If you’re making a film on a budget, you’re inevitably going to have to cut some corners, or be creative as you spin plates and bring your vision to life.

While in an ideal world, you might be able to licence your favourite songs from big name artists, in most cases this will simply be prohibitively expensive – so what do you do?

A common method for finding music for films is to simply lower your expectations a little, and listen around to local bands and artists, who haven’t quite hit the big time yet. Bands will often be keen to jump on the chance to give their music a little extra exposure. Be sure to make sure they have instrumental versions of their music, however, if you’d rather not include vocals in your creative project.

If you’re really working to a shoestring budget, you can find royalty free music online with a Google search. Be warned that this music is likely to be poor quality, and will have been used time and time again in other projects. It’s also important to check the fine print, some music is only available for personal use rather than commercial projects.

Or, you can work with composers on a freelance basis – often with great results. While a freelance composer will often give you fantastic results, and work with you to create exactly what you need, this course of action is rarely cheap.

Equally, you’ll be able to find plenty of novice composers who will work with you in exchange for nothing more than a credit. These guys can be great – but sadly, they’re the exception from the norm. Generally, if you’re getting it for free, it’s going to be poor quality, and they’ll be slow to deliver – if they do at all.

So you’ve got a few options that you can try out if you don’t have the budget to licence popular instrumental music directly from your favourite artists.

We aim to offer a complete selection of good background music for film-makers on a range of budgets. So if you’re a little low on budget, you can license our music on a non-exclusive basis – in other words, other film-makers can use the tracks as well.

Or, you can take out an exclusive licence for a little extra, and you’ll be the only one able to use the track commercially.

Of course, we’d also recommend considering having a bespoke soundtrack produced. In this way, we’ll work with you to produce exactly what you want, which will have the best results for your film.

However you get the music into your film, be sure to make sure it’s legal – but also make sure that you don’t undermine your project by cutting corners here and acquiring music that fails to enhance your film or creative project.