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Adventures in Music Licensing & Scoring!
January 2021 Vol. 9, No. 1
* Happy 2021 - We made it! Congratulations on surviving 2020. I hope you have a fantastic year with your music and music business. This is the 9th year of this newsletter! I am very happy to continue to put it out. If there is anything you are interested in seeing in this newsletter, please let me know. I would love to have some guest articles, too. If you have a story about a placement, or a tip on getting music in media, or scoring-to-picture, please contact me. Thanks!
* STOP the PRESSES! I will be a panelist at the virtual Syncsummit Jan 5-8, 2021. This should be an excellent event, and have wonderful networking opportunities with music supervisors, libraries and industry folks. Mark Frieser, the founder of the event, has been putting on a number of daily chats since the pandemic started. I've actually made some great connections from those events. I know he is working very hard on creating meetings at this event to connect directly. He is on a serious mission to connect artists with sync-opportunities. All of his "Sync-Chats" are archived on the FB group. My interview is below, too. See you there!
* My classes through North Seattle College are on hold until next fall, but I am continuing to do individual and group classes, myself on Zoom. Next class is January 16, 2021 (Great for folks just starting up). Please share with anyone that is interested in getting into music licensing. If you want to do a follow-up session with me, please let me know. I've done a LOT of them lately, and they have been incredible.
* NEW FB page about licensing: (Please like to get more info in between emails)
Get Your Music in Film and TV: (please like!)
* 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) If you have an idea for an article, please feel free to let me know.
* II'm considering doing some FB LIVE Video discussions. What do you think? Watch my FB Page for details.
Feel free to support this newsletter through my Patreon page.
PS: The custom gif below is from "As the Earth Turns"!
ONLINE Music Licensing Classes available:
I am doing a TON of individual sessions!
Brand New Short 3 minute video about Music Licensing Lessons:
Whether you are new to getting your music in film and TV, or would like a refresher or follow-up, I can generally help. I can get a LOT done in a session!
Classes taught on Zoom (free app) via private invite.
I can share tracks, videos, documents, chat, etc., all while I teach. It's actually pretty cool and easy to use (download zoom.us for phone, tablet, or desktop - best). I'll send you an invite. I will email an invoice (Paypal) or CC.
Next class is January 16, 2021 - Email for information, special pricing and registration.
One-on-One session: $70/hr; $100/ 1.5 hrs./$120 2 hrs. (Email to schedule)
(ZOOM-best, FB Messenger, Skype, Phone)
Prerequisite: None. Beginners or experienced composers, songwriters & producers welcome.
This is an extremely targeted and efficient class that can focus on tracks, metadata, organization, marketing, PROs, copyright, libraries, royalties, etc. You can send tracks to me for review, and get ideas on improving your licensing game.
Email to get more information.
* If you missed the 2020 Seattle Film Summit, the ENTIRE event content is available until March 1, 2021 (50% off - $50)
Lots of panels, workshops, showcases, keynotes, etc.
* interview with Tom Cridland. This is pretty wild. This series interviews some amazing musicians in it. (It's extremely humbling). The first half is about favorite music and musicians. The second half is about music licensing.
* interview with Mark Frieser, talking about adventures in music licensing!
* Interview with Michael Laskow (CEO of TAXI.COM) about film scoring!
"Sunday Songwriters in the Round"
(2-hour online panel discussion/performance with other composers and songwriters (Ed Hartman segments are at about 25min 50min, and 2hr into the program)
Ed Hartman Scoring News:
*I’m working on a doc about DACA - an interesting project. It’s about the woman that the original DACA bill was written for! She’s a pianist. I have a very good relationship with the director, Eduardo Freitas - he’s very nice. Not big money -a bit less than initially quoted, but OK for the time-spent. The score is piano/orchestral. The project is coming out well. Hopefully, I can help the director with festivals and distribution ideas, too! We call that "added value" in biz.
* A short I scored, "Pause" will have a private screening soon. It's a funny story of a blind date, with a third "Twilight Zone" character that gets involved. It was less a scoring gig than creating a number of background source cues to go under the dialogue (like heard in a coffee shop). There's a virtual screening for the cast and crew this weekend. Will report!
