Panel: Shoot Presents Music For Commercials And Beyond

Harvesting creativity in the right fashion was the topic of the second day of the Billboard/The Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Music conference, on the "Shoot Presents Music For Commercials- And Beyond" panel moderated by Shoot Magazine's editor Bob Goldrich.

"We find smaller labels with bands like The Afternoons because you know what you're going to get," says Kelly Fuller, executive producer at Stimmüng. "But times have changed, more well-known bands are interested in placing their music in commercials. I was working at a label in 2001 and Sonic Youth's manager came and said 'the band would love to do commercials,' and I was like 'what?'"

Diversity was another key point, but Liz Myers, co-founder of Trivers/Myers Music warned that, as an artist, one still needs to be known for a specific talent.

Myers stressed the importance of being excellent at a certain niche and not to try to be everything to everybody. "With all of the economic changes, it's a dangerous time to be a dabbler," says Myers. "How long it generally takes to be successful, you have to listen and pay attention to the brief and have that passion."

Keynote: Edward Zwick and James Newton Howard

Beginning with a clip from writer-director-producer Edward Zwick's upcoming film, "Defiance," the keynote Q&A, moderated by Billboard's senior editor Ann Donahue, covered the complexity of marrying musical composition with a film.

"It's about a willingness to get it wrong, and you need some license to tell each other honestly when it isn't working," says Zwick. "Too often the personal politics, ego or some notion of dominance becomes more important than the thing itself."

In addition, both spoke about how dear the story of "Defiance," which chronicles the Jewish freedom fighters during Holocaust, was to their ethnic history and what it means to be a professional.

"I would say that we were looking at one fourth of our budget [while filming "Defiance," so] all of us decided to take much less," says Zwick. "It was delicious because everyone knew why we were there. It was so recognizable, it's like writing a script, you have to believe in it and believe it's the best thing you've ever written. That's when you discover that your capacity to come up with that next thing is abundant. There are some people that I work with that come from nothing that fight to the death for one idea, but what I appreciate about James is his experience. He feels like he can always do more. It's like love, there's always more. And that's the person I want to work with, that's what a professional is to me."

"Defiance" hits theaters in December.

Panel: The Secrets Behind Video Game Music

During the last and final panel of the Billboard/The Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Music conference, which was moderated by the founder of Music4Games Inc. Greg O'Connor-Read, panelist reminded hopefuls that one should always know to whom they're pitching.

"Sometimes I get cold calls, like 'hi, I want to do music for your games,' and I say, 'great, what do you know about Activision?'...silence. Do your homework. Even if your music is great, you have to know who you're pitching to and you have to have good credits behind you."

Many of the panelists mentioned that acquiring an agent is a safe way to climb the ladder, but the storied producer Nile Rodgers says he's a fan of guerilla tactics.

"It's lofty to think that's you're a new composer and you can do an Activision game straight off," says Rodgers. "I've always believed in bucking the system, you've got to figure out a way to get in the backdoor and someone will see you. Everyone wants the greatest quality product at the end of the day but you don't know always know where it will comes from. You have to be tenacious."