InsideHollywood Newsletter 2006/03

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~~~~ InsideHollywood.Info Newsletter ~~~~

An online information ezine dedicated to teaching you all about Hollywood and the Film and TV Entertainment Industry.

March 01, 2006
Issue #2006-03

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# Introduction
---- New ABC pilot.

# Designing a Career
---- Music and its role in film.

# Tell us what you think
---- Make this newsletter even better by submitting questions
and what you think of this newsletter.


Dear Subscriber,

Things have been pretty busy here. Alicia has started working on a pilot for ABC and hopefully it will be picked up. Meanwhile, Christiaan has been very busy on his website and podcast focused on helping people create, manage, and secure their home network and computer environment -

This month we are going to cover the use of Music in film.

Things will be very busy for us over the next few months but keep sending in your questions or newsletter ideas.

Hope you enjoy this issue....


Speaking from experience, sometimes you need help and resources when looking for that Hollywood job, especially if you do not have the right connections. To do this you need a resource that can supply you with casting calls, auditions lists, and other information.

MovieX has one of the largest collections of talent agents, managers, casting directors, producers and potential employers. As one of the leading resource for Hollywood jobs, Moviex has been featured in,, Teen People, and Jump magazines.


# Subject: Music and its role in film.

I thought it might be interesting to talk about Music and the role it plays in film. This is an area that most people know little about but can make or break a film. Music and sound both play a very important role in your film, but I will go over sound in my next newsletter.

If you ever play a scene to someone important and you do not add music or the right sound you might lose your efforts in selling your show. This is important even if you think that the Distributor or Executive has a great reputation and knowledge of their craft. If you do not add the music, they will think the story is slow or not interesting enough or just not grabbing the audience.

Play it yourself without the music and then add it and see the major difference it will make. I cannot stress how important adding this can be because Music services a purpose. It creates emotion, it can hide bad acting, or fill in a space that appears dead. In fact, Music can be it own character.

If you are just showing your film to help obtain finances and you have not hired a composer, you can always track some music in it from any source you have. At this point, you do not have to worry about licensing the music because you are not showing it to an audience for sale. You are just trying to acquire some support or financing.

If you do not know the definition of Tracking Music, it is where you cut music that has already been scored to fit your scene. It can be a vocal or an instrumental. It is normally used for Temp score.

If you fall in love with the piece and want to use it in your film then you will have to obtain the rights. There are two sets of rights that you have to look at: the composers and the publishers.

The Publisher owns the copyright to use the music and the Composer owns the actual composition. An interesting changed that occurred several years ago is that when the studios hires a composer to write music for their film, the studio will become the Publisher. It usually is a 50/50 split. The composer gets 50% of the sale and royalties and the Publisher gets 50%. Now when you want to buy the music not only do you have to deal with the Publisher and the Composer but you have to deal with Master recording and Sync rights. What that means is very similar to what it sounds like.

If you are acquiring a song for example from Elton John, and you want the original version in which he is singing, then you must buy both the master and sync rights. If however, you cannot afford the price of Sir Elton singing the song, then you can get someone else to sing it and you only buy the sync right. This will save a great deal of money. But, keep in mind that you cannot find someone to sound like him or they will come after you. Sound-alikes are a big no no now.

When you purchase your music you also must consider the length of the song, how many times you use it in the film (that is called needle drops), and how long you would like to acquire it.

If you can afford it, I would recommend buying the rights or license for perpetuity (forever) in all media and all markets in all universes. These are all factors that will determine the price of your song or music. Also be aware that Public Domain music is not always free. Just because the composer might be dead, someone still owns the publishing rights.

If you have a very small budget and can not afford the buy songs or a score, you can go to Music Libraries. They can be very helpful and their costs are much lower. They will work with you and your budget and sometimes, they might create a piece for you film. But, they will own the rights. Here are some libraries that I have used in the past and I would recommend.

