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Mobile Movies Article – Audio Tracks within Short Films and Copyright Rules

We thought it would make a great discussion to consider your choice of audio tracks within mobile movies.  The soundtrack is a very important part of your creation, it gives your movie emotion. It helps viewers to immerse into the flow of your images and it makes the virtual space feel concrete and real.

Many apps offer the possibility to import a song from your iTunes collection. You have the best of the best at hand and it touches the heart of everyone. But why should you avoid to doing this?

Because YOU DO NOT HAVE THE PERMISSION to use copyright protected music as soon as you leave the private sphere of home entertainment in order to share your work with a wide spread community or to take part in competions. Facebook, Youtube, Vimeo and other communities will delete such posts sooner or later because it violates their guidelines.

So… how can you get a fascinating audio track, matching to your film and at the same time respect the works of others?

Here are some solutions:

• Create your own sounds: Play an instrument, sing, speek, hum or buzz. Search for sounds. They are evereywhere. Birds, bells etc. (but don’t forget that ring tones, concerts and presentations are also copyright protected.) The microphones of iphones/ipads/ipods are very good! You can import such an audio file in your film editing app. Or iMovie enables you to record a soundtrack directly while your video is running. (Don’t hesitate to ask for more information.)

• Use specified music apps to compose and record your own soundtrack.

• Collaborate with newcomers, musician friends, unknown composers. Look around in your environment, your family. Check out the internet communities. Ask for permission but don’t forget to mention his or her name in the credits. This is a wonderful collaboration and a chance to help each other to promote both – your and your musician friends work.

• Or simply use the sounds, music and audiofiles included in your movie apps. Most of them are under so called “Creative Commons Licenses (CC)“ which means fully free or for non commercial use. But don’t forget to check out the terms of conditions.

Vanessa Vox, born in Paris, studied Art History and Archaeology in Aix-en-Provence. During and after her studies she worked as a passionated dancer and choreographer. In Switzerland (2003) she began to explore the possibilities of digital art and video editing in collaboration with her husband, a swiss musician and artist. 2013 she moved to the south of France where she deepened the rich possibilities of mobile apps. It was the beginning of a new passion. Many of her short videos have been presented within our Mobile Movies Showcases. And two of them were exhibited in the first ISMA exhibition 'L'Arte è Mobile', Museo di Arte Contemporanea, Rovereto (Italy).