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Topic: Film & TV Music Salaries Declining (except for top composers)

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  1. #1
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    Film & TV Music Salaries Declining (except for top composers)

    Film Music Magazine reported a new 2006-2007 Film & TV Music Salary and Rate Survey, detailing pay rates for music-related occupations for a wide variety of types of film, television and video game projects. The survey's findings are based on data provided by leading industry agents, composers, contractors, orchestrators, music editors, music supervisors, musicians, scoring mixers, and officials from various unions, guilds and orchestras.

    Among the survey's findings:
    • Composers at the middle and low budget levels of the industry are seeing a major drop in composer fees. The low range for cable networks now features a package deal of $5,000 to score an entire movie of the week, with the network retaining publishing of the music. Composer fees for both film and television projects show a significant decline since the survey was last conducted in 2004.
    • Song Licensing fees for film and television are declining for all but the most popular films/songs. Some production companies are now asking for co-publishing (a percentage of the publishing royalties) for song placements, a practice almost unheard of only a few years ago.
    • Competition is increasing for recording musicians worldwide, especially from Eastern European orchestras where rates can range from $20-$30 per hour not including facilities and studio.
    • The industry's top few composers are making higher pay than ever, with pay for top composers ranging between $1m and $2 million dollars for a package deal including orchestral costs.
    The full report is available for download: $12.95 through November 20, 2006 at: http://www.FilmMusicRates.com

  2. #2

    Thumbs up Re: Film & TV Music Salaries Declining (except for top composers)

    Thanks for posting...

  3. #3

    Re: Film & TV Music Salaries Declining (except for top composers)

    The gap between the big boys and little boys is because of technology.

    Software and hardware have enabled millions of hobbyists to put loops together with some decent sounding sample libraries to create music that for the average commercial application is OK. Especially since companies can pay a guy $25 an hour to write music who had been earning $8.00 an hour flipping burgers.

    The "big buck" composers have the name and often (not always) the real talent and skills to create something top drawer. They deserve it.

    My 2 Cents.

  4. #4

    Re: Film & TV Music Salaries Declining (except for top composers)

    There is no real problem real, but just more of a philosophical talk.

    Zimmer, Williams, etc... What do they have the you (and me have not?)
    Cause after al they MUST have something that we don't.

    Speaking for myself: I certainly don't think that I cna write music as fast as these guys do! I don't hav ethe experience with live orchestras that mushc (although I do have to some extend). I don't have the...name.

    People frequenctly measure the...talent and find out that they have as much talnet as everyboyd else. But's it's not only that! Everyone will tell you that. Exprerience, knwledge, techniques, values, people you know. Eveyrthing counts! And in the end it is right to count!

    Ps note: I've met a guy who was offering to write musioc for 5$ p[er finished music! I honestly e-mailed him off and told him that this is highly ridiculous. Do it for free, or at a fair price. That he is runing the industryt ofr the rest of us. fter all I've done musicfor free ,and will keep doing cause I'm happilly stuck with some people who produce art... (whatever this is).

    But offering 5 $ per minute of music? Ridiculous! I lost interest and did not follow on wat he did. but fair enough he and the rest of them (us) are the ones to blame!

    I'm currently trying to figurre out what to aks for!

    Well it's not only on what you've spent doing it, but also what the person you're dealing with will get out! And thus indie games sell cheap!

    In comparison to 2004, right now we get far more indie games. How much would an indie game developer have? I mean I've met people that have a totla of 9,000$ (not even 10). What CAN you ask from that? 4? 5? 2? 3?

    Does it resembel a rant? Cause it's not reallt one! It's juts another post.. (misnly concetrated to computer games!)

  5. #5

    Re: Film & TV Music Salaries Declining (except for top composers)

    Quote Originally Posted by nikolas
    Zimmer, Williams, etc... What do they have the you (and me have not?)
    Cause after al they MUST have something that we don't.
    Great melodies, music that touches, mastery of every detail.

    The music industry is so full of 'soundalikes' that the decline of payment is a natural conclusion.

    The whole topic is difficult. There are always newcomers that are willing to enter for a smaller price. The only thing to prevent this would be information by established pro's and a perspective of making a way without price dumping.

    But which established composer would actually help to breed his own competition?

