Sync & Libraries

An important income stream for many musicians is to write for screen. This is often called sync in music publishing, and involves licensing music for use in visual media such as movies, television shows, commercials, video games, and online content. This process grants permission to synchronise music with visual elements, ensuring that the songwriters and composers receive compensation.

Production music libraries are “one-stop shops” for audio-visual producers to purchase music with all rights pre-cleared for sync. For further information on this go to CLIP

Sync licensing can be a significant revenue stream for artists, providing exposure to wider audiences and creating opportunities for their music to be featured in various multimedia projects, thus enhancing the song’s reach and commercial potential.

With thanks to – NoSheetMusic, Background Music: Renee Thomas

How to Get a TV or Film Composing Commission in the UK

Securing a composing commission for TV or film in the UK involves a mix of building a robust portfolio, networking, and actively seeking opportunities. Here are the steps:

Build a Strong Portfolio: Create a diverse portfolio of your compositions, including past projects such as short films, advertisements, or independent films. Highlight your versatility across different genres and styles.

Demo Reel: Compile a demo reel featuring clips of your work synced to visuals. This should demonstrate your ability to enhance storytelling through music.

Networking at Industry Events: Attend film festivals, TV industry events, and music conferences. These events are excellent for meeting directors, producers, and other composers.

Professional Organisations: Join organisations such as the UK Screen Alliance.

Courses and Workshops: Enroll in courses or workshops focused on film and TV composition. Institutions like the National Film and Television School (NFTS) offer specialised programs that can provide both skills and industry connections.

Mentorships: Seek mentorship from established composers. This can provide valuable guidance and introductions to key industry players.

Contact Production Companies: Research and reach out to production companies, directors, and producers directly. Provide them with your portfolio and express your interest in composing for their projects.

Music Libraries: Submit your work to music libraries that license tracks for TV and film. This can be a way to get your music noticed by producers and directors.

Independent Projects: Collaborate with independent filmmakers and student film projects. This can build your experience and expand your network within the industry.

Agents: Consider getting an agent who specialises in film and TV composers. An agent can help you find opportunities and negotiate contracts.

Competitions: Participate in music composition competitions, which can provide exposure and credibility.

Funding and Grants: Look for funding opportunities and grants specific to composers from organisations like the PRS Foundation.

By combining these strategies, you can increase your chances of securing a composing commission for TV or film in the UK. For further information and resources, consider visiting the UK Screen Alliance and PRS Foundation websites​.