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Singing for the Movies

When the producers of an independent film were searching for a soundtrack, they looked no further than YouTube.

Now, singer-songwriter Sarah Bella has a contract.

In an exclusive interview for VoiceCouncil Magazine, Sarah shares her experience with all vocalists.

How did your connection to the movies happen?

I was originally contacted via YouTube. The Director heard one of my songs online and thought it would be perfect for a certain scene in the movie.

What happened next – did they simply ask for the rights to your songs, want your voice on the soundtrack, ask for a new recording?

The company sent me a rough copy of the movie to review with my song already in place during a particular scene. A few days later I was contacted again and was asked if I’d write the theme song that will be played during the opening credits. I of course said yes! I watched the film again for inspiration and decided on a particular theme in the movie to write about. After watching the opening credits where the song would be placed, ideas formed and the song soon followed.

What can you reveal about the contract – negotiations that will help singer-songwriters in other situations?

This is an independent film and so as long as it doesn’t blow up into a major motion picture, I am in it mainly for the exposure as an artist. I was not paid; most independent films cannot pay, which it was they try to find artists that are not signed.

What kinds of exposure are they promising you – were you happy with what they promised?

My name and picture are on the front cover DVD and I am also listed on the back cover. My song is the opener for the film –which I am really excited about!

Do you like the film – have you seen it?

Rancho D’Amour is a wonderful romantic comedy that centers on a young female who gets tangled up in the difficulties of life but ultimately finds love. It is well written and performed! I enjoyed it very much.

What’s the next step for you in the film world or is this just a fluke?

I don’t believe it is a fluke. Having your name connected with any film is great exposure especially when asked to write specifically for the film. It shows that you are able to write “on the spot” or in a given period of time and hopefully attract enough attention to open more doors.

How might it otherwise happen for other singer-songwriters?

The easiest way is to get in with a publishing company who licenses music for a number of things, like TV, movies, video games, basically anything that uses music. Getting involved with the right publishing company can open many doors. Networking online, like I do, may also open doors if the right person comes along!

So, what is your advice for vocalists who want to get noticed in the ways that you have?

Just keep doing what you are good at. A great song is a great song and eventually someone will notice! It obviously helps to make as many contacts as possible. Even if the contact may not seem important, that person may know someone who knows someone…you never know!

Sarah Bella is a singer-songwriter from Michigan with a rapidly growing YouTube fan base. Her recently featured original song, Time Hasn’t Moved, has had over 300,000 views. Sarah’s songwriting recently caught the attention of the film industry and she’s now written the theme song for the independent film Rancho D’Amour. Sarah is also a recent winner of “Detroit’s Got Talent” and, as a result, will be performing two of her original songs at the Detroit Pistons’ Game! Check out Sarah’s many original songs on YouTube.

  • Clifton Thayer

    I’m inspired!