Tag: music

Ciné Surfer: Happy Public Domain Birthday To You

hbdayThe song that was – suprising to many – NOT in the public domain is now in the public domain?!? Wow.

Here’s a great article from The Daily Signal that talks about the change of status:


Remember, though, that the rights we’re talking about here are the publishing rights (the right to use the sheet music). Though you may now be allowed to sing the song on screen for free, if you use a particular recording of it, then recording rights will still kick in.

Of course, this news means that the chapter in my book Film Production Management 101 on Legal clearances is now out of date on one count. Sigh… But that goes to show you that you always need legal advice from a proper legal source for all the latest and greatest news on rights and clearances.

In the meantime, have a happy public domain birthday!



5 Expensive Budgetary Items – II

Here are some more of my “favourite” expensive expenses…

6. Stunts & Special Effects – Well, any of the special departments really. Lots of planning (read “money in prep”) has to happen to make sure the “special” shots happen with all their movie magic on-the-day. The many logistics on set to address issues like safety will also slow down the speed of the production on-the-day.

7. Prototype Equipment – Prototype means there is no backup when it goes wrong or breaks down – you have the only one. You  may need 24-hour fix-it crew to keep the equipment in working order for the set day. If you are fortunate enough to work with a prototype when there is two – one will be being repaired while you’re on set with the other one… Murphy’s rules.

8. Large Vistas – The more you see in a shot, the more it costs. If it’s a country vista in a period piece, there will probably be telephone poles or the like to digitally remove. If it’s a city vista, you may need to close a number of streets with all the permits and personnel required to do so. If you have crowds of people in the vista – that’s a lot of (paid) extra vouchers.

9. International Co-Productions – Granted that structuring a coproduction may be necessary for the Producer to raise sufficient funds to make the movie, but the costs of travelling cast, crew and/or equipment, immigration & customs, the extra sets of accounting books, the extra legal costs to set up the necessary documentation, etc. bring unique expenses to a production that non-copros do not typically have to deal with.

10. Music Rights – There are rights to use the “sheet music” (kind of “author rights”) – that allows you to perform your own version of the song… but there are also “master recording rights” that you also need to purchase if you want to play a certain recording of that song… and sometimes there are also artist rights that have been held back by certain performing artists that you have to purchase too. If the song you want is in the public domain… someone can still write a particular arrangement of the P/D song and therefore attach new “author rights” to the song you thought was going to be free. Research the origin of any and all music you want to include in your film in any manner.

Happy budgeting!