Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Old Stuff: Music Rights

I know this will seem like a bonehead "duh!"-kinda tip for many of you, but after having been to back to back major international festivals, it is still amazing to me how many filmmakers get caught in the "music trap". They use music they love, even building their film around the music. Often, they simply use well-known music as a temp track and then become wedded to it. In the end, if they want their films to have any commercial exhibition, they have to go back and acquire those rights, almost always with disastrous results. They either must pay through the nose for those rights (after much hassle figuring out who the legal rights holders are and trying to contact/negotiate with them), or as is more often the case, they simply cannot afford the song and must let it go - necessitating another mixing session for new music.

Both hassles and costs can be avoided by thinking about the music up front. There are many great composers out there who can make your life very easy and add immensely to your project, as well as loads of royalty-free music. We profiled SmartSound in our last eblast and they also offer amazing options. Finally, if you just have to have a popular song for aesthetic purposes, negotiate for it and budget it in advance of shooting - before painting yourself into a corner.

1 comment:

  1. Do you have any advice for a independent producer on how to obtain the rights to music??
    Any help you can give, would be much appreciated.