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Topic: POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION PLEASE

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  1. #1

    POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION PLEASE

    Based on short demo done with my old system I have just secured a film. Indie shot to 24p, but they do have some money I'm gonna do it with my new Platinum. My question is what suggestions can any of you who have had indie films make for back end money, royalities, ASCAP, soundtrack etc.... or where can I go for this information?



    Thanks in advance-
    TS

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION PLEASE

    One word: LAWYER.

    Specifically, an entertainment attorney who can set all of this up for you.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gary M. Thomas's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION PLEASE

    Excellent advice, Bruce.

    Yes... by all means, don't try to do it all yourself.

    Especially if, as you say, there's real " money " involved.

    As suggested, seek advice from a legal professional.

    Congratulations, and best of luck to you.

  4. #4

    Re: POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION PLEASE

    Thanks, it's a horror feature still an Indie though, with decent money not really what I would call GOOD money. But I think the way the industry is going producers and directors know we have this sampling stuff so they expect it for cheap. Having said that, the director was blown away by my demo.

    I will definitley lock down the back end stuff.

    THanks again-
    Tom

  5. #5

    Re: POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION PLEASE

    Just hold on to your Publishing if you can....most directors and producers ask for it but have no idea what it means and very rarely collect so if you give it to them it will most likely mean that you're throwing away 50% of your potential PRO royalties.

    Having said that, it's quite rare that indie horror flicks get the type of distribution that results in royalties. Most of them go straight to video, Blockbusters, Netflix, Amazon...which means no royalties. If some of them ever get to cable, they usually play at weird hours and not necessarily nationwide which means that if ASCAP or BMI even bothers to track them, the resulting royalties will probably buy you a pizza and some beer at most.

    So the bottom line is....try to hang on to your publishing and don't expect too much on the back end....chances are the money you're getting paid up front is it!

    Also...I want to point out to you and the guys who chimed in that "decent money" is a very variable amount. What Bruce and Gary might consider "decent" and worthy of spending a few hundred $$ on a lawyer....might not necessarily be the same of what you consider decent and getting a lawyer might totally be an unnecessary and unreasonable expense. Someone mentioned on another thread that you might be able to get a lawyer that works on a % of what you're getting paid and hence his fee is dependent on how much you make. I don't know what planet those guys live on, but in my 14 years in the business I have never run into a lawyer (which I would trust) that would work on a % of my fee (unless said fee is a very high figure to begin with). An agent might possibly consider such a proposal, but once again you get what you pay for!

    I should also point out that sometime a lawyer can unnecessarily complicate what would normally be a rather simple transaction and in some rare cases actually blow the deal. There are plenty of online resources for you to educate yourself and there is a great book called "This Business of Music" which I wish everyone owned. Unless the music budget is at least $30k and up I simply would not recommend using a lawyer....but of course there are always exceptions!
    >>Kays
    http://www.musicbykays.com
    Music Composition for Feature Films, Television and Interactive Entertainment

  6. #6

    Re: POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION PLEASE

    In this stage, I would say, go with your feelings. If you feel you can trust him then do it. Work! If it turns out to be a scam to lure some innocent composer into a working for free then you still have the experience. In the end, it's the experience that will make you richer, not the money.

    ------------
    Alex Cremers

  7. #7

    Re: POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION PLEASE

    Quote Originally Posted by midphase
    Someone mentioned on another thread that you might be able to get a lawyer that works on a % of what you're getting paid and hence his fee is dependent on how much you make. I don't know what planet those guys live on, but in my 14 years in the business I have never run into a lawyer (which I would trust) that would work on a % of my fee (unless said fee is a very high figure to begin with).
    Planet Earth. Percentage based lawyers are around in the entertainment industry. Probably one of the only industries where lawyers will take a percentage actually. I know you were not intending to be rancorous in helping landford here...but, I trust my lawyer implicently and he and his firm have been legal council to several Warner Brothers and Buena Vista films. Not to mention lots of other musicians.

    They are out there especially in the entertainment industry...one just has to look, state your case and build a working relationship with them.

    In the end, I think we all agree that recommending a lawyer is the first step.
    Regards,
    Brian W. Ralston

    Check out my new FREE iPhone App! Click Here!

  8. #8

    Re: POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION PLEASE

    Mid-

    Your words really ring true to me. I am a working composer with two TV shows currently running, FOX and PBS and getting my ASCAP royalties from them is still unclear.

    Is that true about the rental houses? (Blockbuster etc) ASCAP hasn't come up with a system for this yet? It's only been like what 25 years of video renting? Cheese and rice!

    I totally agree with your comment about the lawyer thing, I'm not getting enough to justify and potentially scare off the director. The whole film budget in under $100,000.00. I get 30 cents to score. I think retaining publishing for a possible future freak phonmenon (Blair Witch, yeah right!) would be just the prudent thing to do.

    But you're right I'm not expecting anything past the up front money.

    And of course ALL THE FAME and WOMEN! sorry.


    Thanks for the advice-
    Tom

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION PLEASE

    Well, I hate to burst the bubble of feelgoodness here, but not getting a lawyer is terriffically BAD advice.

    If you have shows currently running, and are not getting your royalties, or you are unclear about why this situation exists...this is all the more reason!!!!!

    Trust me. I became tens of thousands of dollars poorer (money which would now be hundreds of thousands if it had come to me and I'd put it to work) because I neglected to get legal advice when setting myself up. I actually did the work, but I didn't do it exactly right. I didn't know how to ensure cue sheets were right. I didn't know how to set up a situation where the production companies sent them to me for review. It sounds as if you may be in exactly the same state.

    The $300-500 it would have cost me to have a lawyer do this for me is a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands I lost.

    Do not make the mistake I made. If only I could go back!!!! If you have shows being broadcast right now, you could be losing money right now.

  10. #10

    Re: POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION PLEASE

    Bruce:

    Two Months ago, I ordered a pdf book from The Film Music Network called, Maximizing your ASCAP, BMI and SESAC Royalties" I do agree with everything you said and this book helped me alot. I did learn about hammering the production company for cue sheets and making sure they got to ASCAP.

    What I am experiencing now is whether my one show, (one has yet to air til fall), has been in a sample survey by ASCAP. Maybe a lawyer could tell me this? I don't know. Maybe you know why ASCAP can't give a simple yes it was or no if it was or wasn't sampled answer, without connect to this dept blah blah blah... I am still waiting......

    Show first aired Nov 20, you are absolutley right though, had I gotten the lawyer first he might have been more on top of things early on. Ah I feel my blood boiling once again.



    TS

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