Trying to land a music sync deal is something we’ve all thought about at some point, right? When you write that perfect song and think it would work great in the next action film? Or you’re watching the latest romantic film and think your last track would have been just as good if not better than the lead song on the soundtrack.
But do you really, truly have what it takes to land a music sync deal for yourself? Here’s 4 questions you should be able to honestly answer before your first pitch to a music supervisor.
1. Do you truly love making music?
We ask this because sync deals can be very unforgiving. It is unlikely that the first sync deal you land is going to be for a major advertising company or blockbuster film or award-winning sitcom. It is likely to be a small commercial, probably on local TV. The pay can be minimal and the demands can be kind of crazy, but if all you want to do is write and record original music then you shouldn’t mind! This is where you learn the craft of writing to a brief which you can use to develop and land those bigger deals later down the line.
2. Do you have a positive outlook on life, that things will eventually work out somehow?
A career in music can be a long, hard, slog. The competition, the lack of sleep, the lack of money… it’s a wonder any of us try! This is true of trying to land a music sync deal. If you have a tendency to look on the negative side of things you will find it very difficult to keep pushing yourself forward. You need that natural self-motivation to make it in this industry.
3. How long are you willing to keep trying until you succeed?
Musicians could be considered entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs aren’t smarter or better with people than unsuccessful entrepreneurs – they just didn’t give up. If people give you a no, ask why and improve before trying somewhere else. If you don’t have the skills right now, learn them. Do your research, what music does the company you’re approaching normally use in their syncs? Have a go at creating songs for sample briefs. Keep going until you get to where you want to be. Keep going until you land that sync deal you want.
If you’re not prone to perseverance then maybe this isn’t the career for you.
4. Are you a good listener? Can you work to deadlines?
If someone does hire you to write a song for sync, this person might not know anything about what it takes to write music. They can come back with remarks like “That’s not what we are looking for”, “can you make it happier?”, “can you make it longer?”, “can you finish a song with lyrics and melody by the end of today?” Briefs can be very specific and have tight deadlines so you need to learn to listen and focus on getting the work done in time. If you’re unsure of something you need to learn to ask the right questions, listen and respect the answers. This could be the difference between writing a successful sync or being out looking for another job.
Land a Music Sync Deal
This might be putting you off pursuing a career in sync deals, or even music at all! But if it hasn’t, and your love of music is powering through, then you’ll be fine. It won’t be easy, but nothing worth having ever is!