Music and Filmmaking’s Triangle of Power

Guest blog post by Daniel McCarthy, CEO of The Music Bed.

My daughter is a very sneaky little 3-year-old. She is usually the life of the party, always talking, chatting and making jokes. HOWEVER, when the house get’s quiet she is typically doing something she is not supposed to be doing. My wife and I will be sitting in the living room and she’ll say, “Do you hear that?” and I will say, “hear what?” and she says, “exactly, it’s quiet…” Which is when we both simultaneously yell, “EISLEY, WHERE ARE YOU?”

The point is, she is only three and she knows the cardinal rule of being sneaky. “STAY QUIET!”

The same thing goes for music licensing. Forever, we filmmakers have just been using whatever song was available and then just making sure we stayed quiet about it to keep ourselves clear…

I was emailing back and forth with Chris Jones (a friend / wedding filmmaker / TMB user) a few weeks back and he made a great observation about the advantages of creating complete transparency between musicians and filmmakers.

Chris said, “I’m hopeful that with doing things the right way, filmmakers will open themselves up to a social network of ardent supporters in the music world, who will continue to push the image of what wedding filmmaking can be, escorting the old reputation out the door, rather than us trying to do it on our own.”

He nailed it on the head! Ultimately, there is something deeper than just paying to license a song because it is the legal thing to do. In our opinion when you license a song it gives transparency to the transaction, and it allows every party involved to openly support the other parties.

In our industry the triangle of influence goes like this:

Artist —> Filmmaker —> Client (or Bride & Groom)

The artist makes music that the filmmaker can use to create an incredible connection with the film and the client, and then the client is now a new fan of the artist.

And the other way around:

Clients hire Filmmakers to create films, who need music to put in those films, who compensate the artist for their music so that they can keep making music for their fans (you and your clients).

That triangle is the direct effect of the license. However, the indirect effect is really hard to quantify. When everyone is playing by the rules, it allows for everyone to talk freely and share freely. From a practical standpoint that means the filmmaker can now mention the artist in social posts and on blog posts, etc. And the artist can return the favor by sharing the films with their fans and followers.

In my opinion, while the legal reasons are probably worth your money spent on The Music Bed, the value is in the transparency, relationships & mutual support.

Daniel is CEO of The Music Bed, and a former professional event filmmaker. TMB offers videographers and photographers affordable licenses to amazing songs that can be used for weddings, events, commercial work, short films, non-profits and more.