February 23, 2007

Open Thread...

by Chris Randall

I'm kind of in idle right now. I'm obsessing over this track I'm working on, and I can't really work on anything else until it's done. Waiting for parts at this juncture. Also, my copy of Cubase 4 will be here shortly, which will fix my MIDI issues (hopefully) and I don't want to start anything new until I've dealt with that.

So, our open thread topic for this week. One of the most common letters I get goes something like this:

"Hey, Chris: I know you get a lot of songs in TV shows and video games, and that's what I want to do. Can you hook a brother up?"

This is the one area in which I'm generally unwilling to help people out, and I would think the reasons are obvious. My wife and I have spent almost a decade building our list of consistent placement contacts, and it is probably the single most valuable thing we own. Sharing it is quite simply out of the question. I know several other people that do what I do in some fashion, be it for a production music house, scoring, or placement of existing songs (the latter is what we do) and they're all like us, inasmuch as there's no fucking way they're gonna drop names.

Is this a bad thing? Hard to say. This is a competitive business, and there are always more people out there willing to poop out music than people that have a place for it. What I do know is that reading shit like this is a big fat waste of time.



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Feb.25.2007 @ 11:26 PM
Chris Randall
That last statement is mostly correct, I feel. Whenever I've encountered situations where there was a group of people/artists/whatever involved, it was strictly cash-on-the-barrelhead and anything on the back end was a pipe dream. Licensing houses tend to work in this way, in my experience. (Like, they will only place your existing music if they get to rename it and re-file it with ASCAP/BMI as if they were the publisher, that sort of thing.)

Now, that said, the majority of my income for the last few years has been my ASCAP checks, and let me state for the record that all those nickels and dimes add up after a while. While it's true that I still get a nice check for all the times Scream gets played at Halloween, the vast majority of my checks every month are from the small shows. As long as you pay attention to your publishing, and make sure that the production company files their cue sheets with your performance society, all is usually good.

For what it's worth, I had a long-running saga with a production company that used a _lot_ of our music and never filed cue sheets. I ultimately had to make them myself, get the producer to sign off on them, then hand-deliver them to ASCAP. But I got paid eventually.



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