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Christian Video速 Magazine

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February 2010 VOL. 3, NO. 2

6 Greg’s Toolkit

Mixing Metaphors

by GREGORY FISH

8 Article

Avatar

by MARTIN BAGGS

11 Article

Reflections on Hollywood’s Finest Studio

by MARK CARROLL

Editorial  3

17 Article Cover Story  4

Lighting for ENG (mobile) Video

by JAY M. DELP

Royalty Free Music Licensing & Copyright by PATRICK CURLEY

19 Article

What Is a Cue Sheet? Why Should I Care by ROBERT KRAMER

Christian Video® Magazine

February 2010

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from the desk of the editor

by STEVE HEWITT

Keep Those Video’s Coming We have a great issue for you this month with some excellent articles. I SO appreciate each and everyone one of our writers, who submit such fantastic content each month! Something has started happening this year and I love it and want to encourage more of you to follow! Several of you have been sending me links to video you have created for your church or ministry. I LOVE getting these and seeing what is being posted. As you create videos this year, either for your own church, or just to post on the Internet somewhere, drop me an email with a link. I love to see what people are doing, especially our readers! I am on the road while I am writing this month’s editorial, speaking at a couple of different Christian leadership conferences. If you are ever at the same conferences where I am speaking, please be sure to hang around until the end and let me know if you are a reader. I love to meet those that read CVMag each month, as well as get a one-on-one feel for what you like! Together We Serve Him,

Christian Video Magazine is published monthly by Christian Video Magazine, Inc. Editor-in-Chief Steve Hewitt – steve@ccmag.com Production Daystar Digital Design Mike Hewitt Contributing Editors George Temple Gregory Fish Stewart H. Redwine Mark Carroll Jay M. Delp Martin Baggs Copy Editor Gina Hewitt

Corporate Home Office Mailing Address: PO Box 319 Belton, MO 64012 Phone: (816) 331-5252 Fax: 800-456-1868 Copyright 2010 by Christian Video Magazine, Inc. All Rights Reserved Written materials submitted to Christian Video Magazine become the property of Christian Video Magazine, Inc., upon receipt and may not necessarily be returned. Christian Video Magazine reserves the right to make any changes to materials submitted for publication that are deemed necessary for editorial purposes. The content of this publication is the sole property of Christian Video Magazine. Copy or distribution of articles or content can be done so on an individual basis. Multiple copies or distribution may not be done without the express permission of Christian Video Magazine. Views expressed in the articles and reviews printed within are not necessarily the views of the editor, publisher, or employees of Christian Video Magazine, or Christian Video Magazine, Inc.

Steve Hewitt

Christian Video® Magazine

February 2010

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Cover Story By PATRICK CURLEY

Royalty Free Music Licensing & Copyright

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t Premiumbeat.com (www.premiumbeat.com), our business is selling licenses to use music in multimedia and traditional media productions. By providing royalty free music we make this process exceptionally easy for our clients.

Nonetheless, it’s important to understand what copyright means, how it applies to music, and how clients can obtain the rights to use one of our songs, or any other song for that matter.  Terms such as “royalty-free music”, “stock music”, and “synchronization licensing”, get tossed around loosely, and this adds to the confusion. Hopefully this mini-tutorial will shed some light on this. A Tale Of Two Copyrights: Composition And Master Copyright is intellectual property. If you own the copyright to something, it means, quite simply, that you have the right to decide who can make a copy. Copyright is the right to copy. Obviously it’s more complex than that but we’ll keep it basic for now. In terms of music, the key thing to understand is that each recording of music actually includes two distinct copyrights: 1. The copyright in the song itself, or the musical composition, or simply the Composition. This means the rights in the words and music of a song, and is often referred to as the ‘Publishing’ rights. Think of an old-school songwriter sitting at a piano, writing music and lyrics to a song. That song exists before it is recorded. Often musicians (especially in electronic music and hip hop) have a hard time grasping this distinction because they

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write music while they are producing it - sitting at their computer. Copyright is formed when you write a song, by virtue of the fact that it is new and original and takes a graphic form, such as writing down the lyrics or doing a demo. The copyright in this Composition is owned by whoever wrote it, until they assign or sell those rights to a Music Publishing company.  There is no legal requirement to register a copyright with the copyright office in your country, and registration does not create the copyright, but it does serve as evidence of its creation.  This can be an important tool in copyright infringement cases. 2. The copyright in a sound recording, also known as the Master. The Master is a recording of a Composition, so in a sense the copyright to the Composition is embedded within the Master. The copyright to the Master is owned by whoever produced it. Often this is a record company. To illustrate this, think of a famous song such as “Georgia on my Mind”. Each record company that produces a version of that song owns their recording, but the fundamental rights to the composition remain with the original publisher, who owns the Composition - the copyright of the song itself. Music Publishers And Record Labels The business of a record label is basically to generate money with the Recordings. The basic business model

February 2010

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Cover Story

By PATRICK CURLEY

historically has been to manufacture products (vinyl records, CDs) and sell them in stores. It’s a manufacturing business, essentially the same as selling widgets. Music publishers generate money with songs. For the most part, this is a rights administration business. The music publisher controls the copyright in a song, and that entitles it to revenue when the song is used. Here are the main sources of revenue for music publishing: 1. Public Performance Royalties. These royalties are paid by anyone who ‘publicly broadcasts’ music, for instance on radio and television stations, live performance venues, retail outlets and yes, even elevators. In Canada, this is administered by SOCAN. In the US, there are ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Most other territories have a similar organization - referred to as a PRO or Performing Rights Organization. Keep in mind that the royalties are paid by the broadcasters, not by the producers of a program such as a TV show. The broadcasters have to pay a certain percentage of their annual ad revenue to the PRO for a

