WHAT A PERFORMANCE! (or how not to use music in film)

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin ….

Jude and Judy are mates who are both into audio recording, like it’s what they love – try and tell ’em they are wasting their time and you might get a mouthful!

Jude is the audio & recording techie whilst Judy is into sound & music mixing (she’s also an EDM DJ at weekends).

Jude helps Judy by introducing her to the latest gizmos for her mixing and mash-ups and Judy plays Jude’s favourite tracks when he comes along to one of her stonking Friday nights at Bunk Off, a ‘pop up’ night club in the Mendips – there’s hours of re-mixes of their favourite dance/hip hop/rap and US chart hits.

A hip film maker Barney with plenty of dosh from his mother’s fashion design business takes a drive out from Bath to somewhere near Frome and, after a couple of beers in a noisy pub, hears about Bunk Off. After cajoling a slightly inebriated local with beers and chasers, finds out where the place is.

He parks up way down the road and walks up the hill to where there appears to be nothing going on. Then he sees some lights, makes his way down a footpath using his phone for a torch, and then sees what looks like a trap door. He lifts it up and then the noise is dinning. A girl dressed up like Pippa Longstocking with hair as outrageous asked, “Can I Help”. Barney says I am looking for DJs for some new happening film projects. She mumbled something like “alright’, sniggered and told him to be careful coming up the steps. Once he had reached the sawdust ridden floor, a young guy gesticulated to suggest that he should show his wrist! He gave him a rubber stamp with a rather odd logo and said nothing.

Barney thought that the whole thing was a bit weird with people chatting, laughing, dancing, leaning against the wall, looking at Judy and being mesmerised by the whole event. Barney didn’t stay long but handed his card to Judy, saying loudly “Call me!”.

Judy told Jude about the encounter and they called and arranged a meeting at Barney’s place in Bath. Barney told them about the project and they both said they were up for it and when do they start. Barney offered a daily rate of £500 between them, gave them a 2 page contract which they signed and off they went to create sound and music for the film , incidentally tentatively entitled “What A Performance”. It was a fast moving short film with flash ups of actors, singers, guitarists, drummers, DJs, contortionists, street acrobats and sports men & women.

Jude and Judy put together using their combined skills a massive sound track that, in the playback studio, blew Barney away. Barney immediately told his Production Manager to arrange for the film to have a final mix and have it ready for delivery. A week later, Barney submitted the film for the Smashdance Film Festival taking place in Outer Mongolia, March 2018.

In reading the terms and conditions, he decided to pass the details to his lawyer, in particular the wording: “Entrants represent and warrant to the Festival that the Film and all parts thereof are original; that the Film does not contravene the rights of any person or entity and that entrants own or control the Film and all parts thereof and have the sole authority to submit the Film to the Festival.”

Barney’s lawyer asked Barney if he had acquired consents from the performers in his film. Barney said they were only quick flash ups often for only a second and that the clips were taken from YouTube – which is for everyone? The lawyer then asked about the sound and music score; Barney said that Jude and Judy had signed a consent form granting all necessary rights. The lawyer then asked if Jude and Judy had composed the music themselves. Barney said, no, it was a mash-up of samples taken from various dance tracks by people such as David Guetta, Skrillex, Zedd and Afrojack.

Now, it was getting worrying as, whilst the composers had signed an agreement probably indemnifying Barney against any claims, they probably wouldn’t have the money to compensate him.

Barney took up the issue with Jude and Judy who said they don’t have a problem with their ‘live gigs’. Barney reminded them that live gigs are covered by the venue’s PRS and PPL licences – even he knew that! Those licences however, he remembered, do not cover the ‘copying’ or synchronising the music with visual images, particularly in this case, his film!

Further, even if the record companies can contractually grant the featured artists’ rights, any non-contracted musicians i.e. session players may require clearance and approval in respect of their re-used performances.

Then Jude and Judy asked Barney how he got permission for all the clips in his film and, looking a little awkward, he said that they were only short extracts and OK as they were from YouTube. Even Jude and Judy knew that clips from YouTube need permission for re-use in other audio-visual productions.

None of them had allowed for extra money for all this so, fortunately, when they called Musicalities they were advised that, as long as they didn’t mind non-commercial music and music that was specially recorded and produced for use in audio-visual media, there are bundles of so called Production (Library) Music that is pre-cleared covering the composers, the recordings and all the performers including some who are actually DJs themselves – and at only a few hundred pounds.

The key here is use of commercial material for private use and bona fide courses of study is covered under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act; however, commercial use and public performance of copyright material requires consents from all those involved. Can you afford it? If not, use commissioned original scored music, library music – or even no music!

Not sure what you need to do for your project? Contact Musicalities for the low down.

