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Doing Guitar for Film!

Anytime your music is being used for any part of the film process, it always becomes truly exciting. I’ve been involved with it on many fronts, and it’s always been exciting for sure! Of course, most of you know how I did so much work on the movie “Crossroads”, which not only contained much of my music and my playing, but I also taught actor Ralph Macchio to be believable in his role and scenes as a guitarist, and helped direct, as well as oversee those scenes that involved guitar.

After that job, I was called by director Olive Stone to work with Frank Whaley, the actor who was playing Robbie Krieger in the Doors movie, but he refused to have to spend time learning the guitar for his role, so he was always shot from angles where his playing, or lack thereof, could be hidden!

I have also had my songs used in films per se, like one tune of mine from my album “Toolin’ Around” called Rollin’ Home, was used in a Charlie Sheen film awhile back, and I’ve gotten to play on many movie soundtracks, as well as TV soundtracks. It’s always so exciting to hear it when you’re watching the big screen, and it often feels like those first times you hear yourself on the radio; another totally amazing experience and memory!

Recently, I got to experience this with my daughter Lexie, as she had an original song from her new album in a Karen Black “independent” film that was at the TriBeCa Film Festival in NYC. It was so much fun to sit with her and feel her total excitement at hearing her music and singing on the big screen, as well as her seeing her prideful dad sitting there with her, completely savoring the moment! The kinds of unspoken things that are felt at times like that, especially with your child, cannot ever be put into words.

Of course, there are many deals to be made when you have a song in a film, and there are negotiating points, as well as credits and other very important aspects of the process to factor in to the deal. One thing for certain is that when there is a soundtrack “album” released, it really has nothing to do with whatever the initial deal was when it came to the music being in the film itself was concerned. Then even if there is airplay on the radio and/or TV of it, even that is a separate deal from the music’s initial appearance in the film itself. And don’t mind if this hasn’t been worked out yet; it’s never too late to continue to negotiate as these processes move along……each aspect is a totally unrelated part of the industry, and you may negotiate each one of these things as a separate deal!

In the case of Lexie’s music being in this film, her success in the future really totally rests on the success of the film. As of now, we’re not sure if it is being “picked up” for distribution by a major film distributor, because if it was, there would be an entire long list of media and media deals to discuss!

So, remember that while having your music in a film, TV show or anything else will definitely put your “head in the clouds”, it’s very important to remain with your “feet on the ground” when it comes to protecting the interest of your intellectual property, of which you are the creator! Good luck!


Posted: 8/16/2011 10:43:17 AM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink
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