Adventures in Music Licensing and Scoring!
February 2020 Vol. 8, No. 2
Announcements: * Welcome new readers! Please feel free to email questions about music licensing (and scoring). I will answer you by email, and add your questions (anon.) in the next newsletter. (see below)
* Please feel free to submit articles, questions, links, etc. to this newsletter.
* Big News. See "As the Earth Turns" UPDATE!
* The next licensing class is Sat, February 29, 2020.
Please share this with any musicians, bands, songwriters or composers you know in the Pacific Northwest. If you live outside of the Pacific NW, I will be taking my class on the road. Please email me, if you have any connections with music schools in your area. I can offer a combination morning Licensing Workshop, and afternoon Percussion Clinic!
Can't make the class? I have been doing a lot of "one-on-one" sessions with folks. It's a great way to answer nagging questions about licensing, and help organize your process for pitching, etc. We can take a listen and analyze at your music for licensing potential. I generally do sessions in my studio in Edmonds, WA. A band can come together to share the cost. Otherwise, I can skype, phone, or FB Video with you. Email for info.
* I would very much appreciate any testimonials you have about the class or individual sessions. This feedback helps with promoting future classes. Please email me (see below).
* "As the Earth Turns" Update:
"As the Earth Turns" will be on Turner Classic Movies in the Fall of 2020!
I don't have a date or time yet, but it will be on multiple times over 3 years. This is a remarkable event. This project started in the fall of 2018, with the help and support of Kim Lyford Bishop. I am now fully in charge of the production (and LLC that owns the film-estate). There is a possibility of other distribution, and I will make announcements as I hear. Keep an eye out - this film may wind up on a TV near you! Hopefully, I will be able to report on how 45 minutes of non-stop music does, royalty-wise! See "adventures", below, for any updates....
"It's a honor just to submit..."
* I have to say, watching the Oscars will be a bit different, this year. I can say that I entered a film in that race! We didn't get a nomination, of course, but to do that was potentially a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Thanks to Kim Lyford Bishop for making it happen.
I am still busy with the film, and looking for opportunities to show it (Retirement communities, Schools with film programs (HS, College), Film history clubs, NW History Groups, Theatres, Activity centers, etc.). If you know anyone that might be interested helping make that happen, please let me know. Thanks!
Ad in "Variety": (similar one was in "Hollywood Reporter")
You can get the original poster (& mugs, t-shirts, etc.) here:
PS: I am considering a limited run of the poster (signed, with all the laurels) friends and fans of the film. If you are interested, please let me know.
Upcoming confirmed screenings of "As the Earth Turns":
Beach Cities Inspirational Film Festival, April 25, 2020, San Clemente, CA (Time TBA). "As the Earth Turns" won the "Crystal Wave Award" (Outstanding Recognition) in 2019.
115 festivals!, 131 awards/nominations, including 33 for best score!
About the film:
My soundtrack album is available. Any sales support this newsletter!
Recent adventures in licensing and scoring:
You can never have enough tracks, Dept:
* I am working on lots of tracks. I just submitted on big one to a TV show theme. Long-shot, but worth creating the track. It will find uses elsewhere. I did submit two tracks to a library request, and both were rejected. That's fine, too. There are always second chances for tracks, elsewhere. Nearly every one of my placements came from second chances!
Ya never know, Dept:
I am happy to report a Songtradr license for a film (I am working on more information) for a vocal track of mine, "Memories" with the amazing Dina Blade singing! The track was found on ST, not through a brief). It is from around 2007, Pre-DAW, on a Tascam DP-01 (8 track portable digital) and a cheap vocal mic! I did the other parts. (vibes, piano, bass, drums). The money isn't bad (similar to TV). The film is a student thesis film ("All Night Long") heading to festivals. Lots to learn about ST licensing, now.
I did migrate my website (edhartmanmusic.com) to Bandzoogle (Hostbaby is no longer active, although CDBaby is fine). Bandzoogle has been a bit challenging, but with a little help from support, the move wasn't too bad. I have a ton of info on there, so it took awhile to get all of the links going. Check it out!,
* I have been working with a Pacific NW director on a short comedy. I have submitted two score versions, so far. Hopefully, the most recent will work. It is non-exclusive (I keep the publishing) so any tracks I create can be used in other things. This particular project is much more background music-oriented, vs. underscore, so tracks are better suited for licensing. Typically, score-to-picture tracks (heavily sync'd) don't work for much beyond the project they were intended for, but keeping your publishing is still a great idea, especially for low-budget scoring. In the end, unless the film production company has a publishing entity (very unlikely, unless it is a big player like Universal, WB, etc.), they really can't collect any of the publishing royalties.
* I am still waiting for a feature to start. Hopefully, that will be soon. More later...
Honey Your Royalties Are In Dept.:
BMI Day! It was a good payment. Nothing spectacular, but steady, consistent passive income! Highlights: Good money from "The Movie Channel" for a 2014 placement (that did horrible in theatres)
Also, got money from Adrev! Long story about a video (IM + views! See July 2019 Newsletter.) that stopped paying me because of a library issue. Regular GOOD money coming in again! Halleluya!
Danger Will Robinson Dept: (...and I REALLY like the "Lost in Space" reboot! They kept the original theme, too!)
Hitlicense seems to have disappeared. I did a bit of submitting years ago, but there were issues with it. My guess is it tanked, and there may be some more to come out. I have emailed them to see what's up. There were deals for some, but the vast majority of opps were very low odds. It was $5/opp with no membership. Most TAXI and Songtradr folks I know gave up on it.
