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Topic: Compensation for low budget movie soundtrack?

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  1. #1

    Re: Compensation for low budget movie soundtrack?

    Well, it looks like you need this gig on your cv. And the experience is... invaluable, really. I would suggest seeing what you can live with for now: 5,000?

    Don\'t expect any other money than that which you get up to a month or so after the final mix. Any other promised deadline will, IMV, not be met. The bottom line is that many, if not most, independent features are labours of love. Sure, a few can make some real money from tv sales, and this one does have names, but chances are, there are a whole lot of people lined up to get paid before you.

    A) Do you like the film?
    B) Do you get along well with the director?
    C) Do you think she/he has talent and will be going places?
    D) Will you have some real say in the type of music you\'re going to write?

    3 out of 4 should help you decide! ;-)

  2. #2

    Re: Compensation for low budget movie soundtrack?

    Hey Ned, how are you buddy?

    I was actually looking for advice on what type of agreement I should try to reach regarding getting a share of sales or future deals connected to the movie I was going to score for.

    The $5000 tag for a soundtrack seems to be the norm with low budget independent movies from what I have gathered so far...

    Thanks for your quick reply [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Re: Compensation for low budget movie soundtrack?

    I second Ned\'s recommendations. But don\'t kid yourself that you\'re going to get any money after your initial payment. Then if by some miracle you do, hey - FREE MONEY!

    Rather than \"points\" or anything that requires messy math like that, I recommend setting a payment that would be triggered if the film ever gets distribution. I think clients appreciate your interest in keeping their life simple.

    And definitely KEEP YOUR PUBLISHING unless they pay you enough to give it up. And of course get everything in writing.

    hope this helps and good luck with the film!

  4. #4

    Re: Compensation for low budget movie soundtrack?

    You\'ve heard it before: \"paid on spec\" means \"you don\'t spec to get paid.\"

    I don\'t necessarily agree with the attituude, but I do like that line!

  5. #5

    Re: Compensation for low budget movie soundtrack?

    Hi Patrick,

    Just for my curiosity, how much time do you expect to need for scoring?

  6. #6

    Re: Compensation for low budget movie soundtrack?

    If this guy has no budget, and is funding it all himself... and if this as low budget and independant movie as it appears... you can forget 5,000. Ask for something, but 5,000 is just being WAY to optimistic.

    $5,000 is a LOT of money for a small independant film, and becuase you say \"with close to no budget for music\" ... they are therefore never going to be able to afford 5,000

    Mabe I am thinking this film has less money that it seems to appear to.

    Ed

  7. #7

    Re: Compensation for low budget movie soundtrack?

    Originally posted by John DeBorde:


    And definitely KEEP YOUR PUBLISHING unless they pay you enough to give it up. And of course get everything in writing.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Hey John, could you tell me what you mean when you say \"KEEP YOUR PUBLISHING\"?. I am scoring a student film in a few months and I am interested in these sorts of legal conundrums.

    Ed

  8. #8

    Re: Compensation for low budget movie soundtrack?

    I really don\'t want to hijack this thread, but this is a good place to put this question.

    Out of curiosity, where do you guys go to find indie films or anything needing low cost music? I would love to get involved and start. Is there a website? Should I be searching on campus?

    Once again not to hijack the thread but I\'m extremely curious.

    Thanks, Sevaels [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  9. #9

    Compensation for low budget movie soundtrack?

    Hi all,

    hope the turkey was a good one...

    I am about to score the soundtrack for an independant film featuring Ben Gazarra and Leslie Ann Warren with close to no budget for music.
    I would like to get your advice on what type of compensation I should be asking for in terms of production points, sales etc...

    I do not want to appear greedy to the director but by the same token I intend to be reasonably compensated for the hard work ahead.
    Since it is my first independent movie score and the director\'s first full lenght feature (financed solely by him) I understand I cannot be expecting a lot in terms of fees at this point in time.

    As usual your friendly advice is much appreciated.

  10. #10

    Re: Compensation for low budget movie soundtrack?

    Thanks to all of you for your answers. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Jon: yes I am definetely planning on keeping my publishing. Good point about a payment being triggered by a potential distribution...

    Peter: I am thinking about three weeks to complete the project (with possible interruptions to do other jobs)

    Ed: the director definetely doesn\'t have $5000 available at the moment. He will pay for my expenses (a new hard drive, 2 licences for sample libraries ...etc)and in case the movie is distributed Jon\'s suggestion is probably the way to go.
    Basically this is a decent project quality wise and it will look good on my resume.
    Keeping the publishing means that you don\'t give away half of the potential residuals generated by your work.

    Seaels: there isn\'t a magic recipee to land this type of work unfortunately. In my case, a friend producer for an advertisement agency hooked me up with the director. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

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