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Website credibility- film music work
Old 21st November 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Website credibility- film music work

Has anyone ever heard of or used the site Film Music Network -

I have been getting mail with "jobs" from them as a non member for a long time but I never pay attention but next year I'm going freelance and now these emails look good. Is this just a crappy spam site that takes your money or does anyone actually get work from it?
Old 22nd November 2009
  #2
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Never seen any work from it. Tried it a couple of times, never even got a confirmation that the receiving party got my submission.
Old 25th November 2009
  #3
As a general rule, I try to stay away from any sites that charge you to submit. Most people never see anything from it, even if the music you submit is amazing. That's not to say that some people have had good luck... it's just those are the exceptions, and not the norm.
Old 4th December 2009
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Hi Spidernook and all -

I'm a composer myself and head up the Film Music Network, and would be happy to answer any questions about our services. A quick overview/snapshot:

* We've been in business since 1997, and our goal is to locate opportunities for our members and readers to get their music into film and television.

* We're somewhat similar to TAXI, except we don't screen submissions - all music submitted is sent directly to job posters. Our member submission fees are among the lowest of any job service (TAXI, Broadjam, Sonicbids, etc)

* For job posters that use our online SubmitDIRECT online submission entry and review technology, there is a small submission fee per track ($1.99 for members, $5.99 for non-members) which helps pay for the submission technology and pays for our job researchers who spend each day out looking for new opportunities for our members.

* Some job posters don't use SubmitDIRECT - it's their choice. For those jobs, there is no submisison fee, and submitters send CDs via mail or however else the job poster wants to receive submissions.

I welcome any questions or feedback about any of our services - you can learn more about our different film & TV music related services at Welcome to Film Music World or go directly to the Film Music Network site at Film Music Network -

Best,

Mark Northam
[email protected]
Old 4th December 2009
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnortham View Post
* For job posters that use our online SubmitDIRECT online submission entry and review technology, there is a small submission fee per track ($1.99 for members, $5.99 for non-members) which helps pay for the submission technology and pays for our job researchers who spend each day out looking for new opportunities for our members.
How much of that $1.99~$5.99 goes to the job poster?
Old 5th December 2009
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Hi Derek -

Unlike many other job services, none of the submission fees go to the job poster - the job submission fees are used to pay for our job researchers who work to find the job leads and convince them to allow our members to submit, and pay for the technology used for the SubmitDIRECT platform.

Hope this helps better understand our service -

Best,

Mark Northam
Film Music Network
Old 7th December 2009
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnortham View Post
Hi Derek -

Unlike many other job services, none of the submission fees go to the job poster - the job submission fees are used to pay for our job researchers who work to find the job leads and convince them to allow our members to submit, and pay for the technology used for the SubmitDIRECT platform.

Hope this helps better understand our service -

Best,

Mark Northam
Film Music Network
OK... so then how much of the fee of each submission goes to the "job researcher" who posts the job?
Old 8th December 2009
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Hi Derek -

Thanks for the question. As it involves personnel/payroll data, I hope you can understand why it would be inappropriate to publish compensation numbers for our staff. I can tell you that we have several job researchers who work for us locating specific opportunities for our members to submit with production companies, music libraries, jingle houses, ad agencies, and other users of music. They have a singular mission and goal: to build relationships in the industry and locate quality opportunities for our members to submit music for. We have members at all levels of the business, from those in the very early years of their careers, through folks who have been in the business for decades - for that reason not all job listings are appropriate for all members for reasons of experience, musical genres, etc.

Also, our job researchers doesn't actually post jobs - they identify opportunities and gather as much info as they can, working with the hiring company or person. Then we look at the job and make a judgment as to whether it's appropriate for our service, then we publish it if we believe it's a good fit. A "good fit" for us means we've been in touch with the posting company directly to confirm details, we believe that the job is not exploitative, and we are comfortable with the job poster and the job description being published.

Hope this helps -

Best,

Mark Northam
Old 8th December 2009
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnortham View Post
Hi Derek -

Thanks for the question. As it involves personnel/payroll data, I hope you can understand why it would be inappropriate to publish compensation numbers for our staff.
That's what I thought you'd say. ;-)

But, that is also enough information to realize that your staff gets compensated for every submission, not for every placement.

If the submission fee is $1.99 for members... and your "researchers" get 50% for finding the lead... then they make a dollar for every person that submits regardless of whether the submission is even listened to or not by the posting production company...

I'd be interested in hearing about your policies to safeguard against the very obvious fraud that could occur. Where, one of your researchers finds a production in progress, knows the music supervisor and gets him/her to post the position on your site for a split of the compensation (under the table of course), even though the music supervisor has already picked all the music for the production before even posting on your site.