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license to use all music. The PROs then pay the composers and publishers for the songs that were broadcast. 2. Mechanical Royalties (also called mass duplication royalties). These royalties are basically the publisher’s cut for CD or DVD sales. Since a Master Recording is a reproduction of a Composition (the Composition is embedded within it), the record company has to pay for the right to do this. The rate for CD duplication is set by negotiations between associations representing the labels and publishers (in Canada), and by the copyright board in the USA.  This is why the mechanical rate is often referred to as the “Statutory Rate”. The same principle applies to DVDs, except that the price is negotiated on a caseby-case basis. 3. Synchronization. This is where a publisher allows someone to ‘synchronize’ music with images. This can be for many different purposes: film, TV, advertising, video games, multimedia, websites, or corporate uses (we’ll refer to all these as

February 2010

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Cover Story

By PATRICK CURLEY

“Productions”). The idea is that the producer of a TV show, for example, pays to synchronize a song with some sort of a scene. Fees are negotiated on a case-by-case basis. From the publisher’s point of view, it’s an attractive proposition because you get a fee up front (the “Sync Fee”), and you also get public performance royalties when the show plays on TV (see # 1 above). Synchronization And Master Use Licenses Another thing to understand is that since there are two copyrights involved, two licenses need to be issued to make use of a recorded song: 1. Synchronization License: gives you the right to ‘sync’ the Composition with images in your production, as described above. 2. Master Use License: This is exactly the same rights as the sync license, except it applies to the Master, the sound recording itself – the actual recorded interpretation of the musical composition. Since the publisher owns the Composition (sync license) and the record company owns the Master, two different negotiations often have to take place, with two different contracts, for a song to be used in a Production. This can lead to complicated and time-consuming negotiations. If a single company owns or controls the rights to both the Master and the Composition, this is called a One-StopShop. This means that the company can sign both the Sync license and the Master Use license, which is less complicated and more attractive from the point of view of a film or TV producer – or anyone who needs production music. Premiumbeat.com is such a One-Stop-Shop since it controls both the Master and the Compositions of all the music on its website Music Licensing Definitions ROYALTY FREE: Purchasing royalty free music means that once you have paid the one-time fee, you can use that music as many times as you want for as long as you want without ever having to pay additional money to the licensor. There are many applications for which music must be licensed, and the traditional payment structure (in which a royalty is

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charged for each usage) is cumbersome and costly. Royaltyfree music libraries solve this problem by offering music that can be purchased for a one-time fee and then be used by the purchaser as many times as needed. For example: If a piece of royalty-free music is purchased to be used on a website, it does not matter if one visitor or 100,000 visitors come to the webpage - the purchase fee is exactly the same. Another example: If a piece of royaltyfree music is purchased for use on a TV show, there is only the one-time fee, and it doesn’t matter if the show is presented 5 times or 1,000 times. The TV show producer will never have to pay any additional fee for the music. This saves time and considerable expense. Royalty free music does not mean that anyone gives up their copyrights or their rights to administer a song. For instance, if we license a song to you for a film project which goes on TV and then DVD, we can still collect public performance royalties for the TV performance since these are paid by the broadcaster, not by you. You only acquire the right to use the song in your production. The music is offered on a royalty free basis but is not copyright free. The music composer and the publisher remain the copyright owners. STOCK MUSIC: Stock music is music that is produced for the specific purpose of licensing at fairly affordable rates. This music is rarely if ever released in record stores under an artist name. Licenses for Stock Music are generally non-exclusive, which means lower prices for the buyer. The Internet has drastically changed the way in which music is browsed; with today’s digital delivery methods, music may be searched and acquired online within minutes. Generally, Royalty Free Licensing is available from a Stock Music library such as Premiumbeat.com. But Stock Music can also be charged on a Rights Managed license basis for a specific, one-time use at a rate determined by a combination of factors: duration, purpose, territory, etc. We hope this short article helps you understand the basics of music licensing. We will be happy to answer any question if you want further information. Premiumbeat.com attorney, Patrick Curley, an entertainment lawyer specialized in the Music Industry reviews the basics of Copyright and Music Licensing.

February 2010

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Greg’s Toolkit by GREGORY FISH

Mixing Metaphors

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ixing metaphors is not a good habit. In fact, for lack of a better word, it is bad. It is a dangerous predicament that will have you on thin ice with your readers, and you may end up in hot water. Oh wait, that was a mixed metaphor, wasn’t it? Well, if mixing metaphors is not a good idea, how about mixing brands? When it comes to video many people like to stick to one particular (favorite) brand, especially with cameras and tapes. For example: you wouldn’t want to use Sony tapes with a Panasonic camera,. Stick with one brand of tapes. Mixing tape brands can lead to clogging the heads. Some use dry lubricant, and others wet. However, I just took some advice, which I now pass on to you, of a very good reason to literally mix brands. I’m not talking about cameras and tapes, but rather tripods. I typically talk about my personal mistakes in this column. For quite some time I’ve been using a Sunpak 7500 Platinum Pro as my tripod. It has sturdy legs that expand pretty high and I bought it for this reason. On the other hand, the tripod head (with an advertised fluid effect) left much to be desired. It was very difficult to get a good smooth pan or tilt on this head. If you click on the following links you’ll see what I’m talking about. At least the mistakes aren’t terribly noticeable or too costly: http://

www.sermonspice.com/product/16663/worship-1-2f2-cd-info and the sequel http://www.sermonspice.com/product/24040/ lukewarm-hymns-cd-info. In both of these videos my poor

wife was stuck with providing the pans and tilts using a not so suitable piece of equipment, while I did the acting. She did the best anyone could do, and after several takes, I used the best one. So naturally, after all of this I looked into upgrading to a nicer tripod. Of course, I was looking at the Manfrotto options, but then I came upon an interesting tidbit. Take the best from the world of Sunpak and mix it with the best of Velbon, and avoid the high cost of a Manfrotto. Though the Manfrotto would be better and

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more durable, if the budget does not allow for it, this is a great option. Using the legs of the Sunpak 7500 pro ($69 at http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/538299-REG/ Sunpak_620_7575CC_7500_Pro_Platinum_Tripod_with.html) with the Velbon PH-368 fluid head, will result in a very good video tripod for under $100! I snagged my Velbon head at B & H for $29.99 with free shipping- http://www.

bhphotovideo.com/c/product/152289-REG/Velbon_PH_368_ PH_368_2_Way_Panhead.html. One more product that

would be wise to invest in is a padded case to keep the dust away from the gears, etc.- http://www.bhphotovideo.

com/c/product/259877-REG/Vidpro_TC35_TC35_Padded_Tripod_Case.html- for only $10.

