Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"Auteurvision" Post-Production Update and the Frustration of Rights Clearance

I have now reached the one-year anniversary editing my personal documentary and as I read more about the frustration involved in rights clearance, and justifying "fair use", its becoming a painful reality that my film will probably never see the light of day. I will finish it for myself and there will be private screenings in NYC and wherever else I can book gigs, but I think I would need some kind of miracle for any film festival to accept it or by a lightning strike, a distributor (ha!) to take this baby through rights clearance.

Whenever you go on set and there's a song playing in the background, its probably a good idea to shut it off or lower the volume.

Quoted from an article at the Center for Social Media....http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/rock/finalreport.htm

"Several noted, however, that young filmmakers often learn the hard way. Student and novice filmmakers can experiment without observing current copyright law. They often borrow and use elements of popular culture with legal naïveté, regularly testifying by these acts to a widespread assumption that as participants of popular culture they have a right to re-use it. But of course such work cannot be seen outside their classrooms without clearance, and so they cannot get audiences for their work, even in a nonprofit environment."

Even in an non-profit environment. damn! you've got to be kidding.

“I’m surprised how many young people show me films, very good films that are often times fantastic, which will never see daylight because of rights issues,” said Mark Moskowitz. “In one particular case, they spent two years putting their film together. It was impactful and well thought out. Unfortunately, it will never be seen because they have 15-18 musical acts and to get the music rights released will be prohibitively expensive."


Like a theme in Woody Allen's Match Point, life is all about luck. If I get lucky, I'll let u know.

In other news, to clear my head and add my own comic weirdness to the growing internet sub-genre of recutting movie trailers, I started re-cutting Halloween as a comedy.

"Meet Michael Myers. All his life, he just wanted to make people laugh....."



Sujewa [Blog Admin] said...

Hey Wyatt,

Sorry to hear about your clearance troubles. Yeah, lots of people are clamping down on the clearance stuff but at the same time Creative Commons type people are helping to loosen up the restrictive copyright approach of old. Either way, good luck w/ getting clearance for your project. I hope you will be able to screen & sell it, since you've put a lot of work into the project.

On the flip side, it will be just as difficult for someone else to use your work in their movie w/ out your permission - I guess that's the bright side of a strong copyright enforcement encironment.


Sujewa [Blog Admin] said...

"encironment" = environment. Sorry about that.