~~ Megatrax - Production music and sound design tracks. Features a complete source of music for use in television, radio, film, multimedia and industrial applications. Online demos available.

~~ Associated Production Music - Supplies over 2,500 CDs of music to all production media. Licensing is available on an annual fee and needle drop basis.

~~ Opus1 Music Library - The Opus1 Music Library is a company of the Alan Ett Creative Group and represents 11 different music libraries from around the world.

~~ Heavy Hitters - Barbara Jordon - New York number 845.267.0001, Los Angeles number 310.840.5154

# Definitions

Also you should understand some of the lingo before talking to anyone with regards to music in your film. There is a difference between Score and Source. The best way to describe the difference is that Source music is music that the characters can hear within the scene.

For example: If your scene takes place in a bar and there is music playing in the background that is a source cue because the people in the bar would be hearing it. If your scene is in a car and the radio is on, that would be considered a source cue as well. If there is a band playing... you get the picture.

Now, if you have a scene that two people are talking on the steps on a house and they are breaking up with each other. You will be playing music in the background to add to the emotions, then that would be considered a score. The actors do not hear it because it is there to manipulate your feelings.

# Music Organizations

If you would like to become a composer, there are two organizations that are responsible for making sure you get your royalties. They are ASCAP and BMI and both are very similar in what they offer. I would suggest to go to both of the sites to see which one fits your needs.

~ ASCAP - ASCAP is a membership association of over 200,000 U.S. composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers of every kind of music. Through agreements with affiliated international societies, ASCAP also represents hundreds of thousands of music creators worldwide. ASCAP is the only U.S. performing rights organization created and controlled by composers, songwriters and music publishers, with a Board of Directors elected by and from the membership.

~ BMI - BMI is an American performing rights organization that represents more than 300,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music.

# Terms

~ Composers - The men and women who create musical compositions for motion pictures and other audio/visual works, or the creators of classical music compositions.

~ Songwriters - The men and women who conceive and construct the lyrics and music to create songs.

~ Copyright - The exclusive right, granted by law for a stated period, usually until 70 years after the death of the surviving author of the work, to make, dispose of, and otherwise control copies of literary, musical, dramatic, pictorial and other copyrightable works. The exclusive right is set forth in the 1976 Copyright Act Section 106.

To register a musical work under the 1976 Copyright Act:

1. Send a request for an application to the Copyright Office, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20559-6000 or download the application from the Copyright Office website at
2. When an application is completed, send it back to the Copyright Office with:
a) 1 copy of manuscript, lead sheet or tape if unpublished or
b) 2 copies of manuscript (sheet music) or tape if published and
c) the appropriate registration fee, by money order, bank
draft or check, made payable to Register of Copyrights.

~~ License - A license is a grant to a "user" permitting use of a copyright for any of the following:

1. Mechanical (records, tapes, CDs).
2. Non-dramatic performance (public performance of a song over radio/TV/club/hotel/concerts).
3. Grand Rights (dramatic performance of a musical work, musical comedy, play, opera, operetta, or ballet).
4. Synchronization (the use of a musical composition on the soundtrack of an audio/visual work for theatrical exhibition or television).
5. Print (sheet music, folios, songbooks, or other printed editions. The grant is usually made for a specified period of time and for a designated territory).
6. Commercial (the use of a musical composition as part of an advertisement).


If you are looking where to send your resume to get jobs in the Film or TV Entertainment Industry or more tips and tricks, make sure to check out my upcoming eBook on how to find a Job in the Entertainment Industry - "Show you want to be in Show Biz?"


We would love to hear what you think of this issue of the "InsideHollywood.Info" Newsletter. And of course, if you have any suggestions for upcoming issues that you'd like to share with us, please send those, too!

Please send us your questions so we can answer them in upcoming issues. Your questions will only make our newsletter better.


That is it for this issue of the InsideHollywood.Info Newsletter. Until next time....