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Topic: distribution and soundtrack releases

  1. #1

    Post distribution and soundtrack releases

    Hey everyone,

    Does anyone here have any experience with scoring films that have a distributor? Specifically what I'm interested in finding out is will the distributor ask for the master rights to the music I'm writing?

    I'm thinking ahead a little on one of my projects and wanted to know if I can actually put something on CD to sell separate from the film distribution agreement.

    Any advice/comments are welcome.



  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: distribution and soundtrack releases

    Fine line. If it's not spelled out, the rights are yours. If you bring it up, they might want to take rights they hadn't considered. I have a situation where a deal I already negotiated is getting shopped for distribution, and the woman doing the shopping even wanted a piece of my ~~~. I was able to tell her to forget it, but still, you're right to be concerned. Everybody wants a piece of the action...

    So, I guess it depends on the slickness of their attorneys and producers. The slicker they are, the bigger piece of you they seem to want. I guess you have to play it by ear, and see what they bury in the initial stab at a contract.

  3. #3

    Re: distribution and soundtrack releases

    It depends on how your contract is structured. Usually the Production company (not the distributor) will want the rights to sell the soundtrack. The nice thing is that unless you're scoring some major studio film, nobody except for your parents would ever want to buy the soundtrack CD!


    So, the answer is, if the contract doesn't mention a thing about soundtrack CD's, you should just ask the production company if they would mind if you sell a few copies direct from your web site and they'll probably say yes.

    Above all, don't go throwing away a couple of thousand $ to get the CD's professionally duplicated and packaged unless you don't mind having several boxes of CD's sitting in your closet for the next few years (or until your next garage sale).
    Music Composition for Feature Films, Television and Interactive Entertainment

  4. #4

    Re: distribution and soundtrack releases

    by the way, what are the average (low and high) selling numbers for a CD soundtrack ? for something like a low-budget to mid-budget film.. And for a purely instrumental soundtrack (not for the typical pop song collection we get these days instead of the soundtrack..)

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