Workshop: The Intersection of Art & Commerce: A Music Licensing Exploration

This workshop, hosted by industry veteran Staci Slater, founder of The Talent House, was on the ways in which art and commerce can merge in a successful manner. Based on her experience in film/television licensing, clearance and pitching as well as her many years as a manager, Staci discussed the business aspect of creating income through songs and music in film and TV, while showing it’s possible to remain authentic to the artistic vision of the songwriter.

She was joined by Guðrún Björk Bjarnadóttir (IS), General Manager of STEF, The Performing Rights Society of Iceland, Einar Tönsberg (IS), Musician, Pétur Jónsson (IS), Music Producer and Manager of Medialux Music Productions. The guests at the workshop included local artists, representatives of Gogoyoko, and a publisher of sheet music and books.

After underlining the fact that TV and film are one of the best ways for musicians to make a living, Staci began explaining the best ways for artists to get their work heard by the right people. Pétur Jónsson (IS), Music Producer and Manager of Medialux Music Productions also rightly pointed out that the perception of music has changed to the point where it is nowadays much more acceptable for musicians to have their creative goods used in film and TV.

Some of the main points raised were that artists should always send instrumentals, as almost every commissioning producer wants to hear an instrumental version of a song, even if the original comes with lyrics. (Make sure you master them too, urged Peter, show them the same respect as the originals). Secondly, make sure you tell people you are from Iceland, as this is a very popular and buzzy place as far as film people are concerned right now — be sure to write it in big letters to help your pitch stand out.

One of the main “don’ts” was to make sure not to send hundreds of unsolicited CDs out to mailing lists. Resources like www.filmmusicstore.com are a way of researching more specifically what people are working on…