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This year, the Musicbed Challenge had a different end goal than in years past. Creatives had an unprecedented chance to re-shape culture during a critical moment in history. So we asked them to use their talents for the greater good. To find a story within their communities, and to make a film that could make a difference.

Finding music for your films is not easy. It’s a little bit like a treasure hunt, and not always the fun kind—it’s the kind that can really slow your edit if you don’t have the right tools at your disposal. We know because we’ve been there. You’re in the middle of a project and it’s time to start thinking about the soundtrack, then it all comes to a screeching halt.

Inspiration can play a big role in your work and it doesn’t always strike while you’re sitting at the editing bay or in the office. Whether you’re researching music or discovering new artists, we want to make that process as simple as possible. That’s why we’re excited to announce that Musicbed is now on Spotify.

During the search for a new HQ earlier this year, one of the requirements was a space for live music — not just any space, the right space. When we saw the warehouse adjacent to the office, roll-up windows, concrete floors and all, we knew it was right. It was like music wanted to be played there. We had found the venue we were searching for — the setting of what would become Musicbed Sessions.

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.

Since launching the Musicbed Community, we have interviewed dozens and dozens of filmmakers and artists from all around the world. We’ve flown to Paris. We’ve Skyped to South Africa. We’ve G-Chatted to Spain. And during all that time, we’d like to think we’ve not only gotten better at interviewing people, but that we’ve learned a few practical lessons along the way. We’ve written them down here.

When we landed in Lexington to make our film about Tony Anderson, we had a pretty good idea how things were going to turn out. We’d written a treatment. We’d picked out a few song options. We had a schedule and a shot list and a bunch of little boxes just waiting for us to put a checkmark in them. Overall, we felt pretty confident. We knew when we got back to our office in Fort Worth that we’d be able to put together something decent.