LA Sync Summit Panel: Relationships / Why they are important?
Relationships are always important no matter what industry we are talking about. For music supervisors, they are the life blood. Our timelines are all over the place. We might have a last minute emergency. Who do we call? Our trusted partners! When working with music, it is important not only to fit the creative but the business is extremely important.
People get so excited about the creative that they forget this is a business. Whether you are a songwriter, producer, or artist, it is very IMPORTANT to know who owns your rights as well as making sure all contracts are fully executed on all sides. This is something that isn’t talked about, I know it’s not sexy. But having the business buttoned up is extremely important. Not only for you but also for us.
You might be asking… why is this important for relationships? Relationships are all about trust. Trust and partnership. If you are claiming that your song is one-stop (meaning you have 100% of the sync and master), we trust that you have all the rights to quote on behalf of the song. We pitch that song up, it gets approved by the higher ups, we send out a request for clearance, you approve back, we have the audio assets and boom! Done! Onto the next.
True story: I had a last minute change and I needed a one-stop song that would clear for X. I had maybe 48 hours at most to get everything done. I reached out to a company on my trusted list. They sent their pitch to me and I got everything done with a quick turnaround, all was well.
Then I got a call from a major publisher saying their writer heard from their co-writer that their X song was going to be in an X show. Talk about your heart stopping! I told them it was pitched by Y and it was 100% approved by Y. Luckily in this story, the major publisher and I have a great relationship and we were able to work it out before I had to go back to my project with egg on my face.
The point of this story is that the business was not buttoned up by the company that pitched me that song. Don’t be that person. Yes, I know rights holders change, splits change, the usual, just be transparent and let the supervisor know. It is ok, we understand that things change. I would not have been mad if I got an email saying that it turns out that Z writer is not part of the deal and you have to go to a major for publishing.
To sum it up, relationships are based off trust which includes the business as well as the creative aspect of the job.