Maybe you didn’t even know this can be done. It is very easy. You simply hold the bottom of the head and turn it counter-clockwise. It comes right off. Then the old head can be used elsewhere (more on that later). I want to get back to the Velbon head. I bought it because I’d read about it, and it was relatively cheap. I thought, “It can’t be much worse,” than what I’m already using. If it is, I’ll use it for something else. I had read some reviews that were critical but written by what I considered “Snobby February 2010

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Greg’s Toolkit

by GREGORY FISH

Pros”. So I didn’t know what to expect. But when it arrived and I used it, and moved it around and got use to its feel, I became, I don’t know, giddy, I guess. As much as I enjoy writing, mixing metaphors and all, I simply cannot put into words what a difference this head makes. It is a world of difference. Words fail in describing the improvement gained from this switch-a-roo. Since this is Christian VIDEO Magazine, maybe it’d be best to show you in a comparison video that I made and give you a reason as to exactly why you should think about getting one: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=nYdGQD9bLPs. In this short clip, I compare the Velbon to a cheap throw away tripod (not with the Sunpak). If you need a new and better tripod but don’t want to spend a fortune on it, go this route. I’m very happy I did. Then after conducting this tripod surgery, you can do more with your old head. For example, as seen in this picture, I took off the head of the Sunpak and placed it on my steadycam. This is basically Johnny Lee’s $14 “Poor man’s Steadycam” (http://steadycam.org) with a few modifications. The modifications are obviously the tripod head, the grip, and a 1 pound wrist weight around the bottom. I still need some practice with it, and since the head was added, the place to hold it has changed. Here’s a short clip showing some test footage of my kids on their scooters- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLl-yNzmg3s. I realized, too late, that I forgot to enable the OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) setting on my camera. This would’ve helped for a smoother image. All in all, I’m pleased with the progress in both tripod and steadycam applications. These changes help me be able to achieve better shots with greater ease. Mixing metaphors is a bad idea. Mixing tripod heads can be good. However, to add one more semi-related note, more philosophical in nature, let’s remember once more not to mix metaphors in pulpit ministry. Video is an aid to the age-old proclamation of truth through God’s word. It is not to take the place of preaching. It is a way to enhance preaching all the while adapting the timeless message to today’s technology, but it cannot and should

Christian Video® Magazine

not take the place of preaching entirely. It is incapable of replacing such an institution. No matter how much technology advances, there will always be a place for communicators of God’s truth to have a forum in which to instruct God’s people in the way we should live. Video is simply a means to help preachers and teachers achieve these goals with greater effectiveness. Let’s not confuse the two. Let’s allow video to add and not detract from the life-changing power of the pulpit. Gregory is a preacher in South Texas with a passion for combining the timeless message of God’s grace with the technology of our day. On the side he produces videos for “FishXpressions” at http://sermonspice.com/producers/ profile/285. Without formal training, he has set out to learn how to create better and higher quality films. Apart from this column, he also maintains a production blog with tips, helpful links, and other musings at www.fishxpressions. wordpress.com.

February 2010

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Article

by MARTIN BAGGS

Avatar

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t’s been 12 years since James Cameron last directed a movie, Titanic, the boxoffice hit that has grossed over $1.8B and raked in 11 Oscars. But it was worth the wait. Avatar is stunningly breathtaking, particularly in 3-D. Cameron apparently conceived of the story even before Titanic, back in 1995, but needed to wait over a decade for the technology to catch up to his dream. Avatar is a mixture of live action and animation. Though we’ve seen this in other films, the animated world here is amazingly believable. We quickly forget that the world of Pandora and its gorgeous creatures is imaginary, and we sit back and soak in the encounter. Costing about $240M to make (just a little over the budget for Titanic), Avatar can already be declared a stupendous financial success. It has outstripped Titanic, making $1.9B in just its first six weeks in theaters. It is evident that Cameron spent much of his budget on creating the effects; the story itself is cheap and derivative. It has been done before. It is Dances with Wolves crossed with The Mission . . . perhaps Aliens, also directed by Cameron. Yet that is to miss the point, namely the actual cinematic experience. This is a blast to watch, seeing flying creatures swooping through the jungle, imagined alien insects buzzing around your head, or fabulous flowers opening with a touch. And it even carries a worthwhile message subsumed under the threads of escape, entitlement, and environmental care.

Christian Video® Magazine

As the film opens ex-Marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington, Terminator Salvation) awakens on the space liner that transported him and other mercenaries across the galaxy. As soon as they have landed, Col. Quaritch (Stephen Lang) tells these new recruits, “You are not in Kansas anymore. You are on Pandora, ladies and gentlemen.” A glance beyond the walls of their compound makes this clear. And the outside world is both beautiful and dangerous in its natural, virgin state. Quaritch and Parker Selfridge (Giovanni Ribisi), the outpost leader, are determined to change this. Sully, a wheelchair-bound paraplegic, is taking the place of his dead twin brother. Since the company has spent millions on growing his brother’s avatar, a being created to be controlled by a single human, this will go to waste unless Sully, who shares his DNA, takes his place. And he does, so he can earn the money for a spinal surgery to regain his own legs. These avatars are crafted from a genetic splicing of two DNA segments from human and Na’vi, the large blue indigenous population, creating a being that can be mentally manipulated by the human February 2010