Honey Your Royalties Are NOT In Dept.:
While checking out my BMI statement, I compared it to recent placements, to see if anything new was showing up. I knew a 2017 placement of "Drum Wars" was used in a film, "Adventures in Public School"(no joke!), AKA "Public Schooled". I did see it was on Netflix (and now others). I watched it and did find the track (I think around 55 min in. Cool placement. It's used as underscore as the main character is spying around!) I didn't find it in the credits (typical). I did contact the library (good one, too!), and started to research. I contacted BMI, and they had no cue-sheet filed. I did also contact SOCAN (Canadian PRO - Very courteous!), but they couldn't help, because I am not a SOCAN member. (I have since contacted BMI to contact SOCAN on my behalf). I did get a copy of the cue-sheet, and my track is there. My best guess is that because it was a Canadian production, they would have filed with SOCAN and not BMI. Canadian royalties would then go through BMI, and that can take a year or two. The use was a little under a minute but should yield some cash, eventually. I was really good I contacted the library because the track was never registered (with a new name) with BMI! If I hadn't have checked, I would have likely missed out on any royalties! Moral of the story: Keep up with your placements. Do NOT assume everything is always in place. I have made my own mistakes going back to 2001, and missed out on royalties. Be vigilant! Tell em, and Ed sent ya!
"As the Earth Turns" Soundtrack Dept:
I just got registration confirmation from BMI for mixes of multiple tracks in my soundtrack album. These tracks would not have received any royalties outside of the film, because they are different mixes of the tracks from the film (with new titles). Make sure any remixes you do are registered with your PRO, along with the soundtrack tracks, themselves (as on the cue-sheet. Check with the production company. In this case, I am also the production company!)
There's more of us than them, Dept:
Discovery Network backed down. They wanted your royalties. Ain't gonna happen, because 11K composers got together and let them know. That is what the power of people does! Right now, there is a similar fight in California regarding issues with new legislation about self-employed people. Tons of composers are having problems with their work status. The law is forcing folks to be classified as employees. Anyway, there is good news. New fixes in the law are getting looked at in the next few months. If those 11K composers want another battle, the time is NOW. There may be future similar federatl legislation. Pay attention.
I just put this track "Out On the Town" (in the Mancini tradition) from a few years ago out on Youtube against cityscape images (pixabay.com - free to use!) Why wait for a placment? Make your own content. I use Imovie.
There's help all around you, Dept:
"Third Place Books" in Lake Forest Park, is a great place to see live music. There are big bands there every weekend. One of them, Big Mischief Little Big Band played similar music to my own (Jazz, Latin, Vintage) ! I am working with the band's arranger, Brent Irwin, on some tracks of mine, to get hopefully performed live. He is very fast, and good. I will have more information soon. Great stuff coming! It's really nice to hear things performed live again!
Tales from the Tech-Side:
Finishing and Mastering Programs: (After you mix out of your DAW) I use this program to trim files (.5sec up front), fade-outs, Meta editing, some compression, normalizing, etc.)
Metadatics (Edit groups of tracks without moving them! Just drag from anywhere on your computer).
Organizing your tracks:
Composers Catalogue (Total management, meta, tracks, etc.)
Annoucing a new feature for 2020: Articles from Readers!
(Please email me if you would like to submit something for this newsletter. It can be about anything in music licensing and scoring. I would love to hear about your personal adventures with music libraries, PROs, music supervisors, directors, etc. Thanks!
Questions from the Audience...
TAKE TWO: What the heck is up with Songtradr ? They did an upgrade, and many of my tracks have copyright issues.
(A number of readers on this one!)
* Songtradr went through a huge update, and many of us had difficulting getting our tracks (I have 200+) updated with the upgrade. The biggest issue was copyright, publishing and writers information. I have been in touch with support (there were very nice, and realized we were all pretty upset!). With there help, all is well, although it took another round recently to get everything correct. I recommend it for anyone working with them. BTW: The "Drum Wars" track from the above placement didn't make a recent shortlist for a ST op!
TIP: I recommend joining the Songtradr group on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/786199044895237/
The Discovery Networks thing is very disturbing. If the trend continues it will hurt people like you who have a lot of backend royalties. What do you think the future holds?
The only certain thing is everything changes, always. Markets change, disappear and new ones appear. I think the answer is to always be as creative at marketing and selling as creating things. A number of composer gurus out there have all said the same thing. Diversify. I have become a producer and looking into film distribution (which is going through similar things). In the end, what happens to big names may not be as impacting to you and me. I'm not worried about royalties, actually. Each PRO collects a billion each. That money is going somewhere. I just have to figure out how to get it!
Discovery has backed down on this, in fact. I think there are a lot of music suppliers (libraries, composers, etc.) that are getting their two-cents in. If Discovery values the quality of it's music they will continue to pay. If they don't care, then the lowest bidder will win. Someone is going to make money, probably a library that feeds the beast. I know a few of them! Over time, if the composers supplying the music don't get up-front or royalties, they will bolt, and that library will be dead.
I am hopeful. But, hey, I've always been an optimist!
LINKS OF THE MONTH:
Sounds of the Nightmare Machine:
And then, there's this..."The weirdest sounds I have ever recorded."
The Modern Guide to Publishing:
SYNC SUMMIT LA
KEY WORLDWIDE MUSIC INDUSTRY & SYNC EVENTS LIST 2020:
Regular Composer Events in LA:
ASCAP - I CREATE MUSIC EXPERIENCE - APRIL 1-3, 2020 (Nashville)
Hey-I gotta make money, too! If you have learned anything from these newsletters please check out my SWAG! (NEW: "As the Earth Turns" SWAG!)
Ed Hartman Patreon Page: (This is a FREE newsletter. This is the closest thing I have to a subscription!)
Joke/Quote of the month:
"Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, wisdom is not truth, truth is not beauty, beauty is not love, love is not music, music is the BEST."