#sound-paperwork

Soundsnap License

Production Paperwork

INSTRUCTIONS

The College of Motion Picture Arts pays an annual fee to Soundsnap for the licenses to the sound effects they provide on their site. No releases need to be signed for the use of these sound effects, so long as you remain in accordance with this licensing agreement.

You are free to:

  • Remix or transform the sounds in any way.
  • Copy and transmit the sounds – but not resell them as they are originally downloaded from Soundsnap.
  • Use the sounds in any music, film, video game, website etc. whether commercial or not, without paying additional royalties or other fees beyond the initial membership cost.

Synchronization License Request

Production Paperwork

INSTRUCTIONS

A synchronization license is the right to reproduce a specific musical composition in your film. It must be obtained from the copyright owner of the composition, which is usually the publisher.

You can find out who the publisher is by searching by song title at either ASCAP or BMI. Almost every song is represented by one of these two companies. Songs that are not represented by ASCAP or BMI might be found at the National Music Publishers’ Association “Songfile” website (www.nmpa.org). You will be provided with a contact at the publisher’s Business Affairs or Licensing Department.

Getting the rights could be as simple as sending letters to the publisher and record label, having them sign and return them. However, you may be required to complete their licensing agreements instead. If this is the case, make sure you have the Head of Production review the agreement before you sign it, to ensure we have the proper releases.

You must get each license for at least:

  • Two-years
  • Film festival
  • Non-commercial
  • World rights

Note that you will need to get a synchronization license from the publisher, even if you are making your own sound recording of that song. For example, if you have your actor sing or recite lyrics, whistle or hum the tune, play the song on a musical instrument, or in any way make your own sound recording of the song, you will need to get the synchronization license from the publisher.

SAMPLE LETTER

Music Cue Sheet

Production Paperwork

INSTRUCTIONS

The Music Cue sheet lists each song that is used in the final cut of the film.

  • #: Sequential numbering of each song used
  • TC Start / TC End: The timecode of when the song starts and ends
  • Cue Title: The name of the song
  • Usage: How the song is used
    • MT = Main Title
    • ET = End Title
    • BI = Background Instrumental
    • BV = Background Vocal
    • VI = Visual Instrumental
    • VV = Visual Vocal
  • Licensor: Include an abbreviation for the type of licensor and the name of the licensor
    • C = Composer
    • P = Publisher
    • R = Record Label
  • Society (%): If applicable, the music rights society that manages the rights to the song and the percentage of their stake in the song. In the U.S., there are 2 main music rights societies: ASCAP & BMI.
    • If working with a composer, you should ask them whether they are a member of a music rights society.
    • If licensing a song from a publisher and/or record label, they will let you know whether the rights are managed by a music rights society.
    • If using our license with Universal Production Music (Killer Tracks), then you can enter “N/A”.
  • Rights Acquired: Indicate what rights you have acquired for the song.
    • If working with a composer who has signed our Composer Contract, then it would be “All Rights, Perpetuity”.
    • If licensing a song from a publisher and/or record label, then it would be whatever rights were agreed upon (Note: CMPA requires you get at least a 2 year, Film Festival, World, Non-Commercial license)
    • If using a song that is in the creative commons, then include the type of creative commons license.
    • If using Universal Production Music (Killer Tracks), then it would be “Film Festival, Perpetuity, World, Non-Commercial”.

SAMPLE

Master Use License Request

Production Paperwork

INSTRUCTIONS

A master use license is the right to synchronize a sound recording with your visual image. You clear this right with the record label who owns the sound recording you would like to use.

Check the liner notes of the recording to find out which company this is. Alternatively, you can get contact information for record labels by contacting either ASCAP or BMI. You will be provided with a contact at the record label’s Business Affairs Department.

Getting the rights could be as simple as sending letters to the publisher and record label, having them sign and return them. However, you may be required to complete their licensing agreements instead. If this is the case, make sure you have the Head of Production review the agreement before you sign it, to ensure we have the proper releases.

You must get each license for at least:

  • Two-years
  • Film festival
  • Non-commercial
  • World rights

Note that if you do not plan to use the original sound recording, but rather plan to reproduce a specific musical composition in your film, you need to acquire a Synchronization License instead.

SAMPLE LETTER

Composer Contract

Production Paperwork

INSTRUCTIONS

This contract is for use with composers who are writing the musical score for a production. It should be used regardless of whether or not the composer is being paid for their services.

It is advisable to make the delivery date of the score (in Section 1 of the contract) as early as is feasible, in order to provide some padding. It is not uncommon for composers on student films to miss their deadline, so it’s better to assume that that might happen than to hope for the best. Most ideal would be setting delivery of the score for a date during the sound editing phase, so that you have a better sense of how everything’s coming together. If that’s not viable, set delivery for as many days before the mix date as your composer’s schedule will allow.