Tag Archives: business

Film Composer Survival Guide

I recently found this “white paper” from Filmmusic.net while perusing the filmandgamecomposers.com forums:

http://www.filmmusic.net/dlx/Getting_Your_Music_Into_Film_TV_in_Economy_Today.pdf

Mainly, it explains that, in today’s economy, the value of custom work is being diminished daily by over-saturation of talent and declining budgets and spending. The key to success in the creative field of composing relies heavily on a little financial savvy and a whole lot of networking.

While it’s an excellent practical guide for career survival in today’s marketplace, I have to disagree with their notion that music libraries are partially to blame for the devaluation of custom scoring work. Custom work and library music serve two distinct market segments that have traditionally been separated by budget and deadlines/production process. Low budget films, student projects, fly-by-night radio ads, low budget and local tv commercials, all call for quick, low-cost solutions that simply cannot be met by a composer who specializes in custom work. Extend that to personal slide shows, corporate office presentations and the like. The meetings, spotting, and time commitment, not to mention creative mind-power required for custom scores are simply not worth the allotted budget for these types of projects. Hence the need for low-cost library music. On the other hand, scoring a feature film, or a national commercial campaign, or a mass-market video game release all call for a huge time commitment and a high level of expertise.

The mentality that composers should avoid the music library business is ridiculous, especially if one wants to survive in today’s business climate. Creatives should embrace the opportunity to diversify their business, and expand into new creative markets. If devaluation is a concern, Productiontrax.com gives all of our contributors full price control.

It is true that there are a ton of composers and songwriters today, and it seems as though everyone with a Mac is a musician. But media buyers, music supervisors, and film directors are not stupid — they have ears for musical quality as well, and for both library music and custom scoring jobs alike, there is always room at the top for the uniquely qualified and super talented.

Will The State of New York Kill The Music Industry?

“Gov. David Paterson has proposed a so-called ‘iPod tax’ on downloaded music and entertainment services to help his state close a $15.4 billion budget deficit.

However, Apple Inc.’s products aren’t Paterson’s only targets. He has proposed 88 new fees and taxes that go far beyond, including on movie tickets, taxi rides, soda, beer, wine, cigars, massages, cable and satellite TV.

That’s just one aspect of Paterson’s proposed $121.1 billion budget released yesterday. The budget attempts to make state government leaner while relying on a wave of new taxes and fees that will be passed down to businesses.

The proposed budget is balanced and holds state spending just under the inflation rate. The budget also erases a combined $15.4 billion in budget gaps over the next 15 months.

Paterson revealed his budget amid the unrelenting shake-up on Wall Street that has already depleted state tax revenue and triggered tens of thousands of layoffs. Before this recession, the state’s financial services sector had produced 20 percent of state tax revenue through income taxes, year-end bonuses, real estate deals and initial public offerings on the stock markets.”

I hope all people in the internet and music industry will speak out against unfair, unrealistic, and economically damaging taxes such as this one. While we’re not located in New York, their recent taxation policies have been a source of concern for not only businesses in the music industry, but every business that has a website and sells online (see their sales tax law currently being fought by major online retailers: http://www.newrules.org/retail/efairny.html)

How Amazon and Overstock responded to New York:
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/14/overstockcom-throws-new-york-affiliates-overboard-to-avoid-sales-tax/?ref=nyregion

Time To Build

I was reading a blog about how most people tend to panic and focus on the one thing (or multiple things) that are causing problems during difficult times. I’ll quote Seth to make it a little easier… He says, “We talk ourselves into hysteria about how, ‘none of our customers have any money,’ or, ‘in this bleak economy, we’ll never make a sale.'”

This couldn’t be any more true. Take a look at Cramer’s recent advice to everyone to take their money out of the stock market. Wall Street is going through some tough times as our economy adjusts to some irresponsibility in the financial markets… and what do most people do? SELL SELL SELL. They panic and take all their money out. I think they’re missing an opportunity. Why not ride it out, and while the market is down, BUY BUY BUY? The market is down over 40% from a year ago. Sure your portfolio might take a hit SHORT TERM, but it’s an INVESTMENT, remember? That means growth over time. Time…. Short of a Third World War and the obliteration of all man kind, I think it’s safe to say that the economy will eventually cycle back and move forward. Too many people have too much riding on it for it to fail — so why panic? (Now that I think about it, a Third World War may just be what we need to get this place on a fast track to growth).

And why not apply the same principal to your business or your life in general right now? Sure times are tough financially — but now is the time to really take a look at all of the other opportunities out there.

Instead of focusing on lower sales or income, why not take some of that cash you’ve been sitting on and upgrade your studio equipment. Have a lot of free time at the office because your custom music clients aren’t calling as often? Write new songs and build up your library. Look for ways that you can produce more efficiently. Explore different means of personal productivity. Learn new technology. Rewrite the track descriptions that you rushed through at 2am last year. Research different potential markets where your services might be needed. Catch up on that pesky accounting project that would really give you a clear picture of where you are right now. CLEAN YOUR DESK.

Personally, I’m looking at this time as a time of growth, and an opportunity to get into more markets cheaply and effectively because other businesses are panicking and offering their services for DIRT CHEAP just to make the sale. I’m starting new projects, taking on new “inventory” that will ultimately enhance our business’s bottom line, and getting in at ground floor rates.

And you should, too. The point is to stop whining and focusing on the one negative that you think is holding you back, and find the 5 positives that you can build on to ensure your success in the future. Be forward thinking, and don’t get stuck on today.

Press Release: Productiontrax.com Connects Producers to Composers Worldwide

1 December 2004

For Immediate Release

Productiontrax.com Connects Producers to Composers Worldwide

Scottsdale – Local music production company One Light Music Productions, Inc. announced the launch of Productiontrax.com Wednesday, a website that provides high quality, royalty-free production music and sound effects for film, TV, and multimedia from a worldwide network of composers.

“Productiontrax.com is really the first production music library of its kind,” said David Negron, founder and president of One Light Music, and creator of Productiontrax.com. “Sure, there are plenty of library music websites out there, but how many of them offer music from a worldwide network of over 200 composers? It is a true online music marketplace and community for the film and multimedia composer, where anyone in the world can find original music an any style that they can use in their projects without hassle.”

Productiontrax.com’s unique approach to providing library music has caught the attention of composers, multimedia producers, and industry executives worldwide, with over 3,000 royalty free tracks already online available full-quality preview and instant download, and that number is steadily increasing by the day.

Visitors to productiontrax.com can preview tracks in full quality, with most tracks boasting a preview length of 90 seconds or more, and then download their tracks in MP3 format instantly. Tracks can be browsed by style, emotional content, instrumentation, even by suggested film genre. A powerful advanced search engine makes it possible to search for tracks with a specific description, length, or even price. One Light Music will even ship out a CD of files in different audio formats on request. And no memberships are required ever.

Music and sounds are provided under two standard royalty free licenses, based on application, allowing end-users the non-exclusive, worldwide right to use the music as they please in any medium. One license covers educational, non-profit, and personal uses, while the other covers commercial, for-profit, and broadcast usage.

Composers register for an account to sell their music through the productiontrax.com website, and then upload and manage an unlimited number of tracks. The composers are able to set their own retail price for each track, and once their tracks are sold to a customer, the composer gets paid. “We’re raising the bar for library music, and the result is a huge selection of wonderful music that suits any multimedia application,” Negron says. “our selection is constantly changing and growing to meet the needs of the industry.”

Productiontrax.com also boasts a large directory of composers, allowing visitors to locate and contact a composer or sound designer in their area.

For more information visit: http://www.productiontrax.com or call One Light Music at 480-614-1765.