On more than a few open phones conversations in the past few months, artists have asked me about breaking into the film-and-television song placement business. Besides keeping track of tip sheets, music libraries, and other common trends, I often urge artists to form relationships with independent filmmakers in their region.
Even if you make no money up front for including your song in a low-budget film (you should do a "deferred payment" arrangement to benefit if the movie gets picked up by a distributor or goes to DVD), a few things happen:
You get a credit in a film, which is fun to begin with.
You build a relationship with the director, the producer, and other crew members who will likely remember your work when it's time to solicit for paying gigs.
You create another "point on the map" for folks to find you -- even if the film doesn't do very well, some folks that enjoy it may seek you out.
Getting involved with filmmakers doesn't have to be hard. It can be as easy as connecting with students at area communications schools, or plugging yourself into the local filmmaking scene. Organizations like PIFVA in Philadelphia do a great job connecting creative folks from different disciplines.
Get yourself out there and get your songs in some movies!