With ancillary uses of recordings increasingly becoming the horse that drives the music biz, a new web platform called Hollywood Elite Composers is betting on the idea that there can never be enough revenue streams for the established working musician. The technology is designed to provide music for use in film, TV, radio, advertising and games, whether it's original or being repurposed.
The composers who will benefit most are those who wholly own the copyrights to their material, and therefore at liberty to provide original music or re-exploit existing music for other purposes. Using the platform will allow them to retain 100% of their copyright ownership, with no upfront fees to use the site. HEC will take its cut from a 20% commission, compared to range that can reach as high as 50% for publishers on licensing deals.
"We anticipate that the clients will be from all over the world and every kinds of broadcast media," said HÃ©lÃ¨ne Muddiman, founder of the platform and herself a working composer ("Skin").
Those who have agreed to upload some of their works on the site include Harry Gregson-Williams ("Shrek," "Gone Baby Gone"), John Murphy ("28 Days Later," "Kick Ass") George S. Clinton (the "Austin Powers" films), George Fenton ("Hitch," "Anna and the King") and Jeff Beal ("House of Cards," "Pollock").
Contributing to the site is non-exclusive, allowing composers to also license their music through their websites or via their publishers.
"Almost every composer I've encountered has several pieces in their back pockets that are usually some of their most proud works," said Muddiman. "I'm thrilled that Hollywood Elite Composers finally gives the chance for this music to see the light of day, while still letting artists maintain 100% ownership and control of their work."
The idea is for composers to upload their contributions to the platform, which uses a keyword search engine that classifies and narrows down choices via an algorithm based on terms like "pleasure," "aggression," "excitement," "fast," "dense," "bright," etc. One could also search by artist, title, genre and lyrics.
Given its name, Hollywood Elite Composers views itself more as an outlet for established names than up-and-comers. "Our three criteria are either award-winning composers or those who have worked on big blockbuster movies or who have a large body of work," says Muddiman.
Although the site is now live (http://www.hollywoodelitecomposers.com), phase one of the database, for which submissions began Feb. 1, will continue through the end of March, when the site will be fully launched.
"We're not competing with libraries because libraries still are a very important role especially for production companies who may not be able to afford the Hollywood Elite," Muddiman said. "We fill a particular niche for the people who really do love and value the Hollywood elite composer and to see what they bring to their film."
Hollywood Elite: A New Outlet for Composers To Reach Out
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