Sorry about the OT. I am a US based composer scoring my first feature for $$ and I think it is high time I choose a PRO.
The film happens to be Italian and will be distributed first in Italy (national TV) and hopefully later in South America. This may be a repeat deal in the sense that there are at least 4-5 more of these films in the pipeline (fingers and all other extremities crossed)
So I guess my first question is which PRO would work best in collecting fees from the foreign correspondent (in this case, SIAE)? Anybody know how it works or has experience scoring for foreign films?
Second, would you recommend forming your own publishing company or can that wait until you have a volume of work that justifies the extra costs/fees?
BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC all collect foreign royalties and pass them along to you. Most often, a production will want to keep the publishing. You still get to keep the writers side. If you keep the pub it's usually negotiated in the original deal that that is the case. Get it in your contract so there's no dispute further down the line.
If it is negotiated that you do indeed get to keep the pub, then it's really of no consequence to start a pub co under any of the PROs. It doesn't cost anything in my experience. It does not have to be a full incorporation which does indeed cost money. In fact, it's been recommended to me by my CPA and laywer to keep all royalties and pub seperate from my regular corp for which i do my regular business under. I believe I've been told it has to do with ownership of the intellectual property and not wanting to assign that to my regular corp, but don't quote me on that. Also, I've been told by my cpa that royalties are taxed differently than regular fee income.
Consult a enttertainment lawyer and CPA for the full and correct advice. Don't take my word for it. I just know that that is what has been advised for me. It's worth the money to get things done correctly.
So pick a PRO, ask them for their pub package and consult a lawyer and CPA to get accurate advise for YOU.
Keep in mind, also, that foreign royalties take much longer to start showing up on your statements. Domestic can take anywhere from 3 to 9 months to start appearing. Expect at least that long to see any foreign.
If the film company lets you keep the publishing, there is no need to create a "publisher" business just to receive that share. At least with BMI (not familiar with ASCAP) a writer can collect all 200% if there is no publisher. There is a checkbox on the works registration form just for this.