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Creating music for film trailers - which PRO do I join?
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bond39023
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#1
29th December 2012
Old 29th December 2012
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Creating music for film trailers - which PRO do I join?

Hi everyone!
I was just accepted to join a company that will be producing music for film trailers. I'm very excited about this and I was just given the composer agreement to look over and sign. The compensation section of the agreement states:

"All profits made from compositions by Composer are to split 50% to Composer and 50% to Company.

Composer shall be listed as the composer of the Compositions on applicable cue sheets, and shall receive directly from his own affiliated performing rights society his so-called “composer’s share” of any public performance royalties collected throughout the world by or on behalf of such society"


The part of the agreement that I sign has a section for me to write in which PRO I belong to. So I am assuming this is necessary as a part of working with this company. As of now I have only done freelance work and been paid per job, so no royalties or anything like that. So I am looking to join a PRO and am curious if there are any recommendations or advice on which to join (ASCAP, BMI?)

I have taken some music business courses and read Don Passman's book, so I know a little bit about this stuff. (Although I admit I could use a refresher and will likely start reviewing this stuff again)

Can anyone offer any advice or words from experience here? How exactly do royalties from this type of thing work if say I do the music for a commercial for a film that will play on TV.

Thanks so much in advance!
#2
29th December 2012
Old 29th December 2012
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I presume you are in the US.

PRO's in the US do not pay for theatrical (ie: shown in the theater) works. Not sure how this applies to trailers. My guess would be that they will not be counted if shown in theaters.

On Television though, you may get some payments. Generally I'd think of these more as promo's than a trailer, although I suppose it actually IS a trailer, not a promo. If you music survives the cut down to :30 seconds and onto TV, generally speaking, ASCAP is better at paying out for promo's, but BMI is catching up. BMI is traditionally better for underscore. Why not ask the company where THEY think you should sign. They obviously have their (an by default your) best interest in mind.

HOWEVER, unless you only plan to write trailers the rest of your life, you're much better off taking a look at the BIG picture. What are you going to be doing down the road. Songwriting - ASCAP. Music for TV - BMI. Or ???
bond39023
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29th December 2012
Old 29th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
I presume you are in the US.

PRO's in the US do not pay for theatrical (ie: shown in the theater) works. Not sure how this applies to trailers. My guess would be that they will not be counted if shown in theaters.

On Television though, you may get some payments. Generally I'd think of these more as promo's than a trailer, although I suppose it actually IS a trailer, not a promo. If you music survives the cut down to :30 seconds and onto TV, generally speaking, ASCAP is better at paying out for promo's, but BMI is catching up. BMI is traditionally better for underscore. Why not ask the company where THEY think you should sign. They obviously have their (an by default your) best interest in mind.

HOWEVER, unless you only plan to write trailers the rest of your life, you're much better off taking a look at the BIG picture. What are you going to be doing down the road. Songwriting - ASCAP. Music for TV - BMI. Or ???
Thanks drBill, sorry I didn't specify - I am in the US. I will definitely ask the company for their opinion on which to join and that's good advice about the big picture, I'll definitely take that into consideration. I'm going to do some more research but I'm thinking ASCAP might be the right one for me as I am planning on doing songwriting in the future.
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29th December 2012
Old 29th December 2012
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BMI and ASCAP are about the same concerning songwriting, don't see a difference. SESAC is better but it's tough to join that one. As for ASCAP, when they started their silly witch hunt against free music I'm glad I joined BMI.
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29th December 2012
Old 29th December 2012
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I'm BMI as well. I didn't mean to insinuate that you can't write songs and be associated with BMI, of course you can. There are no "rules" or "guidelines" or even a general "status quo" other than ASCAP seems to be biased towards songwriters a bit more, and BMI towards composers for Film/TV/etc. a bit more - but either work.
bond39023
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30th December 2012
Old 30th December 2012
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Ok thanks for clarifying that, ASCAP was the first one I looked into so I just kinda had the idea of that one in mind already. I'll do some more research though before making a decision.
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