Announcements, Contests

Enter Our Video Scoring Contest for a Chance to Win Awesome Audio Gear


Happy Make Music Day! Every year on June 21, the Make Music Alliance hosts a day of free, live music on street corners, parks, rooftops, gardens, storefronts, mountaintops, and beyond. Originally named Fête de la Musique, the celebration’s roots are in France and date back to 1982. Decades later, it’s alive and well in Paris, Jerusalem, Beijing, Panama City, Taipei, and over 100 more cities. Step outside in New York City and you’re bound to see a performance every few blocks.
Man Using Laptop and Synthesizer
Man Using Laptop and Synth to Make Music by TetraImages

This year, Pond5 is celebrating too. We’re partnering with our friends at Create Digital Music, Korg, and iZotope to mark the occasion with the kickoff of a video-scoring contest. If you’re a music producer and interested in working with film, or you just want to win some great gear, read on!

The Contest

Beginning today, download the reel we’ve put together. You’ll notice it’s a little different from what you’re used to from us — it’s silent! That’s where you come in. Use your imagination and all the tools you have to create an original score for the reel. Maybe you’re feeling an upbeat acoustic, island vibe; or maybe this gives you a more reflective, somber feeling. Whatever you’re thinking, the submission deadline is July 20 at midnight, so you have plenty of time to develop it.

One winner will receive a prize package full of hardware and software from Korg and iZotope. Download the reel and check out the full list of prizes here!

How to Begin

Film scoring can be a daunting task, so if you’ve never done this before, try following a few basic steps to get started:

1. Watch the reel a few times and make some decisions about mood and genre. It may help to play music in various moods while watching the reel to see what clicks with you. Check out this curated music collection for quick inspiration!

2. Experiment with sounds while establishing your palette for the project. It’s always interesting to see how sound affects a visual sequence. Maybe the airy, light bells you’ve chosen are having the opposite effect on mood. There’s only one way to find out — you’ve got to watch and listen at the same time.

3. Once you’ve got your mood and instrument setup, start jamming. Establish some musical themes, build tension and release.
Headphones with guitar notebook and pencil
Headphones with Guitar, Notebook, and Pencil by Ruslan117


The Judges

Once you finish your music, send an MP3 file of the result to Our judges will pair each one with the video, and when the winner is chosen, we’ll ask for a WAV file (so keep both on hand). Meet our judges!

Justin Hurwitz graduated from Harvard University in 2008, where he studied music composition and orchestration. He composed the songs and score for Damien Chazelle’s 2010 feature debut, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench. In 2014, he composed the original score for the Academy Award-winning film Whiplash, and most recently composed the songs and score for Chazelle’s film musical La La Land, which will be released by Lionsgate in December 2016. Justin lives in Los Angeles.

Peter Kirn is a musician and creative technologist. For over a decade, his site CDM ( has been a daily source of insight for electronic musicians. He also co-produces an open-source hardware synthesizer (the MeeBlip) and builds workshops and platforms for collaboration, including the MusicMakers hacklab, presented with the CTM Festival. His musical projects have included audiovisual performances, club music and DJ sets, work with modern dance, and work with Nerk (Snork Enterprises, V-Records), Robert Lippok (raster noton), and others. So far this year, he is releasing new music as Alchemic Harm (featuring Lower Order Ethics) and Imaski.

Dani DiCiaccio is the Audio Media Lead at Pond5. Dani supervises the curation of audio with the goal of building a best-in-industry collection of royalty-free music and sound effects. She has composed original music for the company’s creative campaigns, and leads events and cultivates lasting relationships with contributing artists while helping them monetize their creativity. She is also a singer and producer based in New York City (KYOSi), with a degree in ethnomusicology after having studied at the Eastman School of Music, Ithaca College, and University of Legon in Accra, Ghana.

Computer and synth music setup
How Justin Hurwitz composes on the go. Photo courtesy of Korg.

The Rules

Be sure to review our Terms and Conditions before you begin, and don’t forget to follow the rules:

– No unlicensed samples
– One (1) entry per person
– Your score should be the length of the video
– Initial files must be submitted as an MP3 (winner will submit a WAV)
– Submit your score to
– Your file should be saved and labeled in the following format: ARTIST_SONG_TITLE_Pond5_VideoScoring

Good luck! This is one contest where you’re guaranteed to score. (Because it’s the only way to enter.)

Explore all the clips used to create the competition reel in the collection below »

Video Scoring Collection