Creative Cortex

Visual Storytelling Design & Production

It's A "GO"

After careful planning and execution, The Creative Cortex has given birth to this one idea that managed to come together into a coherent concept and is currently leaving Ideation and coming to Fruition.

Score Trek

The creative & business challenges of releasing a soundtrack

by The Creative Cortex.

Overview

There are many other documentaries and interviews that have focused on the creative process of how a score came to exist – that is not the goal of this film. Score Trek will explore the creative and business challenges associated with releasing a film score commercially to the public both past and present as well as the future.

We will also explore how such decisions influence the final product, how it has resonated with the consumer market over time and what steps it is taking to ensure its relevance as a profitable art form moving forward into the future.

Main Theme Being Addressed

The idea of change, whether for better or worse, can have its fair share of criticisms as well acceptances. Why a change occurs may or may not be so blatantly obvious when initially encountered. Quick drastic changes can be more abrupt and a source of contention versus more gradual and incremental change. This concept can be applied to almost all, if not every situation in life. The film music industry and marketplace is no more exempt from experiencing the positive and negatives of change.

How this theme will be weaved throughout the narrative:

  • • The industry changed from being a big studio run business model to the now small, independent, non-studio business model. Through such a change in the business model, a much larger catalog of music has been made commercially available to the mass public than ever before.
  • • The score albums themselves have changed over time. In the past, the content on the album may or may not have reflected the music as heard in the production for which it was composed. The music content might be re-ordered from the order of appearance in the production for a better listening experience away from the production. As modern advancements in the media formats allowed for more of the music from the production to be released, the album programs evolved to offering all the music (or as much as possible) and in film order as well as the film versions versus the composer’s original versions.
  • • In addition to the limitations of early media formats didn’t permit longer album run-times, there were licensing restriction and fees that also limited how much content could be released. Such fees and licensing issues have been changed over time that now allow for more and more content to be released.
  • • Composer involvement in the release of their music has also changed. The composer’s vision for how they would prefer their music to be presented has almost all but been extinguished due to the latest trend of offering all the music from the film and the film version of the music. Even more impactful is the digital streaming and digital downloads which allow listeners to “cherry pick” tracks to download, resulting in the extinction of the album designed for a listening experience.
  • • The overall package designs for releases has changed greatly over time. A high level of quality and serious care has been applied to the releases of the last 20 years that is unmatched to the those of yesteryears. More scores of the scores released today offer descriptive text that provide the creative insights of the composer and filmmaker’s visions for the music. This will also change at some point as the listener transitions into the digital realm where everything is digital and nothing is tangible.
  • • The minimal to almost non-existent promotional marketing efforts (outside of the blurb at the end of the end credits of a production, on a poster, home entertainment product, or entertainment related publication) would seem to be counterproductive and not allow the market to sustain itself for this long. While to some degree this approach has not changed much. The internet and social media has helped to connect the fans with the industry much more closely than it ever has. This has become the new marketing and promotional efforts as certain music labels announce clues about upcoming releases, other labels hold local CD launch events at small venues, and some even have booths at entertainment and music related conventions.

Narrative Structure

The film will begin with a thesis styled lead-in intro segment that will set the stage to what will be addressed and attempted to be answered by the film’s end. A segue into a brief historical retrospective will educate veteran fans, new fans and the public as to the evolution of the soundtrack industry. This will help to establish how the industry and its processes have changed and why.

As the film would follow along any of the above scenarios, at specific moments the film would branch away temporarily from the main “thorough fare” storyline(s) above to present segments of research consisting of narrated montages of photos and footage (archival and new), graphics or animations and interviews. Then when the segment is finished the main storyline(s) the film has is following would return.

There will be an extended Epilogue section that will address how bootlegs, the internet, iTunes – digital streaming services have affected the industry over time and what measures are being taken to sustain the industry moving into the next evolution of technology, distribution streams and marketplaces.

Research and Assets

Outside of a personal 28-year association with the film score industry from a consumer and fan perspective, an abundant amount of personal knowledge has been obtained. Over such time the sources spanned from the collecting of CDs (reading their liner notes), books, magazines, watching as many then available documentaries, featurettes, and online blogs, review sites, and forums. However, much of this information pertained to more of the creative process of conceiving and executing a film score for the film itself.

Additional research has been conducted of recent to help aid the current state of the industry which will help to make comparisons of older protocols versus the new as they pertain to how the music labels would go about releasing a film score.

To help support the research and to fill many segments with engaging visuals, the film would benefit from use of archival assets such as photos and footage both old and recent.

Legal Stuff

Acquiring, completing and notarization of all releases and licensing forms will allow me – the filmmaker - to use any videotaped footage, still photography, and audio clips of each interviewee (and others who appear in the film) to be used in the film and in related marketing and promotional efforts.

All aspects of photographs, video footage and recorded audio is subject to final approval by that person(s) before being locked into the film. Any requests for changes and alterations will be respected and executed. Any assets provided and approved for use in this documentary will also be subject to the same outlets as previously mentioned.

While filming B-Roll, I intend to avoid including anything that may require licensing and will utilize Fair Use where and whenever possible. I am currently researching Fair Use laws and obtaining a lawyer that can represent me in the event my Fair Use of assets is challenged.

Festivals, Screenings, Marketing, Promotion and Sales

  • • Possible submission to film festivals with documentary divisions.
  • • Private screenings before DVD release to get feedback and make revisions if necessary.
  • • Promotion through Social Media Sites, Soundtrack Forums, Soundtrack Podcasts, Soundtrack Music Radio Shows and Soundtrack Review Sites.
  • • DVD for purchase through Screen Archives, Amazon, on the websites of any of the specialty music labels.
  • • A soundtrack of original music composed for the film (part of DVD purchase).

Conclusion

This documentary would be a great opportunity for fans (new, current and old) to see the faces and hear the voices of all who spend so much time and money to bring such a wonderful and specialized art form to the mass public. These interviews would be your chance to speak your mind (if you so choose) so that outsiders can start having more respect to the process and all who are involved in the process.

While there may be much information already available online and in liner notes and commentaries on DVDs that speak to some of the information to be presented in this film, it is spread around in fragments of which a person would have to search for and piece together like a puzzle. This film would be the “de facto” resource for people to reference if they were to ever have questions about what goes on behind the scenes.

The ultimate goal is 2-fold. Firstly, I am a fan at heart making a film for other fans. Secondly, and more importantly, I am making this for future individuals aspiring to enter this field of work and making the subject matter accessible to the general public to invoke interest that otherwise may not have existed before.