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Author Topic: Production or 'Spec' Deals?  (Read 7917 times)

Jules

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #60 on: August 23, 2005, 06:18:58 pm »

rattleyour wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 23:02



How about this--

Write a song OR start a music publishing business. I think one is a lot more interesting than the other, but it depends on your skill set/interest.




I DID start a music publishing business!

Thats what these posts seem to be focusing on..

Here, read a piece on it from Music Week (the UK's equivelent to Billboard magazine)

I got mine, get yours!

TheViking

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #61 on: August 23, 2005, 06:20:34 pm »

Thanks to everyone who has posted in this thread.   It's probably a lot more information and opinion than I was initially looking for.

A lot of this discussion is dealing with publishing.   I'm not so much concerned with publishing as I am with the actual record being bought.

I am working with a small handful of clients on these 'production agreements'.   The purpose is to do a record with the artist and then shop the record to various record labels in hopes that one will 'buy' the record from me.

Has anyone any experience in this specific type of production or 'spec' deal?

Thanks,
Kevin
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Jules

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #62 on: August 23, 2005, 06:24:18 pm »

I am happy take a break and to hear non publishing solutions!

Bring em on!

There are many ways to skin a cat! (I mean 'help' musicians)
Or make money from them.. er..or to get good bands 'out there'!!
You know what I mean...!! Rolling Eyes

Fibes

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #63 on: August 23, 2005, 07:58:50 pm »

TheViking wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 18:20


Has anyone any experience in this specific type of production or 'spec' deal?

Thanks,
Kevin


Didn't i post two scenarios a few pages back? Haven't we been discussing recoupables for the last few pages?

If you are doing the shopping a 15% chunk of their advance is part of it. If they don't use your masters, we already mentioned a buyout clause. Asking for 3-8 points depending on your pull is another thing. I personally think 3 retail (6 wholesale) is plenty. Your recoupment either comes out of the advance, recoupment from record one and points unless you want to dip into publishing. i feel like a broken record.

It's like playing the lottery, don't play if you can't afford it.
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Curve Dominant

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #64 on: August 23, 2005, 09:42:30 pm »

J.J. Blair wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 19:34

BTW, Eric, you never recorded TV shows on your VHS?  I didn't mean music


THAT's what you were talking about??

Yeah, I've taped TV programs on a VHS, but here on the East Coast, we typically don't refer to that as "recording." Maybe that's an LA thing.

We say, "I'm gonna tape the Seinfeld rerun tonight."

We don't say, "I've booked a recording session with my VHS machine tonight, we're RECORDING a Jerry Springer Show, sorry, the studio is all blocked out!"

Your post had me dragging an old VHS machine out of my closet, examining the audio input (which is a single RCA jack - a stereo input I can assume?), and wondering if a mono mic would record to both channels in mono, or just one channel.

Sheesh, JJ, you're an inch away from getting yourself on my "Ignore" list...GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY!

Curve Dominant

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #65 on: August 23, 2005, 10:03:38 pm »

And here's ANOTHER thing that pisses me off:

The Strokes even got MENTIONED as an example here.

Those clowns should have GOTTEN DOWN ON THEIR KNEES and BEGGED for Jules' guidance, not to mention ANY competent producer.

They were signed as a product of a HUGE bidding war. The publicity spent on that band was IMMENSE. JC's daddy is John Casablancas, the head of the world's biggest modelling agency, and daddy made sure there were NO negative reviews of his baby boy's band, because his clients were their biggest advertisers. You couldn't go ANYWHERE without seeing the Strokes peering out at you from a magazine cover.

That band had more money and more publicity spent on them than arguably any new band in the history of rock & roll. And what did all that get them?

Two bombs, the second even worse than the first. Two big hairy bollocks, dropped so hard they went through the basement floor. (Which tells you the same thing several major label CEO's told me in NYC a couple of years ago: "We cannot make people buy music; they have to WANT to buy it.")

Let's not derail this thread by using ultra-rich folks' vanity projects as examples, please.

J.J. Blair

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #66 on: August 23, 2005, 10:26:34 pm »

TheViking wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 15:20

Thanks to everyone who has posted in this thread.   It's probably a lot more information and opinion than I was initially looking for.

A lot of this discussion is dealing with publishing.   I'm not so much concerned with publishing as I am with the actual record being bought.

