What’s really wrong with SOPA and PIPA or any laws that propose to broaden punishment for small time individual users for online copyright infringement is that people do not understand Copyright law. Also, online users expect anything that is available or usable to be free.
During the recent SOPA/ PIPA drama, it became apparent that many peoples’ relationship to copyright law is like the ancients’ relationship to science: They do not understand it, and so they fear it, make up strange theories about it, demonize it, and go on witchhunts about it. I would not be surprised to see people wearing amulets to ward off the Copyright Monster.
Copyright law is so complex. Even many of those online users who seem to want to follow Copyright law appear clueless.
Let’s take youtube, for example. I often see videos that use others’ copyrighted songs (intellectual property), recordings, or film or video footage. Often, the youtube user will post some sort of disclaimer, such as: “No Copyright Intended.” They are clueless that copyright is about COPYING, not about their intention to claim the work as their own – although that is a more obscure form of copyright infringement.
I work with independent songwriters, musicians, studios, and little record labels. These are people in the music industry. Most of them seem to have only the slightest grasp on Copyright law.
When Copyright law was established, it was much more difficult for everyday people to violate it. Photocopy machines did not exist. The internet did not exist. Home computers did not exist. All of the digital means of copying and distributing songs, photos, videos, and written works that are now at the disposal of any 8 year old were not yet invented.
Not too long ago, making copies of a work was an expensive enterprise, and one for which a lawyer would be consulted. Not very long ago, to make a copy of a recording, one had to own the “master,” which was a big deal. The master was an expensive mold from which more identical records could be pressed. Old timey record label and recording studio contracts still talk about the master, as if a digital file could not be replicated a thousand generations with no quality loss.
Most of the Copyright laws have quite a bit of catching up to do so they comport with reality. I think most people want to reward songwriters, photographers, filmmakers, and writers. They also want to instantly share their works at no cost. Therein lies the quandary.
What’s the solution? I do not know, but whatever it is, it must be very simple and very user-friendly.
One of my favorite companies, Rights Flow, has made it easy to file for copyright on creative works. Under Limelight, they have also made it easy to obtain a compulsory license to record a cover song. This is the wave of the future.
It is fair for creative content creators to be able to earn money from their work. How to do so? Some say to offer a selection online for free and then offer premium items for sale. These are the musicians offering a few songs for free, in hope people will buy their other downloads or CDs. These are also photographers and graphic artists, sharing their photos and pictures freely online, but selling high quality prints. These are the bloggers, hoping that allowing readers to read their writing for free online will entice them to purchase books – either ebooks or the ones made of paper.
The least workable solution, in my opinion, is to go backwards in time. Today, violating copyright law is easy and quick and inexpensive (or free) and usually fun, so it becomes important to find solutions where following copyright law is also easy and quick and inexpensive (or free) and at least somewhat fun. User friendly is the key.
Darryl: A good reel shows the acting range of the actor in a very quick manner. An average reel can run 2.5 to 3.5 minutes, however, it's very common for reels to run even shorter.
A good editor is always looking for ways to cut long shots, shots on other actors, cut-aways and trim the dialogue of other actors to the bare minimum. Dramatic pauses may work for your movie, but they're cut down or removed for a demo reel. Foul language, gore and nudity is generally avoided.
Thinking of saving your best scene for last? Think again. Most people won't watch the whole reel. Put your best stuff right up front, shorter scenes first. This way, whoever is watching sees more of your best work in the shortest amount of time.
Avoid video and headshot montages to music. That's old school and just annoys people. Get right to the work, that's what people want to see...can you act, and what type(s) are you? The one exception to making a montage might be if you have a few "special talents" that you can show in short order (stunts, horseback riding, fire eating etc).
Don't make the mistake that many do...saving up material until you have enough to make a "brand new" reel. Rather, as soon as you get a new scene worthy of your reel...get it on there.
People want to see your latest and greatest. Your demo reel is ever changing, ever evolving...that is until you are a super star and don't need one anymore.
Sue: A BEGINNER COMES TO YOU FOR THEIR FIRST REEL. WHAT DO YOU WANT THEM TO HAVE AND IN WHAT FORMAT?
