An Examination of the Music for film & TV Sector in Ireland
Music is at the heart of the Irish cultural identity. With a rich heritage of internationally-renowned composers and writers across a multitude of genres, an ever-growing host of world-class performers, and a thriving live music scene, Ireland’s music sector forms a cornerstone of our reputation on the global stage and continues to enhance cultural life at home and abroad. But what of the Irish music for screen sector? How well known and regarded are our film composers and their work? How is the craft of bringing music to screen understood and rated within the audiovisual and music industries in Ireland, and internationally?
Using qualitative and quantitative research, the report finds that:
- There is a perception that music for screen ‘falls between’ the music sector, and the audiovisual sector, thereby losing out on recognition, advocacy and representation at policy level;
- Irish composers are not securing all of the employment opportunities that are available. While Ireland is successfully attracting film investment, many large-scale drama productions and international co-productions hire composers from outside of Ireland, while smaller-scale productions often use production music and blanket licences;
- There is a dearth of information in relation to the commerciality of the music for screen sector and training gaps in terms of pricing and the business of music amongst composers.
- Broadcasters play an important role in the development of the screen music sector and the development of individual composers’ careers can be heavily dependent on networking and links with the broadcast and funding community.
Music for Screen therefore recommends:
- The development of a specific sectoral policy approach for the music for screen sector in Ireland and the establishment of a Screen Composers’ Guild that represents and promotes Irish screen composers and music for screen;
- Greater incentives to encourage the employment of music for screen composers in Ireland including:
- the examination of funding strategies for the music for screen sector in Ireland such a fund to augment music budgets within audiovisual productions for Irish-based composers;
- the inclusion of music as a provision of the Section 481 taxation incentive that recognises and rewards the value of spend on music creation and performance in Ireland and is competitive with partner territory incentives;
- more effective marketing and promotion of the music for screen sector in Ireland.
- A focus on training and commercial support, for example:
- The development of a professional mentorship scheme, similar to that operated by the Screen Composers’ Guild of Canada, to provide greater access to opportunities for both the established and apprentice;
- The consideration of support for legal and commercial training for composers.
- The encouragement of formalised communications mechanisms between the broadcast, funding, music and audiovisual sectors, to ensure better collaboration and advocacy for the music for screen industry in Ireland.