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Aariel
Editing Reel Music?
on Jul 10, 2006 at 5:37:09 pm

Hi all,

I am putting together an editing reel for the first time and I want to follow the format I've seen other people use - short opening montage with music, followed by some scenes from films I've edited. My question is about what music to use for the opening - where would you suggest I look to find something suitable? I assume that it's not possible to use copyrighted music? I appreciate your help,


Anna


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mYthprod
Re: Editing Reel Music?
on Jul 10, 2006 at 6:18:05 pm

I suppose everyone has differing opinions on this. My take on it is that it isn't so much whether or not it's copyrighted, it's whether or not it's too common a song. If the song is common the potential employer already has a mindset determined toward the song (positive or negative) and that will distract from the reel. If you're going to use copyrighted stuff I'd use more obscure stuff and material not too over the top (depending on your audience this may not be good advice) - by over the top I'm thinking NIN - eff ya like an animal song. :-P

A reel typically shows off skills which focus on the visual, most will not care whether or not the music is licensed for you to use. They'll care about what affects them - does this person know how to edit to music, make graphics to music, fit the visual theme to the music, etc. If you get a response something similar to "Hey, that's copyrighted!" then chances are they weren't going to contact you for real work anyway.

Just my take.



- MythProd
(John David Hutton)

Build Your Own VelocityQ. See how:
http://www.customflix.com/Store/ShowTtl.jsp?id=205835

_______________________________________
Supermicro X5DA8, Dual Xeon 3.0 GHz
Windows XP Pro, SP1
VelocityQ, Version 9.1.41, Quattrus 140
VelocityX, Version 1.0.01
Kansas City, Kansas - United States
_______________________________________


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Aariel
Re: Editing Reel Music?
on Jul 11, 2006 at 7:18:15 pm

Most of what I've edited and directed thus far consists of romantic comedies where I've used a lot of classical waltzes (Mozart, ,Beethoven, etc) in my soundtracks. Do you think something like that could work for an opening montage as well, or does that fall under the too well known category?


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mYthprod
Re: Editing Reel Music?
on Jul 11, 2006 at 7:40:39 pm

No, I meant top 100 and "popular" music - things that might have music videos your viewer has already watched and formed an opinion about. I guess technically this could be true with classical too but it doesn't suffer so much from the stigma of being hip (and therefore inevitably dated).



- MythProd
(John David Hutton)

Build Your Own VelocityQ. See how:
http://www.customflix.com/Store/ShowTtl.jsp?id=205835

_______________________________________
Supermicro X5DA8, Dual Xeon 3.0 GHz
Windows XP Pro, SP1
VelocityQ, Version 9.1.41, Quattrus 140
VelocityX, Version 1.0.01
Kansas City, Kansas - United States
_______________________________________


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Greg
Re: Editing Reel Music?
by
on Jul 12, 2006 at 9:48:46 pm

IMHO, using copyrighted music in a demo is not just distracting, it's illegal. Let's put it this way Aariel,
Suppose I'm a music producer, and I want to create a demo of my music for purposes of landing that big gig. I have the idea to take some video footage shot and edited by someone named Aariel, and edit it together with my music. How would Aariel feel?

Yes a client may see how you edit to music, but can't they see that with you using licensed music?

Now project down the road a little...The client hires you based on the ripped off music that you used in your demo. They would like that same song in their video...do you do it? Just because the chances of getting caught are slim, does that make it okay to use copyrighted music in your demo? hmmmm


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mYthprod
Re: Editing Reel Music?
on Jul 12, 2006 at 11:40:48 pm

Yes, it's illegal to use copyrighted music in your reel. Yes, it's illegal to use the footage in your reel unless you have the owner's express permission to do so (and the owner is rarely you), in writing so you can prove it. After all, the client owns it, not you (unless prior arrangements have been made, which they aren't, usually). It's illegal to mention trademarked software names without the trademark symbol so any mention of how you made what you did is likely illegal unless you follow the company's guidelines (this one likely differs depending on various factors).

Nobody's arguing the legality of it. The question is should you use copyrighted music, and that's not an answer that will be the same for everyone, for multiple reasons - yes, even if. It's a choice each designer must make when they make their reel - what to put in it and how. You might come across potential clients who are turned off by your music choice - more often than not it will not be legality factors, it will be music not fitting with the material or some other aesthetic reason, but it could happen that the sole reason they don't pick you for their next project is because you used Kansas City symphony's version of "The Four Seasons" instead of making your own rendition of the work. Even among those (I believe) small group of folks who will care will only care about the current stuff they hear on the radio, which goes back to my original point to not put something "popular" in your reel because of existing prejudices (including legal prejudices and beliefs).