* Scoring ops are on the horizon: One short about the 50s, a reality TV show, and a short about a robbery gone wrong.
* I just created this filmmaker page on my site. It has excellent resources for connecting to the film industry. Get out there! (PS: Email me links if you have them)
"As the Earth Turns" Update:
I have been busy posting the film in dozens of film, sci-fi, horror, etc. groups on FB and Linkedin. Lots of reviewers hang out in those places. I have a good dozen new reviews coming in 21, already! There will be interviews, too. PR will ramp up even more as TCM schedules the film (TBA). My doc, "It Gets in Your Blood" is waiting on one more clearance from Disney. A number of assets will be in DVD coming in 21! I am busy writing the screenplay for a biopic about the director, too. Jeesh, this is nuts!
Doc trailer link:
https://vimeo.com/448354062 (with my own placed music, too! I guess I owe myself $)
This is a blog I wrote recently for Stage32 (A social platform for the film-industry). It is an up-to-date journal of my adventures with "As the Earth Turns".
* For anyone that HAS seen "As the Earth Turns", this is simply hilarious! Warning: spoilers (pretty much the entire film) Please watch the 45-minute film, first. The writing is spectacular. It takes the film apart, yet still respects the process of the young filmmaker. I've gotten to know the excellent writer. I may even work with him in the future.
Man, this is a great quote:
“The real powerhouse of As the Earth Turns is the music. Ed Hartman, the contemporary composer who both scored and performed the music, supplies the film with an era-appropriate accompaniment that only enhances its story. Further proving that dialogue isn’t everything if an outstanding score is its replacement. In many ways, the fact that this film was ‘lost’ for over 80 years is a bit of a gift, that now we can appreciate Lyford’s As the Earth Turns as the forward-thinking independent film that he intended it to be, furnished with a dominant and befitting score.”
As producer of the film, I can really use YOUR help: I am looking for retirement communities, schools with film programs (HS, College), Film history clubs, NW History Groups, Theatres, Activity centers, etc.) to do ZOOM screenings (in-person in the future). They can be anywhere in the world. Thanks!
“It was my pleasure to participate in a Zoom screening of "As the Earth Turns" with Ed Hartman. Ed had a wealth of information at his fingertips about the film and director Richard Lyford's life and other movies. "As the Earth Turns" is a real rarity and a remarkable rediscovery. Ed ran the program masterfully with live commentary and video clips, answering the audience's questions and adding spontaneous additions (including live music!) to the pre-planned portion of the program.”
Dwight Swanson Center for Home Movies
Reviews and interviews on:
After 80 years, this amazing SCI-FI film can is now available for the entire world to see!
TUBI TV (FREE!)
Please use good speakers or headphones for the film. The music IS the dialogue!
122 festivals, 135 awards/nominations
(including 34 for best score!)
"Had Steven Spielberg been a 16-millimeter camera-toting teen in the 1930s, his home movies might have looked like “As the Earth Turns.”
Michael Rechtshaffen, LA Times
INFORMATION ABOUT THE FILM:
"As the Earth Turns" will be on Turner Classic Movies in the Fall of 2020!
You can get the original poster - no laurels (& mugs, t-shirts, etc.) here:
Upcoming confirmed screenings of "As the Earth Turns":
(Click poster for full size)
My soundtrack album is available! (Amazon, Itunes, etc.)
Nominee: Independent Music Awards!
Recent adventures in licensing:
NEW PLACEMENT! I am happy to report a placement on a Russian TV show, "Patriot" through Songtradr. The track, "Circus of the Mind" an odd-time circus organ track was also used on "Killjoys" (SCIFI) a few years ago. I keep publishing, and am attempting to contact the Russian production company. I doubt any back-end royalties will happen, but you gotta try!
I haven't used Broadjam in many years. They have been sending me free submissions, though. One of my tracks was accepted into a library! As it turns out, it's already a library I'm working with. This is for a separate direct-licensing deal to overhead music (malls, restaurants, stores, etc.). He asked for a few tracks. I sent him tons! (jazz, Latin, world, new-age).
Today, I uploaded my PRO statements and tracks to this website. (just learned about it through FB).
