Music Rights and Season Edits

One of the biggest challenges faced when compiling a season edit is finding music that both sounds great, and fits the story line. Sure, this would be easy if we could just throw our favorite artists’ latest hit single over any edit. Just like you wouldn’t want someone using your creative content without permission, neither do musicians.

I have put plenty of popular songs over quick edits of memorable trips, but I can never use those edits to enter Film Festivals, sell to potential advertisers, or monetize online.

Example: I can’t exactly expect to monetize this video of playing with Lions in Mexico when I am using The Beach Boys “In the Jungle” as my back track. It does make it fun to watch because it is a popular song and is relevant to a part of the video, but any monetization of this video would be going to the Beach Boys for their awesome song, not me for my mediocre video edit, though it was a fun trip and I am glad to have this memory.

What I have found is that there are a-lot of really, really good musicians playing small venues, making a name for themselves, all over the country. I have also found that those musicians are usually willing to provide original music for credits in short films to help boost their reach.

I saw this awesome band Smokey the Groove, at the 2018 Feather Fest Kayaking festival in Tobin, California. I hit them up about using their music in the edit. They were stoked and now they are playing at the 2019 Village Summer Jam. Can’t wait to see them live again!

This short documentary of a Tenaya Canyon trip features another musician and good friend of mine Tony Glaser. As well as the up and coming artist Michelle Lambert. Both of these songs were picked for the relevance of their lyrics.

I would love to see some collaboration between musicians and filmmakers in the comments below. If there are any film makers out their looking for some quality audio, or any musicians out their trying to reach more people, feel free to reach out!



What is your ideal backcountry film set up?

What backcountry setup are you going to use to film your season edit?

Let’s face it, we can’t all run around the mountains with a Red Camera filming the gnar. There are alot of affordable camera options available that are light to carry, and can create some incredible images.

Check out this fun edit exclusively shot on the DJI Osmo.


When filming in the backcountry you are going to have more challenges.  When I go out I generally carry a different film kit based on what my goals are that day. If I am trying to move light and fast I usually just bring my Osmo.

If I am going to have snowmobile access, I am probably bringing a much larger kit and planning on multiple angles. Sleds are also great for hauling in overnight gear. A fluid head tripod and a DSLR can produce some pretty amazing images, and are great for the time-lapse photography.

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Last March I dedicated about a month to hiking a Yuneec Typhoon H Pro to some pretty cool summits.


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I would love to hear about your backcountry setup in the comments below.