Digital innovations and Filmmaking -

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Short film Post-Production : My favorite sounds for free

I am currently working on a short film called Ces objets futiles. I have shot everything with a 5D Mark II. I hope that it will be released on May 2011. Shooting is finished and I'm in the editing phase. The post-production phase of creating this short film takes longer than the shooting of the film. At the beginning of the post-production process, I made a short selection for the film soundtrack. I decided to share it now because it's a good occasion to talk about how to stay on the budget (about 2 euros for the coffee in this case) while keeping a good sound quality. There are many free resources on the internet but there are usage terms and every indie filmmakers should know the rules.

The relationship between the cinema world and the music world isn't really easy to grasp. It's crazy but I heard that in hollywood some soundtracks were bought for several million dollars for less than 1 minute in the film. There are so many good artists all over the world... Is it really a question of emotion? In France, it could also be expensive to put a soundtrack in your production. To go further, see the SACEM rules for feature films, shorts or art-house movies for public screening in movie theaters or at festivals. In short, whatever the form, whatever the country, you have to respect the music rights and the code of intellectual property if you want to distribute your work. You can buy a well known music (very expensive) or ask a friend to make a good music for you (don't forget to make a contract), but for me one of the most exciting ways is to go fishing through the internet. Many filmmakers like me use royalty free music in their productions. Be careful, "royalty free music" doesn't necessarily mean "no cost". There are several professional music catalogs on the web. 

My favorite one is Jamendo PRO because the music quality is excellent and it is relatively cheap. But, you can also get good resources for 0 euro. Jamendo also provides some music files under a Creative Commons license. You are free to use and download materials for personal use but if you want to distribute your work, be sure to see and respect the terms of use. These licenses allow the creator to communicate how he waives his rights for the benefit of recipients or other creators. 

There are 6 Creative Commons licenses (from wikipedia) :
AttributionAttribution (by)Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform the work and make derivative works based on it only if they give the author or licensor the credits in the manner specified by these.
Non-commercialNoncommercial(nc)Licensees may copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and make derivative works based on it only for noncommercial purposes.
Non-derivativeNo Derivative Works (nd)Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform only verbatim copies of the work, not derivative works based on it.
Share-alikeShare-alike (sa)Licensees may distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs the original work. (See also copyleft.)

Mixing and matching these conditions is possible. Ces objets futiles will be available under the BY+SA license (Attribution + ShareAlike). It allows one to share and remix (create derivative works), even for commercial use, so long as attribution is given, and the derivative work must also be available under the BY+SA license. This license doesn't allow me to reuse all the music files made under a Creative Commons License. I have to focus on BY+SA or BY resources but it is sufficient to make me happy... There are so many good candidates for these licenses that it really sounds like fishing when I go through the internet to search the perfect music for my project, and I like to do that...

So, here are the musics I choose for this short film :








If you like Creative Commons music, you will probably like the following websites :

To finish with Sounds, if you search ambient sounds, here are my favorite websites :


  1. I really want to appreciate here one of your quality is find out best idea and hard work for complete your campaign. Music you choose for your short film is damn good, in fact excellent. Just keep it up and all the best for success of this short movie.

  2. Thanks a lot for this message... I like these artists and I like I appreciate your encouragement. What do you think about the musics of my last short film Russian Sandglass?