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#1 basic

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 11:35 PM

I just finished writing my new movie and I have come across a question I would like for someone to anwser:

Obviosly, without music, movies would be horrible. So how can I get rights to music so I can submit them to festivals and such. For instance, one song I would liek to use is an original score from "The Ring". I would I go about getting permission?
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#2 rik carter

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 11:48 PM

If you are using a pre-recorded song or another pre-recorded piece of music in your film, there are two rights you need to clear; that is to say, you need to get two different licenses to use the music.

--Synchronization License: This is the right to synchronize a song or a piece of music with your visual image. It must be obtained from the copyright owner of the music, which is usually the publisher. You can find out who the publisher is by using ASCAP's Clearance Express (ACE) at http://www.ascap.com. Songs that are not represented by ASCAP might be found at the National Music Publishers' Association "Songfile" website http://www.nmpa.org. You will be provided with a contact at the publisher's Business Affairs or Licensing Department.

--Master Use License: This is the right to reproduce a specific recording of a song in your film. You clear this right with the record label who owns the specific recording you would like to use; see the liner notes of the recording to find out which company this is. Alternatively, you can get contact information for record labels by calling ASCAP's Film/TV Department. You will be provided with a contact at the record label's Business Affairs Department. If you?re planning on producing a soundtrack album for your film you will need to negotiate additional soundtrack rights with the publisher and record label at the same time as your master use rights for your film. Don?t even think about waiting till you can scrounge up the funds.

Festival Rights Licensing, while frowned upon, because the goal is ultimately to sell your film ? hassle free ? for distribution is fine if you?re positively livin?-out-of-the-van el broko. You?ll pay later?one way or another. Bluntly speaking? No matter which route you take get the proper contracts for your film?s music and keep it ethical.
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#3 basic

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 12:01 AM

So I have to get rights from the publisher. Ok. Then I have to get rights from the Record Label, but in order to do so, I have to pay? Ok. This is going to be hard. One of them is from a movie soundtrack, and well...I'll do my best.

Edit: I've decided I will do an original score, except fro one song. It is called "This Is Going To Hurt", and is from 'The Ring'. I can't think of anything else replacing it, so that i the song I'm going to try and get rights for. Too bad the writer, Hans Zimmerman doesnt have that song listed in ASCAP.

Edited by basic, 15 August 2005 - 12:09 AM.

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#4 Tina Coggins

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 12:10 AM

Yeah, it's a drag. This is why so many indie and student filmmakers either use public domain music, or get a fellow student, or musician friend, to help out.
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#5 basic

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 12:14 AM

Yeah, I know this guy whos a music teach, brilliant artist. I'lll show him the film and he could def. write a score. But hell, "This Is Going To Hurt" is the music I need for a sequence...it fits so great, I don't know what I would do if I didn't use it. What usually the costs?
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#6 Saul Pincus

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 12:44 AM

Yeah, I know this guy whos a music teach, brilliant artist. I'lll show him the film and he could def. write a score. But hell, "This Is Going To Hurt" is the music I need for a sequence...it fits so great, I don't know what I would do if I didn't use it. What usually the costs?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You'd probably enjoy hearing that the pros have the same problem you do - all the time. Many great films have had this issue surface during postproduction. Even John Williams admits that "Star Wars", for all its craftsmanship, is really just one great long ode to its very elaborate and mostly classically-derived temp score.

There is almost always one, two (or more) temp music cues the director is convinced must make it into the final mix of their film. Usually the solution is pretty simple: a talented composer is hired to do his or her rendition of it. There are many things about a piece of score or a song that make it "fit perfectly." More often than not, after a few kicks at the can, a new piece can be created which fits the film as perfectly as the temp. Have faith and hire someone talented - you'll be amazed.

Oh, and when mentioning that cue from 'The Ring", you may choose to refer to the composer by his real name: Hans Zimmer (not Zimmerman.)

Best of luck.

Saul

Edited by Saul Pincus, 15 August 2005 - 12:46 AM.

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#7 basic

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 01:07 AM

Oops did I say 'Zimmerman'! Hah, I'm so tired, it's 2:06. Silly me. Anyway, I think music rights is a big deal in movies. Alot of DVDs have to change music since they can't get the rights for DVD. And I think that ruins it. Like I read that the original "Real World" had different music than when it aired...well, that kind of ruins the whole atmosphere!

And also, isn't 'making your own rendition' risky? I mean, can't there be legal action taken out if it matches the song too closely?

Edited by basic, 15 August 2005 - 01:09 AM.

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#8 Tina Coggins

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 02:16 AM

And also, isn't 'making your own rendition' risky? I mean, can't there be legal action taken out if it matches the song too closely?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I'd google that issue if I were you so you feel secure in knowing just what you're getting into. But yes, there can be similarities, but not *too* much, or *too* many. Derivative is one thing, copying is another.
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#9 Saul Pincus

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 09:54 AM

I'd google that issue if I were you so you feel secure in knowing just what you're getting into.  But yes, there can be similarities, but not *too* much, or *too* many.  Derivative is one thing, copying is another.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I never advocated "copying" or plaigarism of any kind. All I'm implying is that you can author new music in a similar key with structural similarities to the temp cue you replace. There are many, many aspects of a single piece of music that make it appropriate for a given scene, not just the obvious things like melody.

Saul
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#10 basic

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 10:29 AM

Ah, I see. I like that idea.
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#11 Algis Kemezys

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 12:37 PM

Thanks for the above links. That in itself saves alot of foot,finger and telephone work.
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#12 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 01:18 AM

I just finished writing my new movie and I have come across a question I would like for someone to anwser:

Obviosly, without music, movies would be horrible. So how can I get rights to music so I can submit them to festivals and such. For instance, one song I would liek to use is an original score from "The Ring". I would I go about getting permission?

Because of the industry's history, music rights are a mess. If you do some research you'll understand why. They're expensive to get. You can get rights for festivals only, but again they an't cheap. You have to negotiate for each one ad NOTHING is in public domain written after 1922 so the best thing to do unless you simple can't LIVE without a particular piece is to get a competent composer to write something simiar to what your wanting or use royalty free music which has the same flavor of what you were going to use. If this is a micro bugdet project as I suspect it is, use the money you have elsewhere. Just my opinion

Edited by Capt.Video, 25 January 2006 - 01:20 AM.

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#13 Robert Hughes

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 04:21 PM

Support your local musician. If you find the right guy he'll work with you to create the perfect match for your short, for a lot less than the license fee of someone else's movie soundtrack. The additional benefit is you won't have people walking out of the theatre saying "Why did he use that Ring soundtrack, anyway?"
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