>>> Working with a Composer

The Business

Composers are like screenwriters: their contributions to a screen-based project creates something with unique value, generating copyright. Composer Agreements provide licenses and assign rights to producers so that they can develop and distribute their product, while assuring composers the benefits of copyright.

To use music in your project you will need two licenses: a master use license and a synchronization license. A master use license gives you permission to use the actual recording of a song or composition, while a ‘sync’ license gives you permission to use the intellectual property (the songs or score) in conjunction with your screen-based audio-visual work.

The SCGC Model Agreement is an agreement which contains both of of the licenses you need in one comprehensive document. It is a great starting point that can help both you and your composer get the best value for your music budget, minimizing (and often avoiding) expensive legal fees.  We’ve helped to make using the model agreement easy by providing detailed descriptions of each section.

Hiring a composer to create a custom score
Think of your favourite score.  Did you know that 99% of award-winning film and game scores have been custom created specifically for each project?  Working with a composer gives a screen media creator the best opportunity to find a unique musical sound for their project and have music which captures the emotional and subtle nuances of each and every scene.  A custom music score has the important ability to seamlessly change to match on-screen action too!

A composer is able to maintain contiuity in the overall sound by using recurring thematic material in different ways throughout a score.  Music libraries can be a great place to find specific period music or songs which pair with a particular scene but when it comes to the underscore, many libraries are restrictive with the choices available and a music editor is needed to create smooth edits and transitions between pieces.

Working with a composer is often more cost effective and reduces the administrative challenges for a producer by providing one point of contact to acquire the Master Use and Synchronisation Rights that you need!

What is a music cue sheet?
A music cue sheet is a legal document which lists all the music used in a production (including the original score created by your composer and any licensed songs), how the music is used, and who owns the copyright shares as it relates to the royalty collection for the use of this music.  A completed music cue sheets is a delivery requirement with any distributor or broadcaster, and needs to be filed with SOCAN in Canada.  Your composer may help you in filling out (and filing) the cue sheet, to make sure it is accurate.



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