1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hello, Guest! Do you have any shopping to do at Amazon? You can help support Magic Music by using our special link. Thank you!
    Dismiss Notice

Is there a set Policy on how Disney Artists/Musicians are compensated?

Discussion in 'Archive' started by Kenster, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. Kenster

    Kenster Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    From time to time, we touch on the subject of whether a CD (i.e. Parade of Dreams) can be released or not based on the profability of its release.

    I have been curious for awhile now on how the artists and musicians are paid for their services. Cash, check or Disney dollars? Seriously though, let's use the Paul Frees estate for an example. Was his estate paid all at once for the use of his voice? On the opposite side, Did Thurl Ravenscroft receive royalties? Is it different from artist to artist, or is Disney policy the same for all? Has policy changed over time? Are royalties old fashioned or difficult to keep up with? Is a lump payment for past work the preferred way to go? Are there cases were the artists are not paid? Jack Wagner used some of his records for BGM after all. Is Fess Parker still in on the take? I think the cases are many and unique. If Randy releases a vintage recording, are the artists or estates paid again?
     
  2. Randy Thornton

    Randy Thornton Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2002
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    6
    Great series of questions Kenster! Legally, I can?t speak about any particular artist or their contracts. But, by using examples [and theoretical examples only], I?ll try to explain the legal labyrinth as best I can.

    Q: ? let's use the Paul Frees estate for an example. Was his estate paid all at once for the use of his voice?

    A: It depends on the artist?s contract. Some are paid as a ?buy-out? meaning they are paid once for unlimited use. That may also be determined by the project ? one project can be a ?buy-out? and another would require re-payment in full or a portion of for additional uses. Say, for example, Mr. Artist is a buy-out for all of his recordings used in ?A Big Pirate Ride? and the ?Spooky House?, but may require ?new-use? fees for his recordings for ?An Evening with Mr. Taft? and ?The Shrink Machine? as well as recordings (demos) that weren?t actually used in the final productions of any of the above. All the latter are possible instances of ?new-use? payments.

    Q: On the opposite side, Did Thurl Ravenscroft receive royalties?

    A: As mentioned above, some of an artists work could be ?buy-out? while some are ?Royalty Baring?.

    Q: Is it different from artist to artist, or is Disney policy the same for all?

    A: It?s all different ? from artist to artist as well as project to project.

    Q: Has policy changed over time?

    A: The policy is in constant flux, and subtle changes happen all the time. The primary changes happen with the development of new technologies. I should also point out that it?s not Disney?s Policy but that of AFTRA (American Federation of Radio and Television Artists), and the AFofM (American Federation of Muscians) that determine rates and what is fair compensation for services of the artists, while ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers), and BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) protects the songwriters and composers.

    Q: Are royalties old fashioned or difficult to keep up with?

    A: Quite difficult as there really is no standard contract. There is a basic formula, but each situation, though somewhat similar, are unique unto themselves.

    Q: Is a lump payment for past work the preferred way to go?

    A: The lump some is preferred, in this instance, for the record label ? as the fees have already been paid. However, if the project is hugely successful and the artist was paid a minimum but acceptable fee, then the artist could be on the shorter end of the stick after all is said and done. Additional or ?new-use? fees often prohibit a project from happening particularly if it is older and a little more obscure than mainstream. Because in addition to the product costs itself, the label has to recoup the ?new-use? fees as well. There are also instances where a recording is done without the proviso that it may be released on a record. When that happens, the record label is responsible for repayment of the entire recording even though the artists and musicians were already paid. Example: Song B was recorded using Artist C with a full orchestra at a cost of $80,000. If it was not in the contract to release this recording on a CD, the record label has to pay that $80,000 again. Meaning that the artists and musicians received $160,000 for the one gig. This is to ensure that these artists aren?t being exploited and makes the end users clearly state what the final uses are. If the originators of the project don?t have all their ducks lined up, it could prohibit the CD release of the recording.

    Q: Are there cases were the artists are not paid?

    A: Sometimes an artist is on staff and their salary is considered fair and just payment. But this practice is rarely utilized anymore if at all.

    Q: Jack Wagner used some of his records for BGM after all.

