Guest Post: Jordan Passman "Value What You Use: The Film + Music Equation"

Just because you can do something, does that mean that you should. Do short term needs always outweigh long term goals? Does obtaining services for less than they are worth make you a good producer? Last month Jordan Passman introduced us to his scoreAscore service, allowing filmmakers to connect with composers at prices they set. Today Jordan guest posts to expand on his vision to stop the marginalization of music in the film biz.

We fight for film music, and here's why:

"We won't be able to pay you but it'll be great exposure for your work!"

"This is an unpaid request."

"Ultra low budget, so no upfront fee"

There are an overwhelming amount of posts with these phrases in them on craigslist and others, and we need to stand together against them so they don’t completely ruin music for film. Films have inspired some of the greatest music of all time (Psycho, Jurassic Park, UP, Pink Panther, Star Wars & Forrest Gump), and it is our duty to keep this moving forward!

When you break down the filmmaking process, it's easy to see why music gets so frequently marginalized. Music is a final thought. A composer is almost always the last one to join the creative team, and at that point filmmakers have already spent their budget on production, talent, editors, DPs etc. The filmmakers who are posting the above headlines on craigslist exemplify a major problem in this business. Often times, they already paid their DP, editor, actors, make-up artists...but now it's time for music, and they have no money put aside for a composer, yet they expect someone to do the job at no cost. It's like losing 500 dollars in blackjack, and then being upset over the two dollar charge for the valet who parked your car. The two dollar valet fee pays the overhead and the employees’ time, but it hurts to spend that money when you're already in debt. I am confident that filmmakers still see the value in music for film, however, we need to remind them that it’s crucial to compensate composers for their hard work.

Composers should not be a last thought, but rather a key aspect of a film, one that merits fair compensation. The composers I know put everything they have into every job they have. They always deliver their best, even when they know they are underpaid or even unappreciated. It takes hundreds of hours of focus and dedication to deliver a film score (writing, orchestrating, recording, producing, mixing, mastering, etc.), and yet it's sometimes expected to be done to perfection, with little to no budget! We're in a world where the perceived value of music is less and less, and people think it can be created instantly on a computer. But in fact it takes an incredible skill set to create a powerful score. How do we instill the value of music into this artform? The solution is to put the choice into the filmmakers hands.

Because I am passionate about solving this problem, I created scoreAscore.com. I am a firm believer that "what you spend is what you get", and my experience running scoreAscore has proved this theory. Like all other creative individuals, the best scores are produced by composers who feel valued and appreciated. Anyone who has worked with professional composers on a project with a luxurious budget knows what they do to enhance a film. I want to create a healthy and fair way for media producers to find music, and for composers to contribute to projects. scoreAscore allows filmmakers to name their price for their music. The mission of scoreAscore is to value composers' work, so that all camps are happy. We can't afford to lose the professional composers in this industry, and if we don't pay them deservedly, we will lose the magic that music brings to films.

-- Jordan Passman

Jordan Passman launched scoreAscore.com in May 2010. Born and raised in LA, music has always been a huge part of Jordan’ s life. In his early career, he worked in the entertainment industry throughout college (Creative Artists Agency, Warner Bros. Studios & Warner Bros. Records). After graduating from Pitzer College, Jordan joined the Film/TV Membership Department of ASCAP (American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers) in New York.

One Way To Reduce Cost While Increasing Quality

I once had dreams that our movement away from an impulse buy based entertainment economy, over into one based on choice and commitment, would lead to greater demand and thus increased funding for diverse, ambitious work of quality. Sigh... It seems, though, that the planet I live on asks those of us who care about such things to do more for less. Unlike some, I think there is a surplus of immensely talented folk out there with great stories to tell in interesting ways. Unfortunately, it is really hard for most artists to do great work on their own. And that's where producers come in. So it's completely frustrating when we are trying to do more work, but there is far less funds available to work with. What are we supposed to do? Fortunately, not only does the technology improve, but there are some people out there who keep coming up with good ideas for our benefit. Today, I have a new one of those for you, one that can help you produce good movies for less money: scoreAscore.

I am going to let xcoreAscore's founder tell you all about it:

I’m Jordan Passman, founder and CEO of scoreAscore.com. I created scoreAscore to connect professional music composers and quality media producers. Why scoreAscore? There are big project owners who can pick up the phone and call one of the top film composer agencies to find what they need. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are film producers scrounging through overwhelming music libraries looking for great music.

With our Name-Your-Price system, scoreAscore.com gives you original music in an easy-to-use, safe and efficient environment. Each composer is a professional who has been personally screened; some have even won Emmys and been nominated for Academy Awards.

We offer 24/7 access to composers and their music, with a mission to pair the next John Williams with the next Steven Spielberg. Our current clients include: Directors, Producers, Ad Agencies, Video Game Publishers, Trailer Houses, Music Supervisors and more! Check us out. Feel free to reach out to me directly at anytime.

Take 50 seconds to check out this animation, explaining how scoreAscore works: scoreAscore.com/learnmore.php

Happy Scoring!

Jordan Passman

CEO/scoreAscore.com jordan@scoreAscore.com

Jordan Passman launched scoreAscore.com in May 2010. Born and raised in LA, music has always been a huge part of Jordan' s life. In his early career, he worked in the entertainment industry throughout college (Creative Artists Agency, Warner Bros. Studios & Warner Bros. Records). After graduating from Pitzer College, Jordan joined the Film/TV Membership Department of ASCAP (American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers) in New York.