Dani Fiondella is a recording artist, music producer, sync agent, music supervisor, screenwriter, short film producer and director. She attended Berklee College of Music as a vocalist and later attended Berklee’s certificate program to earn a certificate specializing in Music Law and Business. She is now enrolled in Berklee’s Music Business Masters program. She also earned a Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting at Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture arts where she gained experience on numerous short film sets. After completing graduate school, she headed to the west coast where she executive produced and directed a short film that she wrote in the heart of L.A.
Dani has been a recording artist for over a decade and has been releasing new music this year. Along with releasing her own music, Dani is a music supervisor and sync agent. She released her first EP at the age of 13 and has performed at notable venues in the Atlanta area including Eddie’s Attic and Smith’s Olde Bar. Dani co-produces her music and manages herself through her company, Vintage-T Music LLC.
Dani Fiondella has won film festival awards for her short films including Best Sound and Director’s Choice University Film for her short film, re-Dickulous (2017), thirteen official selections and two awards including Best Student Short for Viola (2019), which she co-wrote, and a nomination for the Randall Greenland Award: Screenwriter of the Year for her original pilot.
With over a decade in the music industry and years of hands on training in screenwriting, film production and development, Dani’s experience in the music and film and television industries are the lens of Vintage-T Music.
“No Matter The Scope, We Have The Music To Help Bring Your Vision To Life”
Tell us about Vintage-T Music, what makes it so unique?
Vintage-T is a community-based company. We want our artists and creatives to know that their passion matters. Second, Vintage-T is a one-stop shop which means we represent both the compositions and master recordings of the tracks for our artists for synchronization licensing. This makes obtaining synchronization licenses a directed “one-stop shop” for our clients where they can obtain all needed licenses for their film, advertisement or another form of content. Whether we work with marketing agencies on commercials or independent filmmakers, we help find music to fit their needs. As a music supervisor, I hunt for music across platforms to fit the films I work on. As a company, Vintage-T helps indie artists find opportunities in synchronization licensing to show their talents on the screen.
What motivated you to start Vintage-T Music?
Creating an entertainment company wasn’t the original plan. I knew as a creative, I had to protect my copyrights and find revenue opportunities. I was exploring publishing and synchronization licensing for my own work as a recording artist. As things came together, I found a personal power in building my company. It expanded and through the suggestion of a professor at Berklee from my time in my certificate program, I created the larger umbrella of the entertainment company. I had so many ideas swirling around in my head and I’ve always been a project-oriented person so as the company came together, I realized this was the path for me. I wasn’t afraid to try running the show for myself.
What are the company’s plans in the next 5 years?
I’m very excited about the growth of Vintage-T. We are continuously signing more artists and acquiring new clients for synchronization licensing. Within the next few years, I hope to work on more films as a music supervisor. In our multiple departments, we have upcoming releases from artists, including myself. The next five years will be about growth and celebration of opportunity for our indie artists. We have some very exciting IP and productions in the works to continue our brand of community and respect.
What type of music/services are your best sellers to your clients?
Our synchronization licensing and music supervision services for films, advertisements, and other media forms have been our largest draw. Utilizing our one-stop shop approach for synchronization placements, we work hard to listen to the client’s needs and unpack the key words in each brief to find music to fit their vision. As a music supervisor, my experience in the film industry gives me an understanding of how to utilize music on screen with knowledge of the development to post-production process and beyond. Especially as content grows, there are constantly more needs for music.
If you could give one piece of advice future students, what would it be?
To not be afraid to define yourself in more than one way. We are often taught to define our careers with a title by saying “I am…” but what makes us the most authentic is our background and experiences. You can be more than one thing and it is okay! In fact, that’s what will make you stand out. You still need to know your craft and dedicate time to it but its okay to define yourself on your own terms, not the archetypes anyone tries to assume. People have tried to fit me into a box many times but I am more than one definition. My experiences in music and film have created a specific view of the entertainment industry that became the lens of my company.
Who have been your own biggest mentors and what is the best advice they have ever given you?
I have fortunately had many incredible mentors in my life. My creative partner, Rick Laser, and I have developed a creative respect for each other that has transcended into a true trusting partnership. My mentors span across a few industries but the role of a mentor is to draw out the essence of one’s creativity and strength. My writing professor, Julianna Baggott, is one of the brightest minds in the creative fields. One of the best things she taught me, was to dig deep into who I am and not settle for a surface level understanding of the world. I’ve been gifted with time with brilliant business minds as well including Dr. E Michael Harrington and John Kellogg and the brilliant and impassioned musical mentorship from Dionne Osborne.
What is the one advice that has impacted you the most?
An Emmy winning actor and recording artist once told me “songwriters own the world”. I was in middle school when I hear this so my understanding of this advice has grown dramatically. As my career has developed, that piece of advice has come to mean more than I thought it would. To me, underneath the first intention that writers have power, is the advice to know how to run your own show. Find power in your voice. Know the mechanics of everything you do and respect the development of the art. Without songwriters, songs wouldn’t exist as they do. That mindset can be applied to many, many different roles in the entertainment industry. This is a team sport so know how to be a force with your voice and know how to listen to the voices of others.
What is a skill you think all women should learn and why?
Find your voice. It’s already inside you, we just sometimes need time to call it out of the shadows. During my Masters in screenwriting at FSU, we spent months and months developing pitches for ourselves because who we are is what makes our writing stand out. My mentor has this incredible talent of seeing what makes someone who they are and encouraging creatives to use that as their superpower. She would push those elements of my voice into fruition and that’s a skill that all women should find for themselves and encourage for each other.
If you had an extra 6 hours in your day, what would you do?
Honestly, probably spend time with my cat watching movies or doing a puzzle. I’m an avid puzzler. As an entrepreneur, it is very easy to overwork yourself. I find I often work seven days a week as my company is growing. However, as long as I find a balance with healthy choices during my day such as workouts and balanced eating (and the occasional glass of wine when it is necessary), it’s about maintaining your energy in the long run. That energy is the essence to running a company. With an extra six hours, I would further balance my day with anything to recharge my creative energy, which often means pampering my cat.
What has been your key (or keys) to success?
Resolve. Running a company is about problem solving. You can’t be perfect in everything you do but if you’re open-minded and aware of your business, you can always improve. There were many times I had to fight to be heard in a room or to be taken seriously but resolve has kept me and my company evolving beyond.