AFM Inks Innovative New Recording Deals

Agreements mark new efforts by the musicians union to create more flexible contracts

by Linda A. Rapka

The AFM and Local 47 recently inked two innovative agreements.

One new deal with Los Angeles-based company Confidential Music allows for unique provisions regarding trailer music. Musicians receive a payment when creating the music beds for trailers, then a second scale payment when the music is licensed into a trailer.

“Being able to record orchestras in Los Angeles has always been something Confidential Music was very interested in,” said co-founder Kyle Biane.  “The world of movie trailer music is a constantly developing and competitive market. We are always striving to develop a new and unique approach in both our writing and production. We do this not only to stay competitive, but to expand the art form. Now that we have the ability to call upon the talents of Local 47 here in Los Angeles, the possibilities are truly endless.”

AFM EMSD Administrator Bill Thomas calls this a “highly innovative deal that allows Confidential Music to create new music for use in motion picture trailers, moving Local 47 members toward a profit-sharing model.”

“This agreement allows us access to some of the best musicians and facilities in the world,” Biane said. “We hope that this is a tiny step in an evolving process to keep work here in Los Angeles. This agreement will not by any stretch of the imagination be a fix-all. However, we hope that is a step in the right direction and a building block to a long-term solution.”

A second new agreement with another Los Angeles music production company, Hollywood Scoring, allows for real-time audio and video streaming of entire demo sessions on Internet platforms such as YouTube. Additionally, up to two minutes of non-contiguous, audio-only clips will be allowed for posting online for demo purposes.

“Hopefully this will put people back to work and reverse some of the trends that have been taking remote recording sessions away from Los Angeles,” said Noah Gladstone, musician contractor and co-founder of Hollywood Scoring. “The idea behind it was to create an opportunity for new composers to get the chance to record with the talent that’s here. We hope this will be a successful way to attract new clients and plant seeds for new employment.”

These two agreements “mark new efforts by AFM and Local 47 to create new, more flexible contracts,” Thomas said.

“I’m extremely excited by the new opportunities that these agreements provide,” said Local 47 Vice President John Acosta. “This is definitely the direction that the Local and the AFM need to go in to expand the union’s presence in areas of the music industry where we don’t currently have density.”

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