The standard arrangement between a production company of a movie or TV show is that it pays for the privilege of including music in whatever it is they’re doing. Landing such a licensing deal can be a lucrative source of revenue for any artist. Exactly how lucrative is up to the people doing to the negotiation.
Then there’s Department-F Films, a British company who can’t be arsed doing things the old-fashioned way. Instead of paying for outside music for their current project, they want the acts to pay £10,000 for their music to be included in the film.
You read that right.
From Music Business Worldwide:
“Finding new ways to break a band/solo artist and getting exposure is proving ever more difficult for record labels, managers and bands,” reads the opening sentence of the firm’s pitch.
So far, so fair.
Department-F then explains that it’s creating a feature film called ‘Over and Over’ based on a “music business revenge story”, and that it’s offering an up-and-coming artist the chance to feature in a short scene as the support act to the headline band in the movie.
The selected act will also see their poster featured elsewhere in the film’s footage and enjoy ‘the option to have one track featured as a bonus track on one version of the soundtrack album, which is going to be promoted like a regular album’.
In addition: ‘The artist may also perform in one real live support slot for the film if one takes place. Plus they can have one of their CDs and a T-shirt included in the goody bag given out at the film’s premier and two tickets per band member or solo artist for the premier [sic].’
Department-F will require the chosen artist to record three songs in total, performed live, which will be included on the film’s DVD extras.
How much is the film company willing to pay for the privilege?
If you guessed ‘nothing’, you’re close.
It is, in fact, worse than nothing.
Here comes the clincher.
“Because this opportunity can only go to one artist and it will be hotly contested we are likely to hold an auction to win this opportunity.”
An auction. With a minimum bid (deep breath) of £10,000 ($15,000).
Cheeky, huh? And it’s not going over well with the artist community–as you might expect. Read on here.