Darryl: I always prefer to work with the actor during the edit rather than them just dropping stuff off. Working together is more collaborative and more productive....and more cost-effective.
Actors should review the material in advance, make selections and write down the time-codes of where to find each scene on the file or DVD. Try not to identify more than 10-15 minutes of material that we'll be working with. Remember, you're cutting it down to a couple minutes and the editor doesn't need to see every frame of film you've been in.
If you have computer files of your work, bring them, but also bring a regular "playable DVD" as a backup (if you have it). That's a playable DVD that plays on a DVD player (not your computer).
Sue: WHAT DO THEY WALK AWAY WITH?
Darryl: You get a DVD Master. You can make copies from that on your computer, or have me make them for you.
You also get a digital internet version that you can upload to website of your choice (Actors Access, Youtube, Vimeo, your website...wherever). Then just send the link to the people that you want to view your reel.
Sue: HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO HAVE A DEMO REEL? WHO DOES THE ACTOR GIVE ONE TO?
Darryl: Usually the first thing an agent, manager, casting director, producer or director will ask an actor is, "Do you have any tape on your self?". That's them asking for your reel. If you are prepared, you say "Of course". If not, you just sort of stammer and stutter. Demo reels don't "usually" get you an acting gig, but they can get you a meeting or an audition.
Sue: WHO ELSE HAS A DEMO REEL BESIDES ACTORS?
Darryl: Directors, Set Designers, Music Supervisors, Dancers, Stand-up Comics, Stunt People, Special Effects People....whoever wants to show someone else their work.
Sue: WHAT IS THE IDEAL DEMO REEL FOR ADVANCED BEGINNER?
Darryl: The same for everyone...one that shows your latest and greatest in short order.
Sue: DO DEMO REELS DIFFER REGIONALLY?
Darryl: Not really.
Click here to see some demo reels made by Darryl. If you view all 11 videos on the page, you'll have a good idea of the possibilities. You can get Darryl's contact info right there on the site, too, or email: Darryl@SunTopiaFilms.com
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What's the name of your production and recording company and who is involved?
40 Hz Productions is myself, Max-A-Million, and Morris Mills.
Your studio is small but sweet. What do you have in there?
I have an Apple iMac running Pro-Tools 9 with all kinds of industry standard plug-ins. My main music production tools would be the Roland Fantom G6 and Akai MPC 2500. For recording, I use an Avalon channel strip with high quality condenser microphones.
You make beats and samples. Tell me about this process.
I create my samples from old records, drum machines, synthesizers, and any sounds I can capture with my iPhone. That way when I have an idea, I'll have a collection of sounds to play with and mold them into a beat.
How about making beats and samples to order, for a client?
I'm constantly adding new material to my library but I can also create custom tracks for clients. Give me the idea and I'll paint the picture.
Did you attend school for recording?
Yes, I'm a Full Sail University graduate of 2003. I studied recording arts there.
What are some of your favorite projects that you've worked on?
Anything with Max-A-Million is a pleasure. He's my music mentor and we always have a great time in the studio. Recording the Legendary Drifters was also a wonderful project to be part of.
If someone comes to you and sort of vaguely wants to record some songs, but they are not sure what, can you help them out?
Most definitely. I believe I can take someone's ideas and help them create their masterpiece.
Can you create music?
Yes, I compose and produce all kinds of music.
Do you play any instruments?
Yes. I play guitar, bass, keyboard, and drums.
What led up to where you are today?
A love for music. Creating and helping others create.
Let's talk about that pancake song. It's clever. How did it come about?
Thanks. I like pancakes. One night it just came out lol.
Can you see making songs for commercial sponsors? Writing songs to order?
Totally. I would love to do that. Stuff like that just comes naturally to me.
Times are tough financially. Got any deals going?
$100 for 4 hours of recording/mixing time.
What are your life goals?
To create the best music I can.
What are your favorite mind-expanders?
I find inspiration in film, traveling, and art. That's when I get out of the studio of course.
40 Hz Productions