Denny Earnest – Composer Interview

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    Art Munson

    1.) Your name?

    Denny Earnest

    2.) Any credits you care to mention?

    MTV, Runs House, Cold Case Files, Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Friday Night Lights, Friends

    3.) How long have you been writing music?

    16 years

    4.) How did you get started?

    Adats and the digital revolution, joined Taxi, within 6 months got a cut on Friends NBC, some bad movies….

    5.) How long have you been writing library/production music?

    Since 1993-4

    6.) Are you making a living wage writing library/production music?

    Sometimes, depends on the checks, I also gig, and teach music

    7.) Do you care to give any general figures of earnings (low/mid/high 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 figures)?

    mid 5 figures

    8.) Are you self-taught or have you studied formally?

    Self taught. Worked in many music stores. Early on I was a studio musician in Cleveland OH, recorded commercials with Pater Paul and Mary, Ojays, many TV spots at Suma recording

    9.) Do you work through music libraries?

    Yes and some regular Publishers, I’ve got tunes in Warner Tamerlane, BMG or whatever they call it now….

    9a.) If so are they exclusive and/or non-exclusive libraries?


    10.) Do you contact music supervisors, music editors or TV production companies directly?


    10a.) If so how do you approach them?

    Generally email, sometimes a cover letter….

    11.) How do you deal with rejection?

    All depends, real rejections are when your paid to do a project, and they decide not to use it…ouch, and the economy the last 4 years has caused some rejections cause companies are belt tightening. I had a big paying project scraped, after they advanced me money they got scared about the economy. I just gave the songs to someone else…

    12.) How do you feel about re-titling?

    no problem

    13.) What do you have the most success with, royalty free sites or back end PRO royalties?

    ROYALTY FREE SUCKS, I generally find more money in back end, but it can take a long time…. I’ve worked with companies that pay per song…but they scarf up more of the good $$, like sync fee’s… I find there’s more money to be had in Europe… especially UK

    14.) Any tips about writing descriptions, keywords and/or metadata?

    Yeah that’s a good one…if you can’t describe your music your in trouble. Use words to lead people to your music…. sometimes you need to be real general….. and specific at the same time…

    15.) Any trends you would like to comment on (YouTube Content ID, Internet Royalties)?

    Youtube royalties are a waste…. spotily etc… pennies….. you have to get 10 millions plays to make $100.

    16.) What sort of advice would you give to someone just entering the library/production music world?

    Get good, and practice a whole lot of patience, its like the stock market, you can’t just do it short term, its a long road. Enjoy the ride

    And finally!

    17.) If you were not writing music what would you be doing?

    Hiking in the mountains and doing Chi Chung all day….

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