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Article

by MARTIN BAGGS

during a carefully controlled state of unconsciousness. The set-up is cliché ridden. Head Scientist Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver, star of the Alien movies) has nothing but disdain for this uneducated grunt. She is at loggerheads with Selfridge, whose purpose is simply to rape the land mining the unobtainium that is found only there. He reminds her, “This is why we’re here, because this little rock sells for twenty million a kilo.” For him there is nothing more, nothing less. Her research and cultural anthropology studies are secondary and of no interest to him. Industrial expansion trumps scientific exploration. When Sully first connects with his avatar and feels his feet again, we can sense his feeling of loss. He cavorts and runs, digging his toes into the alien soil in a way he can no longer do as a human. We begin to understand his motivation for this mission:

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he wants to walk again. His first mission out of the compound as an avatar goes wrong and he finds himself alone in alien territory. He is like a child at the mercy of unknown creatures. Not expected to survive the night, he is befriended by Neytiri (Zoe Saldana, Uhura in the new Star Trek) who was ready to leave him until a sign from Ewya, the divine goddess of Pandora, makes it clear he is “chosen.” As the film progresses, his time spent with the Na’vi people, learning their culture seems a divine opportunity to discover their weaknesses. When Quaritch promises him his legs back if he’ll serve as his spy, Sully figuratively jumps at the chance. This offers escape from his paraplegic prison. And he will do anything to escape. What will we do to escape from our confinement? Can we picture ourselves compromising our convictions if the incentive is strong enough? Is there any desire deep enough that

February 2010

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Article

by MARTIN BAGGS

we would do literally anything to achieve it? That is a dangerous thing, more dangerous than Pandora’s threats. Of course Avatar is a social commentary as much as a sci-fi flick. Cameron has commented on his creation: “It’s a way of connecting a thread through history. I take that thread further back to the 16th and 17th centuries and to how the Europeans pretty much took over South and Central America and displaced and marginalized the indigenous peoples there.” The attitude of the humans in the movie is the problem. He goes on, “There’s a sense of entitlement – we’re here, we’re big, we’ve got the guns, we’ve got the technology, we’ve got the brains, we therefore are entitled to every damn thing on this planet.” Entitlement has been at the root of all the imperial conquests from the start of time. The Romans, the Spaniards, the English, even the Yankees felt they could take anything they wanted from the ignorant natives because they could kill with their weapons. The truth is we are not entitled to this. The natives may be weaker in certain ways but they have rights. When we ignore this we are dehumanizing them, and ourselves, in the process. The New Testament message of Jesus is to love our neighbor (Matt. 19:19). Love requires us to relinquish our rights. Jesus came to the marginalized and lived with them in the margins, as homeless as they (Lk. 9:58). He did not exercise his rightful position; he did not claim his entitlement as King and Creator (Jn. 1:3; 18:36). No, he modeled the way of humility and sacrifice (Phil. 2:5-8). Too often we think that our newest technology means we are superior to those without it. Cameron clearly contrasts the cultures of the humans and the Na’vi. The portion of the planet inhabited by the invading humans is painted in blacks, grays and drab olive greens. Colorless but cash-centric, they are mercenaries driven by the mechanization of the huge machines they drive. The Na’vi, on the other hand, live in a world filled with wondrous color. No technology, they are in touch with and attuned to na-

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ture. They ride flying creatures or horse-like animals, connecting their minds together. Cameron goes over the top with his pantheistic view of Ewya, Pandora’s equivalent to Mother Earth. Seeing the interconnection of nature is one thing. That is biblical. We were given the mandate to care for the earth from the beginning (Gen. 1:2830). But we are not all part of god in the sense of Pandora’s Ewya, uploading our memories into the great spirit databank tree. Created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27), humans are nevertheless distinct from God. Monotheism is distinct from pantheism, or even panentheism (the spirituality of Avatar). The environmental message runs throughout. The human exploitation of Pandora leaves their world strip mined and barren. The cost of man’s thirst for Pandora’s rock is the Na’vi’s loss. Selfridge does not care. After all, he does not actually live there. He will go where the money is. But the Na’vi will be displaced, their planet ravaged. Is this what we have done to our world? Cameron’s answer is clear. When all seems lost, and extermination or extinction appears likely, Jake must choose which side he will fight on. The final battle, pitting creation against machines, is thrilling but predictable. The mano-a-mano duel between Sully’s avatar and Quaritch is a throw-back to the climax of Alien. Suspenseful? No. Spectacular? Absolutely! Copyright ©2010, Martin Baggs Martin works as an engineering manager in the high tech industry. He leads a monthly film review group at Mosaic Church in Portland, Oregon. He writes film responses from a biblical perspective on his blog: www.mosaicmovieconnectgroup.blogspot.com/

Contact: martinbaggs@gmail.com

February 2010

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Article

by MARK CARROLL

Reflections on HOLLYWOOD’S FINEST STUDIO “Eeeee... vaa!” “Anyone can cook!” “To infinity, and beyond!” “You are a sad, strange little man” “I’m packing your angry eyes just in case” “I am speed. …I eat losers for breakfast!” “You mean Dad’s in trouble or Dad is the trouble?” “You know for a clownfish, he really isn’t that funny” “So! Bein’ a ladybug automatically makes me a girl?” “Put that thing back where it came from or so help me!” “Foreign contaminant! Whoa-whoa-whoa whoa whoa!” “I am your wife! I’m the greatest good you are ever gonna get!” “My name is Dug—I have just met you, and I love you—SQUIRREL!”