I believe they cross-check your music to see if everything is reporting. It is new (Beta). A few glitches in sign-up, but otherwise, extraordinarily easy and smooth. They do not collect revenue, just an information-gathering company. I also use Tunesat to watch for broadcasts of placements. Free for up to 50 tracks.
Harry Fox (HFA) update:
I uploaded tons of track info (from my BMI list) - painful, but worked. This is all about "mechanicals". I am getting a LOT of requests to sign docs from HFA. There should be some new revenue streams from all of this.
Watch this video:
Great explanation of Royalties - really, this is great. Four Food Groups! (from the recent virtual TAXI Rally)
Can you really make money on Youtube, Dept:
YES. The monthly revenue is increasing! 1.6M views. My track is at the beginning and end. See other newsletters about the original placement via a library in 2011!
Fatal Exposure: Tragedy at DuPont
Honey, your royalties are in, Dept:
It's that time of year. On streaming, I ust caught the end credits of "Surviving Christmas" (Ben Affleck, James Gandolfini) from 2004 on Pluto (Mistletoe Channel). It will be interesting to see the royalties. The track was used in the trailer too. It's a OK movie. Kinda grows on you. My track is right when Gandolfini hits Affleck over the head with a shovel. No kidding.
The track was in the trailer too ($$$): (Sugar Plums at :47)
This is what we live for:
I also caught a placement in a film, "The Turkey Bowl" from a few years ago through Crucial Music, now on Streaming. It's fun, and a bit raunchy comedy about a guy returning home years after high school. Watching it did teach me something - the track was used with a live marching band! That's important, because it pays a LOT more on the backend. I did check with the library that the cue sheet was correct, and they confirmed. I'll hopefully see some revenue in 21!
Tales from the Tech-Side:
There was a question recently on FB about someone that is not computer savvy, but wants to record at home:
As much as I recommend a computer-based system (I use Logic on a Mac), a hand-held Zoom recorder can be very good, at least to learn how to record. They can be $100+. I have an older Zoom that I still use for occasional video recording.
You could spend a little more and get a stand-alone recorder (I love Tascam). They are pretty user-friendly and some might be able to become an interface to a computer-based system as you get more comfortable. Some of my best tracks were created on an early version of this machine- including the Circus music above!) $150+
(I actually had the Tascam 4 Track Cassette recorder in the 80s! It was a terrific machine that even had DBX (noise reduction, used to this day). Folks even cut CDs with this (and a DAT tape recorder to master). "I love the smell of chrome tape in the moring!" Even after the tape drive failed, I used it as a decent live mixer. Ahh, real sliders!
Using a pro studio is ideal if you have limited tracks to do (an album). There is nothing like having someone else do all of the tech work and you can focus on the music. That being said, you may be better than you think. There are tons of videos to learn how to use any type of recording device. Lastly, if there is a local music store, give them a chance. There is also nothing like having someone help you choose what to get (and you will support your local music and business community in many ways! You will need instruments, parts, cords, mics, etc.) They will likely have support and put you in touch with local musicians, engineers and producers. I have a very good person that I can call for Logic MAC). He's even helped me set up my studio. Once things are in place it's a lot easier to press the record button.
More about timpani: (Hey, percussion is my specialty!)
When I was studying percussion at Indiana University in the 1970s, Leonida Torrebruno a famous timpanist performed a recital, including "Summertime" (he played the melody on timpani) with piano accompaniment. It was the best timpani performance I have ever seen, and demonstrated that pretty much any instrument can be incredibly rich in melody. He had perfect intonation (pedals are not exact), and executed the melody on 4 drums. You could not hear any of his tuning, either.
When you are thinking of how timps are tuned, think 4 strings of the bass (for 4 timps). Realistic lowest notes (low to high, each drum can be nearly an octave - on a good day) E, G, A, B). Larger low (32 - low C) and high drums get you a bigger range. Rototoms were created to extend a tunable drum all the way up.
Until Beethoven, most timpani were the middle two drums (26-29). Typically tonic-dominant ruled. C-G, D-A, etc. Beethoven gave us the octave blasts in his 9th symphony (2nd mov). Berlioz gave us 10 timpanists in his requiem (performed annually in Paris). He worked out the harmonics of the drums against the brass antiphonal choirs!