Ethical questions are answered internally, not on a board. That's about all I can say about it.

Thanks.

- MythProd
(John David Hutton)

Build Your Own VelocityQ. See how:
http://www.customflix.com/Store/ShowTtl.jsp?id=205835

_______________________________________
Supermicro X5DA8, Dual Xeon 3.0 GHz
Windows XP Pro, SP1
VelocityQ, Version 9.1.41, Quattrus 140
VelocityX, Version 1.0.01
Kansas City, Kansas - United States
_______________________________________


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Greg
Re: Editing Reel Music?
by
on Jul 13, 2006 at 12:47:18 am

The question was about using copyrighted music. The answer is it's illegal. Why can't an answer like that be on this board? Only answer internally? You gotta be kidding. By the way, can I swipe some of your neat digital effects for my next projects? I promise I'll only deal with that internally, I won't tell anyone on this board where I got them.


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mYthprod
Re: Editing Reel Music?
on Jul 13, 2006 at 3:57:16 am

Opinions differ on this. Because mine differs from yours doesn't make you wrong or me right, it's just my opinion. It sounds like we agree on the legalities, just not the ethics. You tend to post about this and that's alright, everyone's entitled to their opinions. I don't know if you've been stolen from before and that's making you a bit sensitive to this topic or if I'm being too insensitive about the topic, but judging from your previous posts it's something you feel strongly about. Instead of attacking posters I'd rather you be more constructive with your persuasion because there are some good points about what you're trying to say, and those points get lost in the way you present them.

Using illegal music, even if done well, could potentially be a strike against you, even with clients who don't care that much about what's technically and legally right and wrong. If the demo is done very well and it has a good, copyrighted song, part of the reason the demo reel is good will be given to the fact that they used the good song (how can you lose with such and such song), not because the material was created and edited together well. On the flipside if they use a good uncopyrighted song, it's possible the client will assume it's copyrighted and they just haven't heard of it - they would either need to research it or take it for granted or not factor it in to the final decision (part of the reason my advice was to use a more obscure song). Either way, if it's discovered the music was copyrighted, that might hurt your reputation as well as your chances of landing the job (leaning on the shoulders of great ones as opposed to standing on your own 2 feet).

Another point is independent music - there are tons of independents out there who -would- love the advertising and exposure, a lot of which could probably use help getting their songs recorded. In my experience, musicians tend to have their own instruments but are less computer-savvy, less experienced at capturing and editing audio (and the hardware / software to do such). I'm not saying they can't do those things, I'm just saying they're less likely to be excellent at those things. Even if they have the dough to buy that equipment, an editor can probably handle it better and faster than they can. A demo reel artist could help out in this respect too. You could help demo artists and indy musicians get hooked up. If it's a good song everyone wins.

Suggestions on interning with local companies in exchange for some selections of the music they've purchased might be another example of how to help. Companies are more willing to loan or give things they already have a license for away (assuming the license can work that way, many don't) then to cough up cash because it's easier on the paper work side of things.

My point is, there are many ways to encourage people away from the dark side of the pirating force, when you come on with guilt trips and lectures most might assume you're trolling around for a fight, rather than trying to steer young hopefuls onto the right (and legal) path. IMHO, you should focus on productive ways of combating copyright infringement, otherwise you're just a pissed off activist wasting bandwidth.



- MythProd
(John David Hutton)

Build Your Own VelocityQ. See how:
http://www.customflix.com/Store/ShowTtl.jsp?id=205835

_______________________________________
Supermicro X5DA8, Dual Xeon 3.0 GHz
Windows XP Pro, SP1
VelocityQ, Version 9.1.41, Quattrus 140
VelocityX, Version 1.0.01
Kansas City, Kansas - United States
_______________________________________


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Greg
Re: Editing Reel Music?
by
on Jul 13, 2006 at 2:46:52 pm

(mYthprod) "Instead of attacking posters I'd rather you be more constructive with your persuasion"

Excuse me, but where did I attack anyone? Aariel asked a question about using copyrighted music, one has to assume he was addressing the legalities and ethics of it. All I did was answer him. You on the other hand suggested that this board was for legalities only and not ethics. Unfortunately violating the law is both legally and ethically wrong. They go hand in hand.