I am working with a small handful of clients on these 'production agreements'.   The purpose is to do a record with the artist and then shop the record to various record labels in hopes that one will 'buy' the record from me.

Has anyone any experience in this specific type of production or 'spec' deal?

Thanks,
Kevin


Kevin, here's something I did recently: I came up with a concept for a group, I produced, engineered, mixed and co-arranged.  The original agreement was for the band members (three of them) to do a four way split with me, if anything happened.  But then, because of some of the turmoil at the jazz labels that we were going to approach, I wound up releasing the thing on my own label, and we restructured the deal.  If I hadn't come up with the concept, etc. I might not have asked for an equal share under the original agreement.  It was very much my baby.

As far as doing an album on spec, the contract will refer to 'master recordings' generally.  State how much you expect to be re-imbursed at the point that they get signed, and have your points attached to the masters.  Have something about the band using their 'best efforts' to use you as the producer, if they decide to re-record anything, or record additional songs once they are signed.  If they re-record with a different producer, you state that there is a buy-out fee per song, and you get a point on each song on the record that you don't wind up producing yourself.  This is of course if they get signed based on the work they do with you.  The devil is in the details, but that is the crux of the biscuit.

As for Eric, you might as well just put me on 'ignore.'  I'm not going to change my posting style just because it upsets you.  Sorry, but that's the way it is.  You can't please everyone.
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

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brandondrury

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #67 on: August 23, 2005, 11:53:10 pm »

I've been thinking about the analogy of Madonna producing a record for a nice chunk because she can guarantee success, sales, etc.

Since Madonna knows she'll cash in, isn't her risk almost nothing.  Shouldn't this be reflected in her price?  Or is the service of success being almost guaranteed worth the extra fee?
In some ways, it's really screwing over a band when you KNOW they are gonna hit it big and still take a big chunk.

It seams to me to be a little more ethical to ask for a bigger slice when you have no idea if you will ever break even on the project.  It seams that this is a much bigger risk to the dumb ass producing a record in his living room with no credibility than it is for Madonna.

Just a thought.  

Brandon

Curve Dominant

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #68 on: August 24, 2005, 12:25:48 am »

brandondrury wrote on Wed, 24 August 2005 04:53

It seems to me to be a little more ethical to ask for a bigger slice when you have no idea if you will ever break even on the project.  It seams that this is a much bigger risk to the dumb ass producing a record in his living room with no credibility than it is for Madonna.


Being that very dumb ass producing a record in his living room with no credibility...

I would obviously have to agree.

We're still offering more than a major label EVER would: Complete attention to detail, full committal to ultimate success, and a MUCH bigger piece of the profits (if they ever come).

In return for possibly nothing at all.

No risk = no gain.

No falls = no balls.

It's the music business equivelent of Texas Hold-em 5-card poker. Very high stakes. Take big or walk away with nada.

Like I said in an earlier post: This is NOT for everyone. Don't judge it. Don't like it? Fine, STFU and walk. Either you got game, or you don't.

J.J. Blair

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #69 on: August 24, 2005, 12:30:03 am »

BTW, to clarify things, Madonna takes a piece of publishing for recording your songs, not for producing you.  She is bringing her guaranteed audience to the table.  
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

Curve Dominant

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #70 on: August 24, 2005, 12:37:50 am »

J.J. Blair wrote on Wed, 24 August 2005 05:30

BTW, to clarify things, Madonna takes a piece of publishing for recording your songs, not for producing you.  She is bringing her guaranteed audience to the table.


Nope, wrong.

In the arts, there is no such thing as a "guaranteed audience."

That's why no artistic endeavor can ever get a bank loan on "projected sales." Your loan application will get rejected every time.

Any artistic entity can only get approved for a loan against existing liquidity IE: cash on hand, and assets.

Which makes your Madonna example null and void.

Tilt, JJ, insert another quarter and try again.

J.J. Blair

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #71 on: August 24, 2005, 02:59:06 am »

Eric, don't be naive.  If Madonna records a song and it's a single, it is guaranteed airplay, simply because it's Madonna.  Sorry, but that is the reality.  I'm not a fan of hers, I don't own any of her records and probably will never work with her.  However, she is the biggest star of her type, she owns her own label, her stuff is going to go on the air and into movies and TV shows.  It's her label.  All those resources are at her beck and call.