W

ith the 82nd Academy Awards® quickly approaching, one studio continues to leave its competitors in the dust. They continue winning the gold, are always picked first to dance, consistently reach the moon, and always seem to hit a grand slam with an amazing batting average of 1.000. What other studio repeatedly

offers the most fresh and unique storylines versus the To date, the studio has earned 22 Academy same-old-tired-and-lame-ideas-‘cuz-no-one-wants-toAwards®, six Golden Globes and three Grammys—not take-the-time-to-think-up-anything-else material? What to mention their plethora of other awards and achievemovie-house creates ments. Since the Academy the highest “release Award® for Best Animated Remember, before showing clips from anticipation” for Feature was instituted in movies, be sure you have a license to do their films to both 2001, all seven Pixar films so. Check out Church Video License to child and adult alike? have been nominated, with be sure you are legal. www.cvli.com Who has replaced four winning it: Finding their parent comNemo in 2004, The Incredpany, Disney, as the ibles in 2005, Ratatouille in new “family film champ” on the block? Whose produc- 2008, and WALL-E last year. Included in this year’s tions consistently rank in the top three of rottentomanomination for Best Picture, Up is the first Pixar film to toes.com’s highest rated movies each year for most of be considered and only the second animated film to be the last decade? It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s the genius of nominated (Beauty and the Beast in 1992). IF you PIXAR.

Christian Video® Magazine

February 2010

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Article

by MARK CARROLL

include all my family’s personal trips to Cinetopia here in beautiful Vancouver, USA, Pixar films have made $5.5 billion worldwide.  On their website under “How We Do It,” they reference a scene in Toy Story 2 when the old man repairing Woody tells the impatient toy collector Al, “You can’t rush art.” Good advice for the rest of Hollywood. Incorporated in the state of California on February 3rd, 1986, they merged with The Walt Disney Company on January 24, 2006, making one of Pixar’s founding fathers, John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios & Pixar Animation Studios. The company continues to grow and expand, opening their new Glenn McQueen Pixar Animation Center in Vancouver, British Columbia in the near future (named after the Canadian-born Pixar animator who passed away in 2002). One New Year’s Eve at our house, with a room full of adults, we couldn’t agree on a movie to watch… until I brought out Pixar titles! Then we couldn’t decide which to watch first, because—to quote the very funny Brian Regan who recalls that the only reason he played baseball as a kid was to receive a snow cone after the game, “GRAPE! I’m gonna get Grape! Or, Cherry! They’re both favorites!”—they’re ALL favorites! Besides my joy of talking to people about their top-10 movie lists, I also ask what order they would rank the Pixar movies. Here are their movies listed in

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my favorite order, with my most favorite listed last and my other favorites listed first, among this list of Pixar favorites—which are all favorites. #10: A Bug’s Life (1998, directed by John Lasseter, with a $364 million worldwide gross). My least favorite of the Pixar canon, but still one of the best movies

February 2010

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by MARK CARROLL

of 1998. The story follows a colony of ants that every season are expected to gather food for a gangster-group of grasshoppers—led by the nefarious Hopper. The hero, a klutzy inventor named Flik, is given permission by the Queen to venture out and recruit a group of “warrior bugs” to fight off the lousy locusts. What better way for a movie villain to get what’s coming to them than when Hopper is snatched away by a stoic mama bird and fed to her chicks—satisfyingly creepy! #9: Finding Nemo (2003, co-directed by Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich, with a $865 worldwide gross). I know, I know. This one always pops-up towards the top of everyone’s list, but I believe it to be Pixar’s most mundane storyline. Marlin, an Ocellaris clownfish, sets out to find his only child, Nemo. Marlin is joined by a sidekick, Dory (not being a fan of Ellen DeGeneres doesn’t help), as together their quest takes them throughout the ocean’s vast space. I must admit it has some of Pixar’s most

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dazzling CGI to date. A favorite scene has Marlin and Dory befriend Bruce the shark who insists they attend a “shark support group”—where the sharks have amazingly vowed not to eat other fish. “I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends, not food.” Today’s meeting is “Step 5: Bring a Fish Friend.” Bruce starts the testimonies: “Hello. My name is Bruce.” Other sharks: “Hello, Bruce.” Bruce: “It has been three weeks since my last fish.” Now it’s Dory’s turn: “Hello, I’m Dory... I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a fish.” Applause! Now it’s Marlin’s turn, and when he says he doesn’t have a problem, they push him forward and all say in unison, “Denial!” Classic. #8: Cars (2006, John Lasseter, $462 million worldwide). Like most guys I know, I’ve been a sportscar fan since drawing them for my friends in 2nd Grade. And

February 2010

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by MARK CARROLL

like most kids, have always seen cars as having faces. Years later, while enjoying a Chevron commercial with animated cars, I thought, “Someone needs to make a movie with these!” Sure enough, Pixar came in, applied their “magical pixel dust” of great storytelling and hard work, and made an outstanding film. What’s not to like, with its glossy animation, fabulous soundtrack and fantastic characters? A fast and furious world which includes the smooth wisecracking voice of Owen Wilson as a slick Le Mans endurance racer, Richard Petty as a vintage Plymouth Superbird, Michael Keaton as a 1980s stock car, Paul Newman as a 1951 “Fabulous” Hudson Hornet, Larry the Cable Guy as a 1951 International Harvester L-170 “boom” truck, and of course, Bonnie Hunt as a gorgeous 2002 996-series Porsche 911 Carrera—whoa! Of course, with the ridiculously-good Rascal Flatts band performing the opening song, “Life Is a Highway,” I was hooked when the green flag dropped! A favorite scene takes me back to being a kid, riding in the back seat with my brothers and sisters on a cross-country road trip. Dad mainly stayed on old two-lane interstate highways, winding through small towns littered with ma-and-pa-cafes. In this scene, Sally takes McQueen on a drive and shows him the crowded interstate highway from a ledge. McQueen comments that the myriad of cars don’t know what they’re missing by bypassing the town of Radiator Springs on Route 66. Another amazing Pixar vignette begins—with James Taylor singing an emotional rendition of Randy Newman’s song, “Our Town—paying homage to the friendliness and pleasure of quaint old towns that have fallen by the wayside due to the influx of freeways. #7: Ratatouille (2007, Brad Bird and Jan Pinkaa, $623 million worldwide.) This movie showcases one of Hollywood’s most creative and best directors, Brad Bird. Bird, who grew up here in Portland, Oregon, has been referred to by some as perhaps a modern-day Walt Disney (he’s uncredited for his earlier work on Disney’s The Fox and the Hound). When his underrated and poorly marketed movie The Iron Giant hit theaters in 1999, I thought it was one of the best movies of the year (Hogarth’s prayer scene at dinner is absolute gold), with more

