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As we wrap up the second ever Musicbed Film Initiative, we’ve been blown away by not only the quantity of applications, but the quality as well. Thousands of filmmakers submitted ideas, and we didn’t envy our judges’ task of narrowing them down to one film.

A good litmus test for ideas around Musicbed is not related to the ‘what’ of the matter, but more to the ‘why’ of the matter. It bleeds into everything we do. Every email, social media post meeting — we have to think about what value we’re bringing to the table. What worth does it have? We’ve just wrapped up our most ambitious project to date, and, for once, we’re not sure what sort of value we’re bringing to the table — that part’s up to you.

That’s a wrap! Our first annual Musicbed Film Fest turned out better than we hoped: 1,900+ films, 66,000+ voters, and more than a quarter of a million visitors from 206 countries around the world. We are thrilled to be part of such a prolific community producing such high-quality work.

Filmsupply Challenge is quickly becoming one of our favorite events. There’s nothing better than sitting down with a hot cup of coffee and watching 1,000s of short films that completely reinterpret our music and Filmsupply’s footage. It’s proof of the magic of editing. We had the chance to see so much talent on display and so many great entries as a result.

Ever since we opened our doors, churches and non-profit organizations have been at the forefront of what we do. The work is so important us, and we have a heart for supporting the hardworking creatives in their community. That’s why we organized an entire campaign behind the church community, called Stories That Matter, and even have special discounted pricing. We believe churches and non-profits should have access to the best content for their films and that’s something we strive for every day.

For the past year we’ve been traveling around the world making short films about filmmakers and musicians, capturing amazing creatives in their environments, digging into what exactly makes artists tick. We’ve gotten pretty good at telling other people’s stories. But one thing we haven’t done much of is tell our own. We haven’t made sales-y commercials about Musicbed. We haven’t put out slick promos announcing new features. And the reason for that is — at least for us — Musicbed is about so much more than just licensing music. It’s about creativity and artistry. It’s about creatives and artists. To talk about Musicbed and not talk about artists seems sacrilegious — close to impossible, actually.

When you think about it, filmmaking and music making aren’t all that different. The processes used to create songs and films are actually crazy similar. Slaving for hours over a lyric, tweaking a treatment for the umpteenth time, setting mics, setting lights, on and on. But maybe it’s not so much about the art forms themselves, but the humans behind them that make them so similar. In both contexts, it’s makers pursuing a vision and wringing out their hearts and hands to see it realized.