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The Director's Chair Issue #63 – Feb. 27, 2006 (Music Licensing)

Free Monthly Ezine for Film and Television Directors

February 27, 2006          Scene 7 – Take 2

Published once a month.

Publisher: Peter D. Marshall
Email: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com
Web Site: http://www.actioncutprint.com


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1.  Introduction
2.  “The Art and Craft of the Director” Workshop Debrief
3.  Important Industry Events
4.  Filmmaking Resource Center Blog
5.  Action-Cut-Print
6.  Feature Article – “Music Licensing”
7.  Back Issues of The Director’s Chair
8.  Share This Ezine
9.  Suggestions & Comments
10.  Subscribe & Unsubscribe Information
11.  Copyright Information


Welcome to Issue #63 of The Director’s Chair (Feb. 27, 2006)

I would like to say hello to all my subscribers from around
the world: Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland,
Israel, India, Russian Federation, Cocos (Keeling) Islands,
Spain, United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Sweden,
Yugoslavia, Japan, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Ireland, United
Arab Emirates, Netherlands, France, Hong Kong, Belgium,
Ethiopia, Romania, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Nepal,
Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Puerto Rico, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Mexico,
Nigeria, Argentina, Sudan, Hungary.

NOTE: If your country isn’t represented here, please let me
know and I will add it to this list.

Last weekend, 17 filmmakers from Canada, USA, Mexico and
South Africa met at the Granville Island Hotel in Vancouver,
Canada for “The Art and Craft of the Director” workshop.
Here is what happened.

2) FEATURE ARTICLE – This month’s Feature Article is called
“Music Licensing” by Steve Veloudos. Music licensing can be
a very confusing subject. The intent of this article is to
give you enough details on what music licensing is and what
are your rights to use music in advertising and / or video

3) VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – If you would like to contribute
articles, tips, links of interest, industry news,
interviews, special event dates or other resources to The
Director’s Chair please email: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com



Peter D. Marshall


Last weekend, 17 filmmakers from Canada, USA, Mexico and
South Africa met at the Granville Island Hotel in Vancouver,
Canada for “The Art and Craft of the Director” workshop.

It was a fantastic experience for all involved! We talked,
listened, watched movie clips and on the last day everyone
got to direct a scene to put into practise what they learned
the first two days.

(I told everyone on Day One that by the end of the third
day, they would all be able to direct an actor – even a
non-professional actor – and get a believable performance.

They did!

I also managed to get 4 guest speakers as well. On Friday,
Padi Mills (Production Manager/Producer) spoke about the
business of film from a production and budget point-of-view.

On Saturday, Charles Wilkinson (Director) spoke about the
role of the working director. And another director friend of
mine (David Winning) stopped by to say hello and we pressed
him into a Q and A session as well.

On Sunday, Trilby Jeeves (Actress) spoke about the role of
the actor and how important it is for director’s to “listen
for the truth with your soul.”

All in all, it was a very transforming event.

If you missed this workshop, I plan to present several more
this year. I will let you know when and where the next
“The Art and Craft of the Director” workshop will be.

Also, I made an audio recording of the February workshop and
I am now in the process of transcribing the tapes. I will be
eventually producing several CDRoms, a written transcript of
the event and reproducing the participant Workbook as part
of a Directing home-learning package. I am aiming for this
package to be completed sometime in May, 2006. (Subscribers
to this ezine will receive a discount rate on this package
when it is available.)

Here are a some comments from just two of the participants:

“I just wanted to thank you for your time spent putting this
workshop together. I felt that you covered many facets of
what it is to be a director and was quite educational and
fun at the same time. The acting/director workshop was a
great tool for getting the director to not only practice
his/her skills in direction but also for us as directors to
understand the importance of communication from the actors
point of view. I’d recommend this to any aspiring director,
young or old, there is something for everyone in this
course!” Riley Walsh – Vancouver

“It was rewarding to be able to put hands on paper and from
no experience at all, write a plot, make a script, make the
storyboards, cast actors from our group, place cameras,
count the beats – everything all easy just by following the
‘Marshall Rules’. We left your workshop knowing that we can
make a difference in this business, and you gave as the
courage not only to take the next step we wanted but also to
confront our fears knowing that we are capable to excel. You
offered us challenge, hard work, with a lot of guidance and
professional support. You brought to us great writers,
actors, and movie directors to share their experiences with us.
For you, Five Stars!!!” Karyna Barros – Vancouver


1) The Great American PitchFest is gearing up for another
great festival for writers to sell their scripts, gain agent
and manager representation, and turn their tv show and movie
ideas into productions! April 28 – 30, 2006.


