View Full Version : Background Music


walktheearth
02-12-2011, 01:15 PM
I have plans to shoot a documentary where I will follow different people out for a night on the town. I fully expect them to go into local small bars. I fully expect the bars to have music playing for their patrons. It is inevitable that I will pick up (and even have to fight against) this music. Am I putting myself in copy right danger if my doc has protected music in the background?

TotalComposure
04-04-2011, 11:48 AM
Yup, I suggest you give PRS a ring and ask what they recommend you do.

directorik
04-04-2011, 12:02 PM
Am I putting myself in copy right danger if my doc has protected music in the background?
I wouldn't use the word "danger", but you will need to clear
the rights to any music heard on the audio tracks of your
documentary. If you do not, no distributor will consider your
movie.

JTillman29
04-19-2011, 09:12 PM
I would recommend you use lav's on anyone speaking, and find a really good audio engineer to edit the bar music to an undeterminable noise of sorts!

Blade_Jones
04-20-2011, 01:44 AM
I would approach the bars in advance and ask them if they'll play some music that you have maybe. If it's a dance club then that's probably a bit out of the question, but maybe for lower key bars?

Alcove Audio
04-20-2011, 08:37 AM
I would recommend you use lav's on anyone speaking, and find a really good audio engineer to edit the bar music to an undeterminable noise of sorts!

There is no guarantee that this will suppress the music enough to be unrecognizable.

You WILL need clearances for any copyrighted materials. See what you can do to have the music turned off, turned down, or move the interviews outside or to a "quiet" section of the bar.

And another thought; televisions are also ubiquitous in bars and any captured visuals will also need clearances - frame carefully.

JoshL
04-21-2011, 11:51 AM
You could always replace all the sound in post...re-record any dialogue, get some ambiance recordings of the locations and fill in some music that you can get the rights to (local bands are usually pretty eager for exposure, or you can find a composer who can do "sound alike" club music, etc). You'd lose some of the authenticity (though as a Herzog fan I like the idea of blurring fact and fiction), but you would gain a higher control over the mix, which would be really nice if you want your audience to understand what people are saying.

However, I assume the people you are following will not be actors, so getting them to re-record their speech will not be easy. It would be really easy for it to look really bad, but depending on the direction you are going with the documentary, it could make for a neat surreal off-kilter effect.

NickClapper
04-21-2011, 12:15 PM
It depends what you're shooting this for. If you're just popping it up on YouTube then I wouldn't worry. It won't be recognisable enough for any of the record labels to get up in arms...

If you want to distribute or send to festivals then I would agree with Blade_Jones that the best bet is to ask the bars to play specific music that you have the rights to. Other than that I'm not sure what the answer is.

It'll be loud in the bars and clubs anyway so perhaps you could film there but not record dialogue, then you can mute the footage and play some of your own music over the visuals. Do all the dialogue and interviews outside on the street or somewhere it's quiet...