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vivid characters, better acting and crisp storytelling than that year’s biggest disappointment: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (Jake Lloyd and Jar Jar, anyone? ‘Nuff said). The exceptional talents of Bird were brought in to save Ratatouille—featuring Remy the rat with a sensitive nose for fine cuisine—from being Pixar’s first “lackluster.” It instead became another Pixar blockbuster, as Brad effectively knocked it out of the park! A wonderful scene finds world-class chef Colette frustrated with the newbie, Linguini. Colette takes time to sharply give the young man some important cooking tips: “You think cooking is a cute job, like Mommy in the kitchen? Well, Mommy never had to face the dinner rush when the orders come flooding in, and every dish is different and none are simple, and all of the different cooking times, but must arrive on the customer’s table at exactly the same time, hot and perfect! Every second counts, and you cannot be Mommy!” #6: Up (2009, Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, $723 million worldwide). Like a couple other Pixar films, the marketing campaign for this movie didn’t excite me. I thought this could be the studio’s first dud. I was wrong. For almost five minutes, starting at the seven-minute mark in the movie, I knew they had struck gold again. With this scene, Pixar gives their most masterful vignette to date when Carl and Ellie’s life together is chronicled—beautifully and without dialogue—from their wedding day to their twilight years. The Pixar team did more in those five minutes than anything found in a plethora of other Hollywood movies combined. If you missed it, this one scene is worth the price of admission. Hopefully this Pixar gem will walk away with some well deserved hardware on May 7th. Other great moments include Carl and Russell running into a talking dog (Carl: “Did that dog just say “Hi there?” Dog: “Oh yes. … My name is Dug. I have just met you, and I love you,” as he jumps on Carl, “My master made me this collar. He is a good and smart master and he made me this collar so that I may speak— SQUIRREL!”) and when Carl sacrifices material things to save his friends (Carl runs back to his grounded

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by MARK CARROLL

house—with thousands of helium balloons tied to it—and tries to get it airborne again. But no matter how hard he struggles, it won’t budge. Angered, he throws a chair off the porch and gets an idea! Running throughout the house, Carl begins throwing everything he can find out the front door—giving no thought to cost or emotional attachment—laying aside every weight and anything which could easily ensnare him, enabling him to fly with endurance the race that is set before him, keeping his main objective in mind: to save that which was lost!). #5 WALL·E (2008, Andrew Stanton, $521 million worldwide). Though I could’ve done without some of Stanton’s consumerism and environmental wrist-slaps, his story set in the year 2805 is both visually stunning and adorable. It seems all of humanity is living in outer space on a gigantic luxury liner while one lone trash compacting robot is left behind to clean up humans’ enormous mess. The evolving romance of WALL-E and EVE, once again, touts the incredible ability of Pixar to tell a better dialogue-free story in 10 minutes, than most of the drivel coming from other studios can do in an entire film (most “romantic comedies” being rushed down the pike pale in comparison—ugh!). A favorite scene finds the ship’s captain (pastor?) setting a switch to return the vessel back to Earth— ending humankind’s 700 year space vacation of getting fed, fat and entertained in their hover chairs (where no one has ever volunteered to help or serve on the ship). The new mission surprises the passengers (congregation?) and refuses to let them eat and lounge around doing nothing as normal, but readies them for their flight back. Everyone is gathered in a large area while the captain continues to fight off the auto-pilot—making the ship list—causing all the jelly-like-passengers to slide to one end (hilarious!). Since no one has walked or hardly moved in years, everyone just slides into each other towards the bottom, with a few brave souls actually extending their hands to TOUCH and HELP someone else—including a smattering of children. #4: Toy Story 2 (1999, John Lasseter, $485 million worldwide). A rarity among sequels, with this

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second offering being just as outstanding at the first. The owner of Al’s Toy Barn, Al McWhiggin (Wayne Knight from Seinfeld and Jurassic Park fame), steals Woody and plans to sell him and other “Roundup” characters to a toy museum in Tokyo. So many wonderful scenes, including Buzz accidently freeing his arch-nemesis, Emperor Zurg; the banter between Woody and Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl (performed expertly by Joan Cusack); the deception of Stinky Pete the Prospector (Kelsey Grammer)—who really IS stinky; and the joy of seeing Tour Guide Barbie and Barbie on Backpack (Jodi Benson—The Little Mermaid’s Ariel) come to life! #3: Toy Story (1995, John Lasseter, $362 million worldwide). The original film that started it all—some would argue the best—was the first fully computer-generated feature film ever released. The story, of course, centers around a young boy’s group of toys who come to life when their owner is not around. The iconic characters include Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), Slinky Dog (the late Jim Varney), Rex (Wallace Shawn), Hamm (John Ratzenberger), Bo Peep (Annie Potts), and the green army sergeant (R. Lee Ermey). I challenge anyone to find a scarier animated villain than Sid (voiced by Erik von Detten), who creates nightmarish mutant toys in his sparetime! One classic moment—hinting at blind religious tradition—finds Buzz trying to garner the help of a spaceship full of toy aliens at a kiddy pizzeria… Buzz: “This is an intergalactic emergency. I need to commandeer your vessel to Sector 12. Who’s in charge here?” Aliens (all pointing up): “The Claw!” Alien #1: “The Claw is our master.” Alien #2: “The Claw chooses who will go and who will stay.” Woody: “This is ludicrous.”  #2: Monsters, Inc. (2001, Pete Docter, $525 million worldwide). One of the most original and creative stories of any animated film (and perhaps live-action film) that I can remember! Monstropolis is a city populated by monsters. Monsters, Inc. is the power utility that harvests the raw energy from children’s screams when employees visit them in their bedrooms at night. Brilliant!

