How to Select Music for Short Films Blog | FirstCom Music

You might think that selecting music for short films would be easier than choosing soundtracks for feature-length movies, but that’s not necessarily true. In many ways, having less time to work with makes every detail more important. Whether you’re working on an art piece that’s a few minutes long or telling a story in 20-30 minutes– you need to make every second count. It’s easy to get stressed about these critical choices, and the wealth of cinematic production music for film available can sometimes lead to what is known as “option paralysis.” The good news is the experts at FirstCom Music are here to help. Here are some things to think about when you’re choosing music for short movies.

Audio to Fit the Imagery

Listen to a song. Close your eyes and think about what you see. For most people, that’s a lot easier to do than viewing images and then picturing an accompanying audio track, but that’s precisely what you need to train your mind to do. Try forgetting about your movie for a second and listen to a diverse selection of audio tracks. Write down the images that pop into your head. Then revisit what you’ve written and see what could fit the imagery in your film. Once you’ve settled on an overall vibe, the process of narrowing down your choices becomes much easier.

Use Music to Complement the Script

If your production has a script, you’ll need a soundtrack that can work with it. This often means you’ll need themes that play over the intro and end credits, sound beds to play underneath dialogue, and music for scenes that don’t have dialogue—like chase scenes, romantic scenes, montages, etc. In addition to this, short bursts of music can also be used to transition between cuts. Think about imagery and pacing as you decide on audio. Do you want long, drawn-out tones, a mid-tempo groove, or a fast, frantic beat?

Sound Effects for Short Films

Music is just one part of the audio equation. Cinematic sound effects for short films can make a new project come to life, and it often doesn’t take very much. Sound effects can be upfront, attention-getting, and sometimes comical, or subtle bursts of sound that add to the sonic tapestry of your work. Unless you’re going for a cartoonish feel (or producing an actual cartoon), you might want to be fairly conservative with your use of sound effects, though it usually pays to experiment and see what works best. Browse our libraries today and discover the ideal audio for your film.

Work with High-Quality Options

Whether you’re going for a bonkers, off the wall production with a load of sound effects, a film without dialogue that has music throughout, or just need a mellow sound-bed to play during a climactic scene– you know the quality of your audio is extremely important. FirstCom Music has been providing music licensing for film and TV for over four decades, and we have a range of licensing agreements that can work with any project’s needs and budget.

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