    Some do, like Zimmer, and they are the ones that are able to work out a model of collaboration which in the end is always more effective than competition.


    Hannes
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  6. #6

    Re: Film & TV Music Salaries Declining (except for top composers)

    I said it before. We get to "Play" music not "Work" it. Composing, for me, is like golf to some people. I really enjoy it and it's how I like to spend my spare time. Making money in the music industry has always been tough but it does seem like it is tougher than ever. $5k for a movie of the week score? Do the math on that. How much is the composer making an hour? And all along someone telling you "Nope, don't hear it" or "Sorry we cut that scene you spent the past two days on" I wonder with all of these loops libs etc if the bottom ot the totem pole is no longer there? Adobe just introduced a "instant song maker" program like Smartsound. A lot of post houses, etc are using these types of programs instead of hiring a composer.

    I suppose at the end of the day it will be all about the music and that a great song will find it's way.

    2 cents,

    Darren
    www.darrenpasdernick.com
    "Every time you play a wrong note God kills a kitten."

  7. #7

    Re: Film & TV Music Salaries Declining (except for top composers)

    This is really no different than the fall of the major recording facilities!!!

    Technology has made it possible for many more folks to enter the game. The natural, and inescapable result is downward pressure on fees.

    In the early 1980s, before the ADAT, it was pretty expensive to assemble a recording facility. And, anyone who invested $250 or more on a console also invested a fair amount of money in the infrastructure to support it - proper acoustical design, proper power and grounding, etc.

    The people who assembled studios around a Mackie 8 bus mixer and a couple of ADATs did not, by an large, make any of those investments.

    I still doubt that anyone running a studio at $15 per hour is making a buck, but it is their privilege!

    And it killed a lot more than the big studios - studio maintenance went out the window right along with studio design!

    The product that most of the $15/hour studios produce is much lower in quality than "real" studios, largely because the owners never bothered to learn how to use the gear that they own. That doesn't seem to bother most folks, so it has no effect on the industry.

    The same is true of lower priced composers. If a producer can save a buck they will, because that means a bigger potential profit. And the audiences don't seem to mind so much. Ever hear of someone panning a film because of a lame soundtrack? It doesn't happen often!

    The worst case I've witnessed (and I couldn't make this up if I tried) was a local studio that copied, more or less, a studio design from a magazine. It was a LEDE(tm) design that tries to control early reflections and depends heavily on left-to-right symmetry.

    So far so good... except they rotated the design 90 degrees, so that the the live end was on the left and the dead end was on the right. It sounded unbelievably bad!! Nothing they mixed there sounded good anywhere else... or even there for that matter. But they keep quite busy recording local bands and students from the associated music store at $50 per song!

    The entire industry has gone insane!!

    And watch, the same thing is happening in video production, animation, etc...
    Bill Thompson
    Audio Enterprise
    KB3KJF

  8. #8

    Re: Film & TV Music Salaries Declining (except for top composers)

    The low cost and ease of digital music certainly has increased the
    competition.
    But similarly there's an explosion of new multimedia ventures!

    The big money may only be available for a selected few... but It's probably safer to have 20 smaller gigs per year than 2-3 big ones.

  9. #9
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    Re: Film & TV Music Salaries Declining (except for top composers)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Blaske
    Anybody entering this biz today is going to have to really hustle to eek out a meager living. To do well, one will need to be very talented, an aggressive, business oriented person, and have a keen sense of where opportunities are emerging. If you're a milquetoast, you'll starve.
    Lee Blaske
    I've been considering completeing my music degree for this very reason. I'd like to be working in this industry, but it seems like a really ugly rat race with a lot of associated costs. If everyones 9 year old has the tools to make original sounding professional productions, and the industry doesn't care about the difference, the only way I can see it working is to take my many talents, hone them to a deadly point, ad more, then go kick some ~~~, while continuing to hone, etc. No question one needs to be head and shoulders above the crowd.

    Belbin

  10. #10

    Re: Film & TV Music Salaries Declining (except for top composers)

    Quote Originally Posted by belbin
    I've been considering completeing my music degree for this very reason. I'd like to be working in this industry, but it seems like a really ugly rat race with a lot of associated costs.
    On that subject I just got my quaterly electrical bill... ouchies

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