Saying that she doesn't have a built in audience is like saying that U2 doesn't have a built in audience.  That is silly.  They do.  She does.  Radio stations will play her.  That is almost as certain as knowing the sun will rise tomorrow.  If she records and releases one of your songs as a single, you are going to make six figures, guaranteed, even if it's a flop by her standards.  

Madonna not withstanding, you're hijacking the thread again, Eric.  Relax, dude.  You're in good hands with ASCAP.
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

Jules

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #72 on: August 24, 2005, 04:42:46 am »

J.J. Blair wrote on Wed, 24 August 2005 03:26

 Have something about the band using their 'best efforts' to use you as the producer, if they decide to re-record anything, or record additional songs once they are signed.  If they re-record with a different producer, you state that there is a buy-out fee per song, and you get a point on each song on the record that you don't wind up producing yourself.


I just want to point out that you seem happy to clasp a ball and chain clause on band doing their first recordings that forces them use you as producer for the next recording or "pay you off".

And you are happy nail them down to agree you recieve points on songs you did not attend sessions for or produce.

Yet you accuse me of being unethical earlier in this thread.

Rolling Eyes  



George_

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #73 on: August 24, 2005, 05:55:02 am »

Quote:

In the arts, there is no such thing as a "guaranteed audience."

That's why no artistic endeavor can ever get a bank loan on "projected sales." Your loan application will get rejected every time.

Any artistic entity can only get approved for a loan against existing liquidity IE: cash on hand, and assets.

Which makes your Madonna example null and void.

Tilt, JJ, insert another quarter and try again.


I agree with JJ.. if Metallica use (or used) to record a fart and remix it 20 times and release the record as "best of metallica farts.. a decade of farts" there is success guaranteed.. Wink

I don't say it will be a million dollar income but it will be costeffective;)

hei guys, the last album sucked a lot but they sold enough to safe their income..Wink

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TheViking

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Re: Production or 'Spec' Deals?
« Reply #74 on: August 24, 2005, 07:56:14 am »

J.J. Blair wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 22:26

TheViking wrote on Tue, 23 August 2005 15:20

Thanks to everyone who has posted in this thread.   It's probably a lot more information and opinion than I was initially looking for.

A lot of this discussion is dealing with publishing.   I'm not so much concerned with publishing as I am with the actual record being bought.

I am working with a small handful of clients on these 'production agreements'.   The purpose is to do a record with the artist and then shop the record to various record labels in hopes that one will 'buy' the record from me.

Has anyone any experience in this specific type of production or 'spec' deal?

Thanks,
Kevin


Kevin, here's something I did recently: I came up with a concept for a group, I produced, engineered, mixed and co-arranged.  The original agreement was for the band members (three of them) to do a four way split with me, if anything happened.  But then, because of some of the turmoil at the jazz labels that we were going to approach, I wound up releasing the thing on my own label, and we restructured the deal.  If I hadn't come up with the concept, etc. I might not have asked for an equal share under the original agreement.  It was very much my baby.

As far as doing an album on spec, the contract will refer to 'master recordings' generally.  State how much you expect to be re-imbursed at the point that they get signed, and have your points attached to the masters.  Have something about the band using their 'best efforts' to use you as the producer, if they decide to re-record anything, or record additional songs once they are signed.  If they re-record with a different producer, you state that there is a buy-out fee per song, and you get a point on each song on the record that you don't wind up producing yourself.  This is of course if they get signed based on the work they do with you.  The devil is in the details, but that is the crux of the biscuit.


JJ,

I agree with you a lot here.   This is very similar to the way my current deal is structured with some of my artists.   What you have said here is a lot of how I think about the situation.

The way that my deal is structured is this...

I own the masters until something 'satisfies' certain options that I have laid out in my deal with them.   Option 1 - we sell to label and I get paid a flat pre-defined amount.   Option 2 - artist gets picked up by label but does not buy record and I get paid a pre-defined development fee.   Option 3 - no label interest so the artist can buy the masters from me for a pre-defined amount.

I know that I am not a 'name' producer and that the little bit that I know about how these things work is probably to my disadvantage.   I'm just trying to get my work in front of as many people as I can.   So that way I can build my name and then be able to tell a band that I want half the publishing on one of their songs because I suggested to go to the A chord in that one part instead of going to the D.

Thanks for all the input - it's a lot to read through but I appreciate all of it.   (sorry Fibes, don't mean to make you feel like a broken record).

Kevin
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