TV shows with music clearance problems...

Discussion in 'DVD' started by todd s, Jun 5, 2003.

  1. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    You know I was thinking how cool Miami Vice would be on dvd. But, with the amount of different muscians music on it. It will probably never happen. And it kind of irks me that the musicians and studios can't come to some kind of agreement. I understand that some musicians make their living off of royalties. But, just think of how many new fans a musician might make by introducing his/her music to a new group of people. I am not asking that they get nothing. But, their has to be a median point of making it worth it for the studios and the musicians, while still keeping it within an affordable price for the consumer. This does not just include Miami Vice, but other shows such as WKRP.
     
  2. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Well I said that about Homicide, I guess we'll have to see if we get Homicide Seasons 3-5 where there was alot more music involved than in the first two seasons.
     
  3. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    ditto.
    That kind of thing should be settled before the show is even aired. Even for shows that aired before home release was taken into consideration the negotiations shouldn't be difficult. If your group had a song on the Miami Vice soundtrack and the studio offered to pay you $5000 (aka chump change by Hollywood standards) why would you say no? That's probably the last $5000 they will ever be offered for that dusty old song anyways.
     
  4. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    Ally McBeal is probably the worst in this regard. You'd have to clear about a dozen songs per epsode.
     
  5. R. Kay

    R. Kay Second Unit

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    When 'Wiseguy' is released on dvd in August, a whole bunch of music is going to be replaced. Check KenWahl.com for details.
     
  6. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Well Music changes to me rank the same as OAR. No Original Music, No Sale.
     
  7. KerryK

    KerryK Stunt Coordinator

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    Also look at it "backwards" - it's not simply a matter of securing rights. Sometimes when you have multiple songs by various artists (and labels) the clearance costs will build to the point where a studio's not going to make any money off the release.
     
  8. Dan D.

    Dan D. Stunt Coordinator

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    I just saw that news about the "Wiseguy" DVDs, it's absolutely tragic. I just can't imagine the last Steelgrave episode without "Nights in White Satin".
     
  9. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    Part of the problem is that the music rights have bounced around since the music was originally used or there are different gatekeepers now with different (and often mercenary) views.

    Take Nights in White Satin. The Moody Blues, who recorded the song, have their own label, Threshold, which has a controlling interest. At the time Wiseguy used it, Threshold was distributed by PolyGram, which also had a controlling interest. Then the Moody Blues gained even more of a controlling interest after a certain pasage of time since the original recording. Then PolyGram rolled Threshold into A&M Records. Then A&M was reshuffled. Then it all became moot when Universal Music Group bought PolyGram. And don't forget the songwriter, singer Justin Hayward, who has his own clearance-rights concerns and has a say in the song's use.

    That's just one song.

    Still, Nights in White Satin baffles me. "Shattered" just came out on DVD, and it prominently features the song. No re-use problems there.
     
  10. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    When I purchased The Real World: The Complete First Season earlier this year, they replaced all of the rock music with an instrumental underscore throughout every episode. That's part of what made the series successful, the music. A real shame that they couldn't reach any clearance rights, because the rock music added to the episodes. The instrumental underscore is just junk.
     
  11. LukeB

    LukeB Cinematographer

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    I really wish "The Wonder Years" could be worked out and put on DVD with all the original music. Is it that these musical artists/labels are so demanding or the studios just not wanting to go through the effort (and $) of clearing all music?
     
  12. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    Was gonna say the same thing, Bill...

    I was gonna get the 1st season til' I read 'bout the music switch. Shame. Must COMPLETELY change the mood of the scenes.

    [​IMG] D
     
  13. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    yeah, it would be nice if the artistic integrity of soundtrack disks was not screwed up by legal complexities, and the tangled ownership of songs, but it seems to be an insurmountable problem.

    I was considering buying the soundtrack of METROPOLIS, but noticed it didn't include the Ray Charles song.

    If I was a movie director, I would not use a tune if it could not be licenced for the cd soundtrack release. [​IMG]
     
  14. John Knowles

    John Knowles Stunt Coordinator

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    Another can of licencing worms....WKRP!
     
  15. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Even though the first season just ended, I’d expect that American Dreams will have a similar problem going to DVD.
     
  16. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Lew, actually American Dreams should be good. Any show started in the last 2-3 years should be fine on licensing because now DVD is included in 99% of new song clearances
     
  17. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Hey thanks Jeff. [​IMG] I learn something new here everyday.
     
  18. JohnAP

    JohnAP Second Unit

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    Yeah, this has become a real problem with the success of tv on dvd. Most shows' makers never thought about their series making it to dvd and they usually see no reason to increase their costs on a production now so they can secure rights for a possible home video release down the line, giving them less money to work with at the moment.

    This is a big problem with Roswell, which is currently ranked #1 most requested at tvshowsondvd.com. Fox has been wanting to put out the first season on dvd, if only to quell all the fan requests, but the show used so much music that the costs for clearing the rights have proved staggering and it just wouldn't be the same if they replaced it. The song choices made so many of the scenes. They're still trying to work it out though.

    The same goes for Freaks and Geeks. Judd Apatow and Paul Feig put a petition up at their official site recently so they can show the company that there is enough interest to put out the dvd. In the letter to the fans there, they say specifically that it is the music clearances that are holding them up. They know no one's really going to make any money off it. They're just proud of it and want people to be able to own the series.

    It's too bad that this has become such an issue as its keeping some great series from making it to dvd. And when the series in question was never a ratings winner, as the above two series, it becomes increasingly tough to justify the clearance prices to the company holding the rights. And I doubt record companies are too willing to cut prices.
     
  19. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    I was listening to the commentary track on the last episode of the first season set of Felicity and was surprised to hear that much of the music had been replaced for the DVD. They spent the large dollars to clear the music for the first and last episodes of the season, but that was it (though they must have also cleared at least one other song that Noel is singing along with in one of the early-ish episodes). After hearing that, I did notice that there were virtually no "name" artists in any of the other episodes, while the pilot and season finale songs are all stuff that I recognize.

    While the practice annoys me, I can understand why the music often has to be replaced. At least now it is being taken into consideration during the production of the shows. I'd rather see Felicity with some of the music replaced than not at all.
     
  20. Matthew Watson

    Matthew Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    I've mentioned this on another thread (even started it up w/ same concern) - Northern Exposure.

    I worry that a) the show will never see the (laser) light of day on dvd, or b) lots of replacement music will be used. In either of those cases, my vhs recordings from A&E's broadcasts will have to do forever. Really too bad.
     

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