© 2017 Ivan Chandler, Musicalities Ltd. All Rights Reserved

“It’s been a hard day’s night”: Musicalities sets the pace for clearing music rights in 2017

Clearing music rights faster than the speed of light

Musicalities clears music rights for well over 200 songs for “Trivial Takedown” produced by Zig Zag Productions for FUSE TV Channel (U.S.) and set to air November 2017!

Based on the Channel 4 series “Blink”, this music-based, pop culture quiz show tests both the knowledge and the reaction speeds of celebrity contestants in a series of high-speed audio and visual music challenges. Celebrities and social media influencers confirmed for Season 1 of “Trivial Takedown” include Flula Borg and Mamrie Hart, both of whom have deals with Lionsgate, Frankie Grande, GloZelle, Omarion, Brittany Furlan, Gina Brillon, and Chico Bean.

A documentary delight for football fans nearly gets blown away

Negotiating the rights for even just one song can be tricky but Musicalities did it once again with “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” for Iron Men, a documentary film about West Ham United bidding goodbye to its sacred Boleyn Ground after 112 years of occupation and moving, lock, stock and barrel to the London Stadium; a momentous relocation recorded with the gravitas and passion it deserves. Iron Men is now available on DVD!

Why it pays to learn French

“Summer In The Forest” is a film about four people who have intellectual disabilities who create L’Arche, a commune at the edge of a beautiful forest near Paris. L’Arche (The Ark in French) welcomes over 1,200 people with mental disabilities in 33 communities.

The international federation is present in nearly 40 countries with 150 communities on 5 continents. At one point in the film, the residents, staff, friends and family are caught on camera singing “Gens Du Pays” which has been called the unofficial national anthem of Quebec. Written by poet, songwriter, and avowed Quebec nationalist Gilles Vigneault (with music co-written by Gaston Rochon), it was first performed by Vigneault on June 24, 1975 during a concert on Montreal’s Mount Royal at that year’s Fête nationale du Québec ceremony. It quickly became a folk classic and it has been played frequently at Fête nationale ceremonies since then. The initial approach to the French-Canadian publisher were made a little easier when Musicalities’ Ivan Chandler opened discussions in French!

Adding extra sparkle to the darling of the shoe world

Musicalities earlier this year completed its Music Supervision work on “Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes For Lizards”, a charming portrait of legendary shoe designer Manolo Blahnik, whose impeccable dedication to his craft set a fashion standard among celebrities, stylists, and industry icons. Long-time fashion journalist Michael Roberts presents this never-before-seen peek into Mr. Blahnik’s world, featuring a ‘who’s who’ of the fashion and entertainment industries including Anna Wintour, Rihanna, Paloma Picasso, Iman, Naomi Campbell, Rupert Everett, Karlie Kloss, André Leon Tally, and more. Music tracks include “Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)” by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, “Spirit In The Sky” by Norman Greenbaum and the 1962 French pop classic “Tous Les Garcons Et Les Filles” by Françoise Hardy!

Working with clients new and old

Musicalities continues to deal with regular licensing enquiries from clients such as IMG Media (including music for Premier League, European Golf Tour and Wimbledon Tennis events), Nutopia (leading TV production company creating innovative, award-winning, premium content on a global scale) and Graham Stokes Music Management.

Through Musicalities’ associated company, Chandler & Siddell, musicological reports have been commissioned for law firms such as DWFM Beckman, Sound advice (Legal) LLP and Trainer Shepherd Phillips Melin Haynes (TSPMH) LLP

Other new clients in 2017 include Sam Branson and Johnny Webb’s enterprising TV Production company Sundog Pictures, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for their “Sing To Live, Live To Sing” health programme, Celtic Films for a Celtic/Arena Co-production “Born A King”, an extraordinary true story set in 1919. BORN A KING is a coming-of-age story about 14 year old Faisal, an Arab prince who is dispatched from the deserts of Arabia to London by his warrior father on a high stakes diplomatic mission to secure the formation of his country.

Finally, is our latest project “Jazz Voice”, our most challenging yet?

This year marks the 10th anniversary of “Jazz Voice”. The Jazz Voice concert this year will be the opening night of the 25th London Jazz Festival on Friday 10th November 2017 at the Royal Festival Hall, featuring performances by UK & International voices with Guy Barker as the Musical Director. The producers of the festival are looking to have the “Jazz Voice” Concert filmed and live streamed as a commission by The Space (funded by The Art Council and BBC), a community interest organisation which supports projects that use technology to help more people enjoy the arts in new ways and through new means. Musicalities is currently negotiating the rights for 24 songs to be included in the concert.

So whether you’re based in England or Scotland or Wales, Switzerland, the United States of America or even Iceland, if you need complex music rights cleared double quick, call Ivan at Musicalities on +44(0) 1276 474181 or +44 (0) 7915 662030 or email Katie now.

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