John Beck (Eastman) "walked" the timps, like a jazz bass in a solo, Elliot Carter's "Eight Pieces for Four Timpani" are some of the hardest timpani solos written. Timpanists also need to dampen notes, tune while the orchestra is playing (without being heard), and create extremely dynamic range. It's the best instrument to play in the orchestra. You have the best seat in the house, and come in when all hell is breaking loose. For me, though, timpani creates an exquisite underline to harmony, and adds an amazing sophisticated feel to a score. All of the timpani in my score in "As the Earth Turns" were real.
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. You are already an authority on something. Just dig in and share. Thanks!
"Know Your Genres, Dept:
Electro swing, or swing house music, is a music genre that combines the influence of vintage or modern swing and jazz mixed with house, hip hop, and EDM. Successful examples of the genre create a modern and dance-floor focused sound that is more readily accessible to the modern ear, but that also retains the energetic excitement of live brass and early swing recordings. Electro swing groups typically include singers, musicians playing traditional jazz instruments (e.g. trumpet, trombone, clarinet, saxophone) and at least one DJ.
Questions from the Audience...
(Please email me. I will try to answer quickly. Any questions I use in future newsletters will always be anon.)
Regarding TAXI: What is your experience in hearing back from forwards?
Forwards used to always have the client get back to you. Not so much these days. It can take time. If it's an exclusive, I would give them a month and move on. TAXI used to give you the name of the client on a forward. Because some folks got aggressive with the client (forward does NOT mean they will use the track), TAXI stopped.
Regarding TAXI, I always say, if you can get to the Rally (Nov - should be IN-PERSON this year!), it's worth the membership. If you are interested in joining, call and give them my name (good for a few free submissions!). See links below for this year's Virtual Rally videos! TAXI is also a great way to motivate you to write tracks and build up your catalogue (does for me!).
For non-exclusive deals/libraries - just be patient. Also if non, put your tracks in Songtradr any other libraries.
What about Royalty Free libraries?
There's a LOT of confusion about Royalty-Free (RF) Libraries. Pretty much ALL libraries are "royalty-free" in that the networks pay your PRO )BMI/ASCAP, etc.), not the filmmaker. Large online libraries that are automated for the client to directly download and use tracks tend to be typically "small-uses" like videographers, photographers, and anyone needing a quick track. They may even let a client use a track in multiple projects. There are usually limits. These are not necessarily synced placement prices for broadcast, but they may reduce the value of your music IMO. Those libraries can have issues with quality libraries. Read submission information to libraries you really want to work with before putting your music in bottom-feeder libraries!
Thoughts for the new year!
2) MOST IMPORTANT: If you haven’t done this, create a folder for information about licensing. Put all of my emails (and any other info) in there. Ideally, put a quick ID on them for subject. I’m happy to answer questions, but I’d rather not answer them more than once. (like the “Alts” question.) Organization is THE most important thing you can do. This is your business (with or without a business license). You have to have good information and know how to use it.
This business is fickle:
A lot of the music business will look problematic, and unethical (see the final quote on this newsletter!). Some things are, but most of it is being done by pretty smart folks. I have a lot of respect for anyone or business trying to make money in music. As much as I may or may not submit tracks to exclusive companies, there is a time and place, and I do it. Everyone’s models are different. Reality TV is a new animal and thrives on quantity. (Yes, editors really do use the “alts”). It is not for everyone.
Creating music for reality TV is a chore, and takes a lot of time. The payoff is in the backend and can take years. You become a music production company doing it. I’ve done a bit, but I don’t think it is what I want to do that much. Most of us really want to do much we love to create. That is always the first step. You will know when you have good tracks, and those will be the ones that will sell. The “80/20” rule does apply here. 20% of your products/services will get you 80% of your business. Focus on those styles, genres, etc., at least at first. As you widen your skill-set and pallets, you can expand your taste.
Licensing is NOT about your tracks. It is about media using your tracks in THEIRprojects. You have to either supply them with what THEY want, or put out enough tracks of what YOU have, and hope that someone will use them in their projects.