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Article

by MARK CARROLL

And could there be more memorable and better voiced characters than John Goodman’s Sulley and the comic genius of Billy Crystal’s Mike Wazowski? The entire voice talent is fabulous, with Mary Gibbs giving us the adorable “Boo” and the unforgettable rasp of Bob Peterson as Roz (“Well, isn’t that nice?”). One of the best scenes finds Sulley and Mike fighting in the factory over what to do with “Boo,” the cute two-year-old girl whom Sulley has lovingly named… Mike: “You’re not supposed to name it. Once you name it, you start getting attached to it. Now put that thing back where it came from or so help me...” Mike then pauses as he notices their argument has the attention of the surrounding workers… Mike: “Oh, hey. We’re rehearsing a…a scene for the upcoming company play called, uh, ‘Put That Thing Back Where It Came From Or So Help Me.’ It’s a musical,” as the two begin singing the title.  #1: The Incredibles (2004, directed by Brad Bird with a $631 million worldwide gross). Being a fan of superheroes since a wee-lad in Sunday School, it’s no wonder this masterpiece lands as my favorite Pixar movie so far. Bird’s Incredibles is his own original story, and after selling Pixar on the idea, went on to direct and even provide the voice for the hilarious character of costume designer Edna ‘E’ Mode.  Bird recalls the inside joke that the movie’s villain, Syndrome, was actually based on Bird’s likeness, which he didn’t realize until the film was too far into production to change (look at a picture of both side-by-side!). A favorite scene finds Mr. Incredible working as an insurance adjuster with an elderly lady sitting at his desk. He’s just denied her claim, and when she starts to sob, Bob is moved with compassion and secretly gives her the inside scoop: “All right, listen closely. I’d LIKE to help you, but I can’t. I’d LIKE to tell you to take a copy of your policy to Norma Wilcox (while handing her a pen and notepad)... that’s W-I-L-C-O-X, on the third floor. But I can’t...” No sooner does he bend the rules when his boss appears, reminding him it’s not about PEOPLE, it’s about MONEY! Another favorite—which, again, no one does

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these type of scenes better, with little or no dialogue, than Pixar—is when Bob loses his unfulfilling job and finally has a chance to become Mr. Incredible again. Being able to use his giftings and talents as he once did invigorates his life. He starts to work out, becomes more loving to his wife and spends more time with his kids. Doing what he was born to do allows him to enjoy a fulfilled life once again (always get misty-eyed with this one, dang it). Another scene that is pure gold finds Mr. Incredible’s super-pal, Lucius, at home getting ready to take his wife out for a previously arranged night out on the town. Suddenly, outside the window of their high-rise apartment, a giant killer-robot rampages by on its path to destroy the city. He frantically looks for his “Frozone” supersuit to help stop the mayhem. Unable to find it, he asks his wife where it is. “WHY do you need to know?” she asks. “You tell me where my suit is, woman! We are talking about the greater good!” “GREATER GOOD? I am your wife! I’m the greatest good you are EVER gonna get!” What’s next for Hollywood’s finest studio? My release anticipation continues to run high for Pixar’s next films on the horizon: Toy Story 3 is set to premiere this year, with Newt scheduled for the summer of 2011. After that, The Bear and the Bow releases around Christmas 2011, and Cars 2 in 2012. Though I’m not a patient man when it comes to Pixar, I’m thankful they stick to their creed: “You can’t rush art.” Good advice for the rest of Hollywood.

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Article

by JAY M. DELP

Lighting for ENG (mobile) Video

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t the risk of stating the obvious let me begin by saying that the amount, direction, source and quality of light shining down on the subjects you are videotaping is absolutely critical to the quality of the footage. I continue to be amazed at how often people become VERY concerned with the lighting quality of their images AFTER the opportunity to effect that lighting is long gone – when they view the footage or photos they have shot back in the “studio”. News flash - THE TIME TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE QUALITY OF LIGHTING IN YOUR VIDEOS IS WHEN YOU SHOOT THEM!!!

Let’s start with square one: light sources. There are only two sources of light, 1) Godmade and 2) man-made. As you have already wisely surmised, the only God-made light source is the sun. Man-made lights come in thousands of shapes, sizes, “colors” and brightness: fluorescent, halogen, track, spot, LED, flashlights, infra red, and even black. But although mankind wins the numbers game when it comes to light sources God trumps them all with the quality and shear size of His one light. Technically, “fire” would be a second God-made light source but let’s include that with the man-made lights since we can control (usually!) when, where and how bright that flame burns. Here’s Big-Lighting-Idea #2: Pointing your camera at a God-made or man-made light source is a very bad idea, resulting in poor video footage. Don’t

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do it. Stop it. Move. Move the light. Move the subject. But don’t move that camera’s shutter/trigger until you are NOT pointing it into a light source. Of course, the exception to all this “brilliant” advice is when you are intentionally creating a special effect. Let’s deal with God’s one, big light source first (since He and the big light were here first!). The 93,000,000 Mile Challenge Put the sun behind the camera if humanly possible. If not possible, go to plan B which is to move the camera (and the camera operator, but you already knew that). If that is not an option, move the subject. And if that isn’t going to happen then attempt to filter or shade the sunlight with some sort of “sun block” such as a piece of foam core, cardboard, blanket, tall human or shade tree. Ditto for windows! Pull the shades, draw

