• Sean LaFollette


A poem by Sean LaFollette
Edit To The Music

This is an interesting one to think about. If you have a song in mind for a scene and you KNOW you can get the rights to use it, should you edit your scene to the music? Is this the correct approach? Honestly, I don’t know as it’s not something I’ve ever done, but I’m intrigued by the idea and considering using this approach.

I’m not planning to cut the entire film around music, absolutely not. What I’m considering doing is taking a song that I know will work great for a scene and directing/editing a single scene around that song. A song that I know I can get approval to use because I’ve found it on a site that is designed for it. Without approval, I wouldn’t even consider this as an option.

Getting mainstream music for your film is not only difficult, it’s expensive. You have to find a way to reach out to the artist or label, get approval and then agree to the term THEY are likely going to establish. This won't be cheap, trust me. Luckily, we live in 2020 and there are plenty of options available to us.


The options are now affordable and endless, if you do a little research or think outside the box. I wish I had these options when I made Pink Heat because I sure as hell wouldn’t have created and scored my own film, something I regret to this day. I’m not a musician and I certainly shouldn’t pretend to be. However, if you are musically inclined, you certainly could explore the option of creating your own music.

Creating can be fun but it’s also time consuming. You’re already putting in all the time and effort to make the film, do you really want to spend the time to create music for it too? The world is filled with artists who have already created music for you, why not leverage them? A simple Google search can show you local independent artists in your area, all who would love to put an original song in your movie. Not sure they have what you’re looking for? I’m sure you can find their music on YouTube for you to preview.

Not only can you Google independent artists, there are now sites designated to music for film and filmmakers. Again, after a quick search, I was able to produce the list of sites below.

Premium Beat

Music Bed



Music Vine ( I will be using this service)


As I’ve stated before, it’s great to be a filmmaker in 2020. We have options, people and options are great! Now, let’s take it back to the task at hand.


Here’s my thought process on this one. If you follow me regularly then you may know, I was inspired to add a few dance numbers to my upcoming film. You can read about it here. With this decision comes some choreography, mapping out the dance steps and how I will film them. In order for me to know the steps and where I would cut, I want to hear the music.

I’m going to stage this thing around a single song, as opposed to making a song work after the edit. Browsing the various platforms above, I am able to select a song that I think fits the tone and vision in my head. Then, listening to the beat, I can navigate a few dance steps, planning out exactly what's going to happen and where to cut the sequence together.


There’s a few takeaways on this one. First and most importantly, music is available to you for your projects. Can’t get mainstream? Who gives a shit, you don’t need it. Use one of the MANY avenues available to independent artists and create your beautiful pieces of work.

Next, I believe you can cut to music and in SOME situations, you should. If you have a sequence and you want it to play out to a certain song, plan that shit out. Map it from start to finish. Plan the steps, plan the edits and shoot with confidence.

- The Failed Filmmaker






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