2) The 78th Annual Academy Awards – Need I say more?
March 5, 2006



Check out the Filmmaking Resource Center blog at:
http://www.bloglines.com/blog/PDM for filmmaking tips,
articles, movie news and film reviews. Please use this
resource center to ask questions (and answer questions;) to
read daily film and TV news; and to submit your own
filmmaking tips and stories.

Filmmaking Resource Center – http://www.bloglines.com/blog/PDM

5. ACTION-CUT-PRINT! –  A Website for Filmmakers

If you are a Film or TV Director; a working professional who
wants to Direct; a film student who wants to learn more
about Directing; or a “student of film” who just wants to
know more about Filmmaking from the pros, Action-Cut-Print!
is for you!

Take a moment now to visit http://www.actioncutprint.com
where you will find over 1500 Online Resources for
Filmmakers, Filmmaking Tips and Articles, a Film and TV
Bookstore and Film Directing Workshops.

6. FEATURE ARTICLE – Music Licensing

“Music Licensing” by Steve Veloudos

Music licensing can be a very confusing subject. My intent
with this article is to give you enough details on what
music licensing is and what are your rights to use music in
advertising and / or video productions.

A few months ago I was contacted by a company that was
celebrating 20 years in business. They wanted to put
together a radio commercial that highlighted their
celebration. Their request was to use Kool and the Gangs
song Celebration in their radio spot. I explained to them in
order to do this they would have to obtain a licensing which
would cost them quite a bit of money. This was not an option
for them due to their limited budget and ultimately they
told me that they “went another direction” with their

If I had agreed to use this song without obtaining a
licensing I would have put both of our companies at risk. It
was not worth the risk just to make a sale. Beware that
there are unscrupulous production companies that will do
this type of illegal activity so the best protection you
have is knowledge.

The copyright law protects writers of music by giving them
exclusive right to their music. Once a piece of music is
under copyright protection it is illegal to use it without
getting permission to the owner of the copyright.

There are actually two types of copyrights in the United
States. One is the actual copyright which is denoted with
the familiar C with a circle around it. This protection is
for the actual melody, lyrics and arrangement of the music.
The copyright is usually owned by the actual artist that
wrote the piece or their publishing company.

The second form of copyright is the actual recording itself.
This is denoted by a P with a circle around it. This
protection covers the performance of the song caught on tape
or digital media and released on CD or other media. Many
times a record or production company will own this
performance right.

If you want to use a song in a production, you need obtain a
Master Use license from the owner of the copyright and a
Synchronization license (often called a sync license) from
the owner of the performance of the song.

The fees for synchronization licenses vary greatly. Low-end
TV usage (music is playing from car radio in a scene) can
cost up to $2,000. In a film, the fee may be as high as
$10,000. A popular song is worth more, possibly $3,000 for
TV and $25,000 for film. A song used as the theme song for a
film might get $50,000 to $75,000. Commercials can get even
more money. Fees for a popular song can range from $25,000
to $500,000 plus per year. The typical range for a
well-known song is $75,000 to $200,000 for a one year
national usage in the United States on television and radio.

I think you will agree with me that that is a lot of money
and usually way over budget for many video and radio

To get around these outrageous fees, music production
companies sell buyout music. When you purchase a buyout CD
you do not need to obtain a licensing to use the music. You
can use the music hassle free and at a much lower cost.

Buyout music or royalty-free, as it applies to my products,
means that for your one-time purchase price, you can legally
use the music in your productions for life of ownership. All
copyrights of the music remain with Zebra Music LLC. My
jingle licensing agreement allows a protected area of 200
miles. By doing this no other companies in a local market
will have the same jingle.

Many other production companies offer a similar buy out
music licensing. I would advise you to read the licensing
agreements with other production companies and ask questions
if you have concerns.

Network broadcast and international broadcast of buyout
production music is cleared through a performance
organization (like BMI or ASCAP).  The revenue that these
songs produce when they are aired is paid directly from
broadcast station licensing, NOT from you as a producer.
These performance organizations then in turn pay each artist
based on the amount their song or songs were aired on the
radio or TV.

I hope this article has cleared up any confusion or
questions that you have had about copyright and music

Steve Veloudos owns and operates Zebra Music LLC.  It’s a
one stop shop for jingles and library music. Visit Steve’s
web sites and get free monthly music that you can use for
your productions.


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Peter D. Marshall
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