Mathew, John, thank you so much for joining me! Loving the marlin, by the way. So, before we dive into your latest venture, who are you guys? What do you do?
We are long time friends, born and raised from the Comox Valley, a small Canadian town smack down in the centre of Vancouver Island. Our friendship began by organizing street hockey games, pretty much every day, you can’t get more Canadian then that. We then started making films together for fun which quickly turned into a full blown passion and before we knew it we found ourselves running a production company in Vancouver. It’s been a wild and exciting ride and we have loved every second of it! We love telling stories that are honest, real, and matter. It’s what pushes us every day to be better filmmakers! Music has always been a huge part of our lives and hugely important part of all our films. It’s this passion that inspired us to find more amazing music, and what inspired our newest venture, “Community Tree Music”.
Community Tree Music is a resource for filmmakers to find great soundtracks for their films. The artists are all Canadian and we are so proud to be able to share their amazing talent with the filmmaking public.
Sounds like my kind of jam! How did it all begin?
As filmmakers ourselves we can totally relate to how hard it can be to find the perfect song, not only that but we can also relate to how frustrating it can be to license a song for a film. We wanted to create something that made it easier for people like us, filmmakers, to find great music and license it easily for their films. We realized this was something we needed to create when we had a meeting with a commercial client who specifically requested Canadian music in their commercial spot. When we started looking into licensing quality Canadian music we realized that there were not a lot of places were you could find quality Canadian music to license. When we looked a bit deeper we started finding all sorts of incredibly talented Canadian artists, so we created something that would help give them exposure while at the same time provide a solid resource for filmmakers that need great music.
That was one of the big draws for me as well, that you guys are running a purely Canadian resource.
Canadians have great stories to tell, it’s reflected in so much of what we do as a culture. There are so many fantastic Canadian musicians out there, and so many songs that we felt would fit perfectly in films. The opportunity for Canadian musicians to collaborate with Canadian filmmakers is really exciting. Adding to this, a filmmaker buys a license from one of our artists, the artist makes money and when you are trying to survive as an indie Canadian musician every loony or townie counts! Hopefully this will help them financially and allow them to focus more on making great music.
So Community Tree Music focuses on independent music? Would you say indie music better than mainstream material?
We get asked this a lot. It’s not that it is better, it’s just that independent music is more honest and personal and we feel tells a better story. When you hear a top 40 song on the radio a thousand times a day it starts to lose its personality. If you use that song in your film it can take away from the honesty of the story. We are starting to see independent music becoming more of a popular choice in web videos, films, commercials and television and often we ask ourselves “what is that song?” Which not only makes us remember that particular piece of work but also makes us discover new music!
I get that. For me, oftentimes, the songs I find in films and games have more meaning; I think it’s because I saw them in context of something bigger. When I hear them, they’re grounded in that experience. On the visual end, who’s the perfect user for you? What can filmmakers expect to take away from the site?
What we want is filmmakers to come to Community Tree Music and not only find music to enjoy listening to but start to build connections with artists. From our experience, finding artists that you can connect with as a filmmaker is so important and often music can inspire so much in filmmaking. If you come to Community Tree Music and listen to some of your favorite artists it can really help the creative process plus those filmmakers will keep listening to the same artists, license from them again and again and spread the word about how great that particular band from Canada is!
And on the musician side?
We are looking for passionate story tellers, artists that write from the heart. Artist’s that create music as a way to express who they are. We are always looking for story in music. Is this a song that takes us on a journey? Does it make us think, dance, feel? They say sound is fifty percent of the movie going experience so music really is am important element of film.
I totally agree! In closing, any big news or projects coming up?
Yes! We are currently getting ready to send out some really cool Community Tree playlist discs which we will be mailing out to our subscribers and production companies. We want people to be able to enjoy the music and make a real connection with these awesome artists. With these discs we will be including a promotional discount off all licensing options. Other than that, we are always adding new artists, having contests and putting together some genre specific playlists to make finding the perfect soundtrack that much easier.
I’d love to get my hands on one! Gents, thanks so much again for joining me!
Thanks for having us!