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Article

by JAY M. DELP

the curtains or hang a blanket over them, especially if you have your own man-made lighting (more on that later). The goal is to never mix God-made light with man-made light. Not good. They are two different color temperatures. The time to capture the most gorgeous pictures/ video using sunlight is just after sunrise during the first couple hours of sunlight and again during the early evening hours before sunset. These are what us video folks call the “golden hours”. Make the most of these hours when videotaping. The warm, orange and gold colors reflected off of your subject during such optimum lighting conditions produce enviable results with even the most basic of video cameras. When you are shooting in very bright sunlight or in “snow scenes” on sunny days use your video cameras neutral density (ND) filter to produce noticeably improved picture quality. The ND filter acts as sunglasses for your video camera. Some cameras automatically detect the brightness of the scene and activate the built-in ND filter for you, but many require “human intervention” (and human memory) to engage such a filter. MAN-MADE LIGHTING for MAN-MADE MEDIA The most common situations and settings for capturing both video and still images under man-made lighting are obviously indoors or at night (indoors or outdoors). Of all man-made light sources few, if any, produce poorer results than fluorescent lighting. If at all possible turn them off completely and turn on your own non-fluorescent lights. Fluorescent lighting produces a very undesirable “blue” color temperature and creates a very unflattering “flat” look to your images and subjects. If indoors, look at the options for turning up or turning on more lights. Once you begin noticing the indoor lighting in most homes you’ll be surprised at how “dingy” and “shady” indoor house lighting usually appears. This becomes especially obvious if you have your own video/camera lighting and you have just turned them off after having them on for several minutes. It will look downright dark by comparison!

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B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Bulb) So let’s say you’re an above average “shooter” and you actually want to be equipped with some kind of on-camera video light source. What to do? A good start is to invest in one of those battery-powered oncamera video lights. Some are as low as 20-40 watts and others as bright as 100 watts. Don’t kid yourself; in very dark (or totally dark) settings a 30 watt bulb will do wonders (within about 6’) for the quality of your footage. Check out Lite Panels (www.litepanels.com) line of LED lights. Their Micro Series is designed specifically for on-camera mounting. Also, Switronix Torch LED TL-50 (www.switronix.com) is another versatile on-camera option. If you want to bring out some big guns (5001000 watts) lights for shooting a stationary subject such as an interview or a larger area, check out one of the many lighting kits by Lowel (www.lowel.com). They make portable lighting kits which will last you years. I frequently use a 3-point Lowel lighting kit for videotaping interviews. Turning their 500 watt Tota-Lites away from the subject and bouncing the light off of a white umbrella produces very pleasing lighting with soft shadows. Today’s digital and video cameras have made gargantuan improvements over those of yesteryear when it comes to low-light sensitivity. But improved light sensitivity technology is far from a “magic bullet”. Many video cameras have internal “gain” settings controlled by either an external switch or menu option which allows you to “pump” more light out of a scene but the price is always more “grain” in the form of video “snow”. (No gain, no grain!) ‘Tis far better to improve the lighting conditions in which you are shooting and leave the gain switch for authentic “lighting emergencies” when there truly is no other option. A little preparation, planning and creativity go a long, long way when it comes to providing adequate light for your subjects and scenes. Thank you for reading along once again Good night. I’ll leave the light on for you.

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Article

By Robert Kramer

What is a Cue Sheet? Why Should I Care?

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id you ever wonder how the music in a production is paid for? Sure, the producers pay to use it, but does it end there? What is the producer’s responsibility to the musician and publisher? Do they get royalties? Does that mean the producer has to cut them a check each month out of any profits? How does it all work?

As a producer, these were all questions that I wanted answered. So, I searched. What I found was both complicated and enlightening. The answer to most of my questions is: cue sheets. But let me back track a little bit. There are two main music organizations of which a producer needs to be aware: ASCAP and BMI. These organizations make it their job to keep track of the music used in productions for film and broadcast. Both organizations have helpful sections on what is expected of a producer and of a musician. First, we need to understand that Networks, cable, PBS, and local stations all pay a certain amount of money into a pot each year. From this pot, royalties are distributed to musicians and publishers based on the number of times their music was aired on television. They keep track of this through cue sheets that every production fills out and submits to either ASCAP or BMI. These organizations match the cue sheets to broadcast schedules and performances. Producers do not pay into this pot for their productions; producers pay the musicians for use of the music. Royalties only come from this pot. So, what is a cue sheet? According to ASCAP,

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“A Cue Sheet is a document that lists all of the musical elements of an audio/visual production.” According to BMI, “An accurately filled out cue sheet is a log of all the music used in a production. This information includes: Series/Film Title, Series/ Film Title AKA, Episode Title, Episode Title AKA, Episode Number, Air Date, Show Length, Music Length, Production Company Information, Song/ Cue Title, Composer, Publisher, Performing Rights Society, Timing, and Usage.” There is an industry standard for cue sheets and BMI and ASCAP have made it easy for the producers. They have created a web based application called RapidCue that allows production companies to enter, manage and electronically submit cue sheet data to ASCAP and BMI. The production company is responsible for submitting the cue sheets, ideally, no later than three months after the first television broadcast or before the first foreign theatrical performance for a film. When don’t I need to register a cue? ASCAP says, “You do not need to register a work if the work is: underscore (music written for the audiovisual production and will only exist within the production); logo; theme (theme music written for

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By Robert Kramer

the audiovisual production and will only exist within the production). However, a registration is required if the work is: not written for the audiovisual production and will exist outside of the production (even if it is another production); a work that has a life outside of the production (e.g. popular work that airs on radio). Commercials and Infomercials also require cue sheets. Anything that is broadcast with music in it needs a cue sheet. One interesting side note about the way cues are paid. According to ASCAP, “If the production company negotiated that it retains the publishing interests of the underscore in the composer’s agreement, it is obviously in their best interest to establish a publishing company to receive performance royalties.” So, the production company’s responsibility is to keep track of the music details within the production and submit a cue sheet in a timely manner. A lot more information is available on both BMI’s and ASCAP’s web sites. BMI even has an example of what a properly filled out cue sheet looks like. And finally, yes, even if you bought royalty free music, the moment it is going to be used in a broadcast or performance a proper cue sheet is required. Because the creator of the music and publisher still get royalties from the pot paid for by the broadcasters. The Royalty

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Free license only applies to the production using the music, but that can get complicated, too. Check out the copyright article in this issue for more details about this topic.

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