto screen, the guy who can respond to the material emotionally, and of course lines up sonically - but the important thing is the composers ability to do these things. A lot of filmmakers for example go out there and hire the guy that has a demo of his website of something that sounds like one of Zimmer's pieces, but then when it comes to actually scoring the flick, the composer isn't hitting the beat, there's no picture sense, and it all falls to pieces. In my experience from watching many independant films this is probably one of the biggest problems. So as a composer I think it's important to realize this happenss, and then you can sort of balance out your portfolio or work to accomodate for this type of mentality.

Your goal is to find that talented group of people, or that one game developer or filmmaker that really has the chops and ability and vision to go all the way - and hang out with them. You'll score their short films, which will lead to them making a feature, and if that hits it off, that could be your break. That is how many composers get their break and there are plenty of composers online all looking for that shot by trying to connect with somebody and keep a relationship like that one going.

Having said that you also want to get paid, so you need some regular gigs. There's some good money if you want to write jingles and stock music and license it out to various libraries, or independantly, and there are also some good gigs in advertising, and things like that. Until you make it big time, that's really where all the money is. And in video games. Mobile games. Things like that. You won't make much money building contacts (by writing music for short films, indie games, etc), but you will be building your chops, your portfolio, and your ability to land that big job. If you are going to do all these short films and/or games you want to try and find ones that will be found and heard and seen. This is how you will get a lot of your work, by word of mouth, people hearing your music in other things.

You will find out very quickly that it is much harder to get work by blindly sending your stuff out to people or responding to some craigslist ad.

So basically you can sum it up as:

a) Get a website asap with some music
b) Network like crazy
c) Be cool
d) Write write write.

Get on facebook,twitter, etc. join every filmmaking website and forum there is, attend festivals, meet people, watch a lot of indie films and play indie games and figure out what it's all about, build your portfolio, and things will start to work out. If you understand story structure, scenes, the language of film, beats, etc, you will know more than most aspiring film composers out there. It's easy to get caught up in the orchestration but if you forget the soul, there's no point to it at all. One good quote about film scoring that really suck with me was 'don't score the galloping horses, but instead, score the fear of the rider'.

Some example communities that are good for filmmaking are DVxuser.com & Reduser. And for games, the big ones are gamedev, and indiegamer. For films, DVXUser is my favourite because they run an online filmmaking competition & festival every couple of months with a different genre, encouraging filmmakers to enter a film. It's excellent practice for any filmmaker but also any composer. Excellent for building contacts and practicing your craft.

If you're just looking for fun projects, that aren't too heavy, you might want to look into the current trend of Android and iphone gaming. There is some good money there, and the turnarounds are very fast in that market. Check out gamedev and sites like that to sort of get a feel for it.

Maybe that will help some.

Chris
http://www.chrishurn.com
@chris_hurn on twitter
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Re: Making Money with Garritan

Postby sica203 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:59 am

kwillcox wrote:I think there are a ton of short Vimeo videos that need reasonable quality and inexpensive 1 or2 minute soundtracks. Where can we go to sell such soundtracks? Also, can we have soundtracks available in mono, stereo, 5.1, and other formats, and different file formats. Someone would buy the soundtrack and have the right to the audio files in all the different formats, plus the MID file.

Garritan could host such a site, much as iClone hosts sites for their products.

I would love to get a paycheck for my audio work.


Here is my take if I may:
It's your music and you can sell it however you like, or give it away, FREE as in free beer.
The results in a long run is - you get what you put into it. Here is a great article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/27/opini ... html?_r=1&

There are many websites that sell soundtracks for filmmakers to download and marry those tracks to film. They only need a stereo track recorded at 24bit - 48Khz a standard for films. No need to provide mono, 5.1 and or other file formats.

Here is a website that comes to mind "Audio Jungle" and here are their rules:

"AudioJungle has a requirement that its authors cannot register their AudioJungle tracks with a performing rights organization (PRO). This requirement is so that buyers should not have to pay any further fees to a collecting society/PRO. Once an item is approved the buyer may or may not credit you for your work. It is up to them and not a requirement."

This is a killer for composers, but I have faith. The problem with this kind of work is that the track(s) won't never be unique to the film/documentary;

1) If the track was downloaded a 2nd time from another film maker, the uniqueness is gone.
2) It's about the film at all times, not the music. Music is a mean to convey, what goes on in the film to the audience.
3) Randy said that earlier, also. One (there's more to it) thing involved in film composition is - hit markers in different "time frames/scenes" that cannot be achieved with already made tracks.
The result?

Good film +
Good score +/-
not flowing together = to bad reputation for the director and composer

Oh! Never, fully sell your rights to anyone, unless they make you an offer you can't refuse.

If this is what you really want to do, network. Network. Network.
Go to a university to start with. Film students would love for you to score their film. Do a couple free of charge and state in your contract that you'll be posting the reels on your website as demos and have them keep the rights to everything else if necessary. That's just so you got some to show to professional film makers and there is where you do not sell what's yours. :)

Got questions? Feel free to message me private.

Adriano
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Re: Making Money with Garritan

Postby kingfreeze » Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:36 pm

good post, Adriano, thanks !
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Re: Making Money with Garritan

Postby sica203 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:58 pm

Hello kingfreeze and thank you of reading.

I hope, I didn't come across too harsh at the O/P and/or anyone else reading my post.
I have no problems with what anyone does with their music, it's what it leads to that I don't agree and AudioJungle is an example of that. That's saying "Oh, you want to be a composer? Well! here are the rules and regulations, we'll sell your work (already really cheap) and your cut is peanuts."

As a composer, wether short films/clips, trailers and what have you, it's still a huge amount of work and time invested. I do make some deals at times, but I never give it all away. If I wanted to do that, I would've chosen to be a ghost writer for an established Hollywood composer and make a hack of a lot more than what AudioJungle and others have to offer.

Here is another link, kingfreeze and anyone else interested in reading.
Good reference points IMHO

http://www.meetthecomposer.org/files/co ... -music.pdf

Thank you,
Adriano
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Re: Making Money with Garritan

Postby kingfreeze » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:03 pm

No Adriano, I don't think you sound too "harsh" , and I agree with you. you dropped a lot for buzz words here, which helps anyone trying to find a place to showcase their compositions. Thanks.
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