Try not to get into adversarial situations with companies or people. If you aren’t 100% sure you want to work with a company, hold off (TAXI, included). I repeat, most of these folks are good people. For instance, I believe Songtradr is basically a good company (They're making me money!) but requires a lot of patience. You have to be able to work with the industry in the future. You do not want to burn bridges before you’ve gone across them. If you have a problem with something, be polite, and simply say it is not for you right now.
The most important thing you can do is to be helpful and as giving as possible.(especially now). Always offer assistance with information. There are tremendous resources available. FB has many songwriters, composers, and licensing groups. Search and join them as much as possible. Don’t argue with others there, though. Offer advice, but don’t judge.
I really want to help. This time is particularly stressful for everyone. It is also a golden opportunity for anyone to dive into music licensing. You need to be tremendously patient though. None of this is fast. It takes years. For faster payoffs, you might try finding local businesses that need music. Anytime you can deal directly with someone (outside a library, etc) it can really speed it up. This is why I also score music. Right now, businesses will probably not have much money to pay for things, but they will in the future. Everything you do is to build your future business. It is a business. It will take time to understand. It will take a lot of good communication skills with other businesses.
Finally, understand there is a ton of info about licensing out there. I google stuff all the time. I am on everyone’s mailing list. That’s how I build up the links for the newsletter. Frankly, it’s overwhelming. I’ve only been doing this for 20 years. For me, compared to playing music, it’s nothing. I am still learning, and the business is evolving. I get pissed off at stuff all the time, but I try to stay balanced about it. There are always very positive things coming.
Videos of the month:
"As the Earth Turns"
This can really help the film out (especially on Amazon - FREE on Prime!)
Hey, it's FREE right here on TUBITV. (Or watch it on your TV - links below, with good speakers or headphones!!)
On Amazon (Free with Prime): https://www.amazon.com/As-Earth-Turns-Barbara-Berger/dp/B088P7TH37
On Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/movies/details?id=xcx_SyzswCA.P
On Youtube Movies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt6oVWfSbQA
Whereever you watch it, please leave a review (star or written) if possible. It really helps the film tremendously! Please let me know what you think of the score, too!
LINKS OF THE MONTH:
How to Negotiate a Composer Agreement:
Trevor Morris YT Channel (tremendous scoring videos!)
The Sonic Palette of The Queen's Gambit (Must see!)- great video by the composer, Carlos Rafael Rivera
Organizing Your Tracks, Songs, Alt Mixes, and Stems with Keith LuBrant
Frownland by Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band: Analysis - Just because!
3 More Quick Tips for Your Rough Recordings:
Ongoing scoring competition (if Westworld wasn't enough for you!)
Scoring Organization Platform:
ASCAP Experience Mag:
BBC Symphony ($$ or FREE!)
Syncsummit - FREE daily chats about music licensing, music supervisors, etc.!
Meet Music Supervisors in person! ($$)
KEY WORLDWIDE MUSIC INDUSTRY & SYNC EVENTS LIST 2020:
http://edhartmanlessons.com (Lesson info, etc.)
http://edhartmanmusic.com - (Studio information, music, bio, links, calendar, etc.) FREE listening. Lots of music for soundtracks, movies, TV, commercials, etc.
My recordings on CD Baby:
Shameless self-promotion Dept:
T-Shirts, Cups, Towels, Posters and SWAG!
Check em out!
Ed Hartman Patreon Page: (This is a FREE newsletter. This is the closest thing I have to a subscription!) Is this newsletter worth at least $1 to you? Honestly, this newsletter takes HOURS to create! I'm not complaining, but it has been getting bigger. If you can support this newsletter, that would be wonderful!
Ed Hartman Consultation
I am always available for one-on-one consultation, in person or via phone or Skype (call or email to set up)
One hour: $70.00
Two hours: $120.00
Groups: contact for price
I will be happy to critique your music, make recommendations for marketing, suggest libraries to put you music in, help figure out studio configurations (although I am not a heavy tech person. I can recommend people, though), and give you general career advice. If you are interested, please call or email.
Classic Quote or Joke:
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”
Hunter S. Thompson