If you get on average around 1000 submissions (just a nice round number, no idea how many submissions you actually get), you make $2000 from the submissions (on top of the subscription fee). Why don't you change to charging $2000 per submission (or however much you make on average per posting), but only charge the person IF their submission is actually picked/licensed for the production?
Old 9th December 2009
  #10
Gear Addict
 

So...if a major number of the clients are actually music libraries, you have to pay to submit it to somebody who will then submit it along with the rest of the library for potential but completely unguaranteed usage? Effectively, you're asking people to pay for the opportunity to give up the publishing rights they otherwise own? Seems like a win win for the publishing libraries and a small win for you, and a big lose for the composer?

Music library work sucks enough (90% of library tracks barely making a dime in the long run) without having to pay to get your music into one...most libraries, even the big ones, are more than happy to take stuff if it's any good...but that's just my experience. Libraries only make the money when the stuff is licensed....it's a lottery otherwise?






Quote:
Originally Posted by mnortham View Post
Hi Derek -

Thanks for the question. As it involves personnel/payroll data, I hope you can understand why it would be inappropriate to publish compensation numbers for our staff. I can tell you that we have several job researchers who work for us locating specific opportunities for our members to submit with production companies, music libraries, jingle houses, ad agencies, and other users of music. They have a singular mission and goal: to build relationships in the industry and locate quality opportunities for our members to submit music for. We have members at all levels of the business, from those in the very early years of their careers, through folks who have been in the business for decades - for that reason not all job listings are appropriate for all members for reasons of experience, musical genres, etc.

Also, our job researchers doesn't actually post jobs - they identify opportunities and gather as much info as they can, working with the hiring company or person. Then we look at the job and make a judgment as to whether it's appropriate for our service, then we publish it if we believe it's a good fit. A "good fit" for us means we've been in touch with the posting company directly to confirm details, we believe that the job is not exploitative, and we are comfortable with the job poster and the job description being published.

Hope this helps -

Best,

Mark Northam
Old 9th December 2009
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Hi Londontown -

Thanks for the reply. Some notes on music library postings from my point of view (opinion included!):

* We do not post listings for libraries who expect copyright to be "given" to them with no up-front payment/compensation to the composer. This standard, far more prevalent in the UK than in the USA, is exploitative, in my opinion. If a library wants copyright, let them pay for it!

* In the USA, a rapidly growing number of libraries use retitling, and allow the composer to keep his/her copyright. Other business models involving libraries licensing music from composers and then placing that music are in many cases replacing the traditional "we must own the copyright, give it to us!" deal that can seriously disadvantage composers. As soon as you give up copyright, you are virtually powerless to compel the library or end users of music to do much of anything.

* In USA television, the use of library music is expanding rapidly as more and more shows, especially sit-coms, etc are done exclusively with library music. It's a combination of a lot of great sounding music being available now from libraries plus the fact that editors are very comfortable editing music audio. It's not the greatest news for custom score composers, but the fast growth of libraries presents other types of opportunities for instrumental music.

* Writing for libraries allows composers to live anywhere - a huge advantage to composers who live outside LA and the other music centers.
Old 9th December 2009
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Hi Derek -

Re: submissions/compensation - Actually none of our staff are compensated based on the number of submissions. Our job researchers get a combination of hourly wage plus a modest fee for each job they locate and we approve and post. Also, I look at every job that goes out before it is posted and sign off on the listings - I've got to be comfortable that the job is a good fit for our members and doesn't raise any "red flags".

As far as the number of submissions, we've never received anywhere close to 1000 submissions for a job - it's usually under 100 for jobs with more of a niche audience (rare genres, etc) or a max of a few hundred for the most popular jobs.

In the end, the service is not for everybody, and it's certainly not intended to be a composer's primary source of leads/jobs. In a nutshell, it's a music delivery system with a built-in review platform that helps music seekers get quick submissions for jobs and control the flow of submissions in an orderly way to help them, hopefully, find the best music for their job with a minimum of hassle.

In closing, here's an email I received just today from a member - we get these from time to time, and it really sums up why we do this - it's all about creating opportunities that can lead to other opportunities, etc. A lowly library placement can end up leading to bigger and better things, as this member reports:

"Hi Mark,

I thought you might like to hear that one of your listings in 2008 resulted in my being signed to create music for 6 CDs for the company. From that I got placements this year on 3 major national commercial campaigns, the latest being the Mastercard Priceless Christmas campaign with Peyton Manning. Needless to say, I am very happy with your service!

Thank you for providing these kinds of opportunities for the composing community."

To me, that about says it all. We didn't get him these jobs, he and his music did. We made him aware of an opportunity through our service, and he used the fact that he was selected by the first job poster (a library) to leverage that into bigger and better opportunities.
Old 7th January 2010
  #13
Gear Head
 

I have seen these kinds of things....in this day and age with the internet....why go through someone who charges for submissions?

