In an era when most consumers prefer to spend more on a cup of coffee than an album’s worth of music and filmmakers are judged on their soundtrack as heavily as their visual aesthetic there has seemingly never been as great a need for the unification of musicians and filmmakers.
At a speaking engagement last Spring, Kathleen Hanna was asked the best way for musicians to make money in the digital age. In her response, she mentioned both non-stop touring and music licensing, noting the times she has licensed Le Tigre’s ‘Deceptacon’ as being very lucrative and encouraged young musicians in the audience to pursue music placement. But how do musicians and filmmakers find each other to make that vital connection?
Northwest Film Forum is championing the conversation tonight with their Watch, Listen, Drink: Happy Hour for Musicians and Filmmakers. The free event (co-presented by Seattle Composers Alliance) is a happy hour for musicians, composers, and filmmakers to meet up, discover each other’s work, and spark new collaborations. And as the event will be populated by under compensated artists…the first 25 people get a free drink!
NWFF’s Courtney Sheehan has been observing a trend among locals who make movies and music, says Sheehan: “Over the past year, more and more musicians, composers, and filmmakers have remarked to me that they’re on the lookout for ways to discover new collaborators for their projects. What’s interesting is the variety of artists seeking out new contacts: from established to first-time filmmakers seeking the right composer, to musicians from all genres exploring visual media, there’s a clear desire for more direct channels of connection. Hence, a happy hour based on sharing media and work samples!”
Local musician and composer Tomo Nakayama whose music has appeared in Lynn Shelton’s film Touchy Feely, among others, notes: “Bands are always looking for ways to create more content, not just music videos but more behind the scenes documentary style films and crowdfunding videos for things like Kickstarter. We’re really good guinea pigs for young filmmakers to develop their visual ideas, techniques and storytelling chops, with a built-in audience that you can count on to see the finished project. Filmmakers, on the other hand, are always looking for original music for their various projects. Scoring for films can be a unique and fun challenge for a musician who’s used to writing and playing in bands. It definitely has its own set of needs and parameters that the composer needs to be sensitive to. It’s really expensive and difficult to make a movie, and to make music too for that matter, so anything that one can do to support the other will pay off down the line as long as you remain respectful of each other’s time and art, and continue to nurture relationships with people who do good work.”
The event begins at 6 pm and participants are encouraged to bring work samples to share at listening and watching stations in the lobby prior to an involved, curated match-making session between local film and music creators.