It seems like the only attack of a poster has been your attack on me.

(mYthprod) "when you come on with guilt trips and lectures most might assume you're trolling around for a fight, rather than trying to steer young hopefuls onto the right (and legal) path"

Gee, if that's not an attack, what is? There was no guilt trip or lecture, just a direct answer to a direct question. I don't see Aariel commenting about feeling guilty or lectured. Aariel wasn't looking for encouragement, but for an answer to a question . FYI, I've never had my work stolen, but I do get tired of watching "creative folks" steal from other artists. Part of creativity is being original. Copyright laws are there for a reason, and we should all abide both legally and ethically.

On the creative cow, my opinion matters as much as yours. Please refrain from labeling me or my opinion. You don't know me, and shouldn't assume things. I'm not looking for a fight, I just wanted to give Aariel my opinion as it was asked.



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mYthprod
Re: Editing Reel Music?
on Jul 13, 2006 at 2:53:54 pm

We agree to disagree. I'm done with this thread.



- MythProd
(John David Hutton)

Build Your Own VelocityQ. See how:
http://www.customflix.com/Store/ShowTtl.jsp?id=205835

_______________________________________
Supermicro X5DA8, Dual Xeon 3.0 GHz
Windows XP Pro, SP1
VelocityQ, Version 9.1.41, Quattrus 140
VelocityX, Version 1.0.01
Kansas City, Kansas - United States
_______________________________________


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Greg
Re: Editing Reel Music?
by
on Jul 13, 2006 at 4:36:05 pm

Good....me too


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Aariel
Re: Editing Reel Music?
on Jul 13, 2006 at 6:00:11 pm

Wow, I didn't mean to start a fight. Thank you both for your comments, and thanks mYthprod for the many ideas about how I might solve my problem both legally and not.


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Editing Reel Music?
on Jul 13, 2006 at 6:31:15 pm


Hello Aariel,

I am sorry that I caught this thread so late in the game as it really didn't need to get so personal.

The fact is: Opinions do not matter on this subject. The law matters and it is what is going to get you in trouble should you try to use copyrighted materials without clearance. It will not matter that some of your peers were either for or against the practice, they will not be the one in the heater -- you will, should you go that way. Opinion and law are two different things and it won't be opinion that either protects or defeats you in a court of law; judges do not go by nor listen to opinion, they only act and rule according to the law.

While it is rare, over the years we have seen people get in trouble regarding copyright issues and they usually lose big. Sometimes to the point of losing their business. It happens.

There are so many inexpensive ways to go on the net for free and near-free music (a search on Google will return many options), so the gamble -- which it is -- is hardly worth taking.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom
creativecow.net



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Kenton.VanNatten
Re: Editing Reel Music?
on Jul 16, 2006 at 8:40:14 pm

The one thing that frustrates me about much of the production music libraries that I own... or the "free and near free" music available through Google searches is that it all SUCKS.

Everything sounds like a cheesy corporate ("innovations") segment or a "relaxing day by the lake", or even worse soft core porn (ie Skin-amax) soundtrack.

I've found some songs that I think, wow, this works...then all of a sudden they throw in some kind of stupid synth hit or other strange out of place musical element. And of course, it happens right on the top of the measure so you can't even get a decent loopable section out of it.

When I look for demo reel music I need something edgy and punchy, not something that is suited for a cable access talk show.

So then the choice is to hire a composer to re-create a similar sound to what you have in mind ($$) or suck it up and buy the rights ($$$$)... or take the gamble. (0->$$$$$$$$$$$$)







Kenton VanNatten
Avid Editor (for hire)


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Editing Reel Music?
on Jul 26, 2006 at 11:29:12 am


Yep, there are no easy answers in this subject...

Ron Lindeboom


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Myron78
Re: Editing Reel Music?
on Jul 26, 2006 at 4:40:07 pm

about a year ago I graduated and posted my reel here and raised the exact same question with the exact same battle royal over the question of legality. since then I landed a job that I love. I used the Black Eyed Peas' 'pump it'. anyway here is how I see it. I didn't make money off of my Reel by giving it to companies. now someone's going to say that I did make money because I got a job which is paying me. which is true but no acutal money exchanged hands at the time I gave them my reel. Plus, my reel was never broadcast by my comapany. Plus I never claimed to have written/composed the song "Pump It". I do reconize the fact that it is illegal, but there is a reason this wonderful country has courts and judges and shit. its because every law is open to interpretation. So God Bless America, I'm Out!


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