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advice needed - composing for film / business end Studio Headphones
Old 3rd September 2007
  #1
advice needed - composing for film / business end

Hi all

I've been recently offered a composing job for a £1m 35mm feature... not a massive budget by today's standards of course, but bigger than anything I've tackled before.

I'm looking for some advice on how to go about with the negotiations etc... it's a bit of a strange situation - I'll basically be retained under contract for a certain amount of time getting paid 'until it's done.' But I need to know about publishing rights in the UK, what I should hold out for, what I might have to give in on, that sort of thing.

Can't really go into too much detail here, PM me if you're willing to chat about this, and if you're London based I'll gladly trade your knowledge for some beers sometime.

Yes, I probably will be getting a lawyer involved at some point, but some early pointers would be helpful from those who may have already been there.

Thanks in advance!
Old 4th September 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
spiderman's Avatar
From my experience and reading, creating a detailed "DEAL MEMO" with the director before creating a contract is a must.

The memo should outline everything; dates & deadlines, wages/fees, defaults/over-runs/rewrites, file format and exchange process (ftp or hard disk hand-off), studio cost/usage, musician fees, instrumentation, terms of usage, and owner-ship rights (writers and publishers).

In fact I would say my list is missing some things. That's where your lawyer will be handy. Whatever contract you recieve MUST be reviewed by a third-party entertainment lawyer.

Good luck...

Im sure England has a performance rights organization (ASCAP, BMI). You should contact them (and join if not a member).
Old 4th September 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 

I think it is also very important to spell out what is NOT covered by your agreement with them, ie what work is NOT going to be done under these terms. There are a huge number of deliverables possibilities today, particularly in the realm of M+Es, so you MUST specifiy exactly what they will be getting from you and what they will NOT be getting. Time frame, conditions (like number of revisions etc ), screen credit and money are other items to spell out. All this goes in the deal memo.

Philip Perkins
Old 4th September 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 
spiderman's Avatar
Philip... for us Newb's here.... Could you define M+Es? I've guessed music and editing but don't know for sure.
Old 4th September 2007
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
maria's Avatar
 

Close, it's music and effects.
Old 4th September 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joenovice View Post
Philip... for us Newb's here.... Could you define M+Es? I've guessed music and editing but don't know for sure.
On commercial US features part of the deal is usually a separate "fully-filled" M+E (music and effects) track in which all the sounds, ambiences, foley etc that were originally part of the production sound used in the film are replaced w/ new, similar sounds WITHOUT the original language dialog (in addition to all the original score and source music). This is to facilitate dubbing the film into a foreign language(s). On larger movies the whole film is covered by sound editing and Foley, on smaller indie films often the production sound is used whenever possible in the original version of the film. It is very important to be clear with the people you are contracting with (and equally important for THEM to be clear with the distributors THEY are contracting with) about whether the very considerable work of making a fully-filled M+E is part of the deal you are making or not.

Philip Perkins
Old 4th September 2007
  #7
Hi Phil

Thanks for the reply so far.

I'll be solely doing music for this one, a seperate sound designer will be doing FX etc and it will also be mixed by someone entirely different (ie, I'll deliver the stems/completed score). We will probably also have a music editor.

Cheers!
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