1) Pump Audio - They screen submissions and DO NOT CHARGE you unless a placement ensues, which they have a spelled out contract as to what percentages you get and they get and what rights are retained or given away. I've submitted music through them.

2) Many publications nowadays give you a complete list of music supervisors and publishing companies that you can send music to directly for the price/time of postage or digitally - why pay insane submission fees for the same chances?

3) Contact CD production music libraries directly, find out someone who works there are try to submit to them. I have friends that have sold a few tracks this way....

Just my two cents - but when music pays SO LITTLE why should anyone have to PAY MORE just for the chance to maybe get an actual paying placement.

just my two!
Old 11th February 2014
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Always better to submit to libraries or jobs yourself.....improve your skills and be honest with where you are at. HUGELY competitive field. I don't think success or placement rates are any higher through these services then going at it on your own and you don't have to pay the membership fees or pay to submit. Some guys have had success with pay services like this. Guys who have never used them and had success anyway will tell you, for the most part, NEVER to pay...other folks will say they had some success or a lot of success. Think those claims pray on our ambitions but for the most part are overblown, and they all use that. same marketing tactic. Problem is they are honest accomplishments and hat goes off to the composer who , for the lack of a better word, scored but most don't have that kind of success. That said, when I posted about pay services on another site, above the din of composers saying NEVER pay, a gentleman said this particular network helped him get his foot in the door. Wrapping up a membership in another service, I would say if your whole reason for joining is to get paying jobs, don't. BUT I am hugely grateful to the community and saw my production skills skyrocket as a result of the membership. I also get real skeptical when you press for numbers on success rates.
Old 17th February 2014
  #15
Gear Nut
So there's no quality control? Man I would hate to be the one posting a job there... The amount of trash one must wade trough must be enormous.

If you want to go freelance consider a agent. They strike a commision but if the network is good, it can be very profitable.
Old 18th March 2014
  #16
Gear Nut
 
jlongen's Avatar
 

Where would you find an agent for the getting placements etc type of thing? I would love that, would be so great to just work on writing and recording.
Old 19th March 2014
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlongen View Post
Where would you find an agent for the getting placements etc type of thing? I would love that, would be so great to just work on writing and recording.
Composer agents and managers | Variety

This is a good place to start.

Just realize, agents aren't going to be interested in signing with you unless your music is already making money. Agents aren't usually a "grassroots" or "from the ground up" type of thing. They take what is already making decent money, and turn it into making amazing money. Composer/arranger/orchestrator/producer Joe Trapanese is a recent example of what I'm talking about. It wasn't like he wasn't getting any work before he got an agent and then the agent got him all this work. He was getting pretty good gigs before the agent... but then the agent helped him break into the bigger gigs. And he was groomed by a lot of great, "big name" composers in the industry and worked with them before branching out on his own.

From the agents I know, most won't even consider you until your music is grossing six figures in revenue every year for at least a few years. Otherwise their 10% commission isn't worth the effort.

Publishers are the same way. Publishers like Ole, EMI, Universal, Sony, etc place/license music in shows and films. But, until your music is getting licensed a lot on its own, you aren't ready to hire a publisher to help you.

I say this just to remind people. Agents, managers and publishers ultimately work for "YOU", you do not work for them (even though it may feel like it sometimes! HAHA). They are your sales and marketing staff. If your product (music) hasn't made it to the point where you are selling/licensing enough to warrant hiring any type of staff, then chances are you aren't ready for an agent or manager yet. That's not to say you won't be some day... but you just aren't ready at the moment.

If you are at that point where you are making enough money to have a composer's assistant, an engineer, business assistant/secretary, etc on payroll. It's not that you need any of these to get an agent, manager or publisher. It's just that your career isn't going to attract agents, managers and publishers if your music isn't already generating the kind of income that allows you to hire and sustain these types of positions under you. Your agent and publisher simply become yet another staff member for your business (a contract based staff member).
Old 19th March 2014
  #18
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
Composer/arranger/orchestrator/producer Joe Trapanese is a recent example of what I'm talking about. It wasn't like he wasn't getting any work before he got an agent and then the agent got him all this work. He was getting pretty good gigs before the agent... but then the agent helped him break into the bigger gigs.
Or, the easy way to say it :

You can't get an agent unless you don't need them. If you're making good money and you don't need one, the chance of landing one is fairly good.

The whole "looking for an agent / manager so I can break in...." is a complete fantasy world. I'm not sure where that started.
Old 19th March 2014
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Or, the easy way to say it :

You can't get an agent unless you don't need them. If you're making good money and you don't need one, the chance of landing one is fairly good.
Actually, that is just about the BEST way to say it!
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