Replaced Theme - How should it be done?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Gord Lacey, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2001
    Messages:
    2,447
    Likes Received:
    28
    I'd love to hear people's thoughts on how a theme song should be replaced on DVD when the piece of music costs too much.

    There are a few examples I've seen:

    1) New music added to old visuals: This has happened most recently on "Married... with Children." The new song is inserted over the standard opening of the show.

    2) Overseas opening used: "Dawson's Creek" uses a song recorded for overseas airings. While this is a new song for people in the US/Canada, it was something that's associated with the show in different markets.

    3) Variation of 2: "Las Vegas" used the US opening song for the pilot episode, but swapped in the overseas opening for subsequent episodes.

    4) Removal of most openings: "Joan of Arcadia" contained the opening (with music) on the first episode of each disc. Other episodes included credits during the "teaser" which opened each episode, but there wasn't a theme song, or proper video opening for those episodes.

    5) Removal of all openings: Just get rid of the opening to the show completely.

    Let's not debate music costs, but stick with the best way (in your opinion), to handle replacing a theme song on a DVD set. I'm interested in your opinions (yes, I have a favorite).

    Gord
     
  2. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2005
    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    0
    Either what was done to Joan of Arcadia or Las Vegas. Luckily, this hasn't affected any of the shows I collect, but to me those seems to be the best options.
     
  3. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    4,733
    Likes Received:
    1
    Sound alike musicians, sound alike band. Make a note-for-note, inflection-for-inflection perfect copy of the original music.
     
  4. WillG

    WillG Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    5,570
    Likes Received:
    114
    It's difficult to say, as there are different situations when it comes to a theme song. I don't mind how they handled "Married with Children" as I don't watch the show for a theme song. But are the rights typically negotiated for the entire package or for each episode in the set? If it is the latter, it would be nice if they studio would pay to licence the song for the 1st episode in the set so everybody get to hear the original music once. However, there are shows where the theme song tells the story. Most people know how the "Brady Bunch" theme goes and the premise of the show, but I think in a instance like that, the removal really would make a difference. However, a theme song that tells a story was obviously written specifically for the show, so can they fall into the same kind of rights hell that non-specific theme songs fall into?

    I would eliminate option 5 entirely from what should be done and go with option 4 for a bit more of a reasonalbe alternative. I suppose with most other shows, the best option could vary on a case by case basis.



    I'm not seeing how that could work because you would still need permission to do that (although maybe it would run a bit cheaper that using the original song)
     
  5. John*D

    John*D Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    0
    4) Removal of most openings



    I usually skip over opening credits, but at least give it to us once per disc.
     
  6. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    26,265
    Likes Received:
    3,559
    Location:
    The basement of the FBI building
    If the option was between not releasing it or changing it, I'd go with:

    1) New music added to old visuals
     
  7. Dane Marvin

    Dane Marvin Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    1,490
    Likes Received:
    0
    Choice 1. Can't really see how anyone would want choices 4 or 5. Choice 4 was done with early "Little House on the Prairie" sets, much to everyone's dismay. Of course, that also wound up shaving off some episode-specific credits off of the episodes themselves (not a good move).

    While implementing choice 4 may not necessarily mean losing episode-specific credits (a la "Little House") in all cases, I can see it happening again with some random show, probably a Lion's Gate one. [​IMG] After all, give these studios an inch, they'll take a mile.

    Choice 1. Sony handled "Married... with Children" the best they could.
     
  8. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Messages:
    2,342
    Likes Received:
    0
    Definitely choice 1. It should be noted on the package as well.
     
  9. Katherine_K

    Katherine_K Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've never had a set where music needed replacing period, but if I was looking at a set that needed the theme replaced I'd say I'd want Option 1. As Anthony said, it should be noticed on the package.

    The ideal situation in my book when edits are impossible to avoid including music replacements, missing episodes, or occasional use of syndication cuts is what A&E did with Profiler season 1.

    It was clearly marked on the back of the package and consumers could see what was removed before purchase.
     
  10. ravma

    ravma Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm actually kind of partial to the International opening of Dawson's Creek (even though I am in the US and that opening was ONLY used for Season 1 abroad). Even so, I don't know that I have a preference for other shows. On DC, I actually LIKE that they replaced the theme (no, I haven't bought Seasons 2+ however), but that's a show specific solution. I think it comes down to what works best for the show.
    If I had to pick a universal solution though, I'd pick Removal of Most Openings. At least the opening is there in some form!
     
  11. Daniel-M

    Daniel-M Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    0
    If they for how much they use the song, then solution 4 is the right one. Use it on a copulr of episodes and cut it from the rest
     
  12. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    2,290
    Likes Received:
    0
    Options 1,2,3 would be palatable to me (Options 2 & 3 more so than 1).

    Options 4 and 5 are disgusting and would cause me to think twice on my absolute favorite shows and I would completely boycott others.

    I like the idea of licensing the music and having some John/Jane Doe re-record it with the same arrangement.

    Studios could easily avoid the problem in the first place by licensing everything for DVD from the start (obviously, only with new shows). It may limit their choices in what they can afford, but it solves this problem before the consumer becomes involved. House would be the poster boy for what not to do.
     
  13. Ron Lee Green

    Ron Lee Green Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    173


    I would like this, too. Some companies did this on some of those "Beverly Hillbillies" public domain releases. Some used a banjo instrumental, but another company used a sound alike singing the theme song. I wouldn't say it was a perfect "inflection-for-inflection" copy of the original (the singer sounded more like Elvis), but it served its purpose. It was fun and upbeat like the original, and better than listening to the new instrumental music.
     
  14. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2001
    Messages:
    13,064
    Likes Received:
    2
    Wouldn't matter in the least to me. If the theme's being replaced, I ain't buying anyway.
     
  15. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 1999
    Messages:
    4,207
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd go with #1, but I would like to see what the original songs were, and WHO wanted too much money. They don't have to put in the amount, but the jerks should be noted.

    Glenn
     
  16. Katherine_K

    Katherine_K Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    0


    That might make it even more difficult to get music rights from those holders in the future.
     
  17. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Messages:
    2,342
    Likes Received:
    0
    Unless the show's fans hassle whatever company that prevents the theme song from being included.
     
  18. Katherine_K

    Katherine_K Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    0
    From purely a buisness point of view? You never ever do anything to burn bridges with people you may have to deal with again.

    Say you are studeo X and you name music rights holder Y as being the reason the theme had to be replaced on show A. You go to try and get music rights from them for show B, completely unrelated to show A, possibly a different genre with different fans. Unfortuantely your naming rights holder Y by name has t'd them off.

    Than the fans of two shows (or more) get screwed and you just had a headache in the middle of your office.
     
  19. Andreas_K

    Andreas_K Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0
    On some Karaoke video games I have, they use different artists to perform the songs. They sometimes sound very much like the original and apparently it's also done to cut costs. I could definitely live with that on TV DVD's and I'm pretty pedantic as far as music replacement is concerned. [​IMG]
     
  20. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Messages:
    4,065
    Likes Received:
    610
    Real Name:
    Steve
    Option 1 would be preferred unless it messes with the actual program content (as happened with MWC) then I would say option 5.

    Steve
     

Share This Page