    A: BGM is considered ?Atmosphere? and seeing that it is not ?for sale? falls under the same guidelines as radio stations. Radio stations pay ASCAP and BMI a flat rate and provide these organizations with a detailed list of what was aired. Record labels and the artists see radio play as promotions so they receive no financial compensation. However, if a record label were to take a song from a BGM loop and put it on an album, the owners of that piece ? both publishing and artists ? would expect to be compensated as the record label sells it and someone is profiting.

    Q: I think the cases are many and unique.

    A: You betcha!

    Q: If Randy releases a vintage recording, are the artists or estates paid again?

    A: If it is in their contract, yes. I do a lot of research to find out who is on a vintage album (as it?s not always part of the print) and make sure each artist, composer, and publisher is rightfully compensated. If we aren?t reasonably sure who is on the recording, we don?t release it until we do. It?s very important to me that these artists we?ve enjoyed for years should be compensated for the re-issue of these albums. This is what bothers me the most about ?bootlegging?. If you offer a recording for sale, you are obligated to fairly compensate those involved with making that recording in the first place. Anything else is not only unethical, but shows nothing but contempt and disrespect for those artists, composers, and musicians you supposedly admire.

    There are more twists and turns in the process than I?ve mentioned, but I think this should give you a good idea of just what goes on.

    Thanks for the great post!

    Randy Thornton
     
  3. SharonKurland

    SharonKurland Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2002
    Messages:
    1,209
    Likes Received:
    0
    VERY interesting. Thank-you, Randy!

    > However, if a record label were to take a song from a BGM loop
    > and put it on an album, the owners of that piece ? both
    > publishing and artists ? would expect to be compensated as the
    > record label sells it and someone is profiting.

    So I guess this is another reason why BGM is released, huh?

    Here's my question, if you don't mind. Nearly all stage shows, at least at WDW, are never released on CD. BT&B has been playing since 1990-ish, Hoop Dee Doo since the 1970's, the Adventurers Club since 1989, etc. The Hunchback Show was available on WDW Forever for a short period of time, but it was just the background music and the instrumentals of the vocals, but not the vocals themselves....and then it wasn't availabe anymore. Why are the stage shows, for the most part, never released? Is it a Union thing (I know that all of the "face" performers must be Equity)? Or is it another example of the twists and turns you mention?

    -Sharon-
    Orlando FL
     
  4. brianfreno

    brianfreno Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    0
    ha ha ha - nicely done

    very interesting post indeed. thanks!
     
  5. tcsnwhite

    tcsnwhite Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am also curious about the stage shows and parades?
    Does it have to do with unions and performer issues, or is it simply the case of not having their ducks lined up - or sometimes not even caring whether the music will be available for purchase?

    it seems to me that in some cases, the creative team or whoever is producing the show or parade doesn't specifically and closely work with whoever is putting down the legal guidelines for the use of the music in a format such as a contract, then it pretty much seals the deal that the music won't get released?
     
  6. Dr. Know

    Dr. Know Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2002
    Messages:
    691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you, Randy, for taking the time to respond to this question in such a thorough manner. This is the answer to so many requests posted on this board over the years that the thread should really be made into a "sticky."

    Jim
     
  7. Zarpman

    Zarpman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2002
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    1
    To attempt to add fuel to Sharon's question, I presume the reason that "Hunchback" was released without vocals is because... well, they were'nt recorded that way. The stage performers sang the music during this show. Randy mentioned a while back that Walt Disney World Forever wasn't actually edited or produced in any way suitable for hearing; mainly just a bunch of soundtracks dumped from the master recordings.

    ... but then, this doesn't hold entirely accurate as "Festival of the Lion King" DID include vocals on Walt Disney World, and they are performed live in the park too. Maybe these recordings were made because they knew they would be releasing a CD (although the official CD release would come a few years after Walt Disney World Forever's demise).

    Also, The Voyage of the Little Mermaid has vocals on its tracks. Now, this one is a mixed bag. Sometimes Ariel is performing and other times she is lip-syncing. Obviously, Sebastion is always mouthing to a vocal track. Maybe they used the tracks with vocals on Walt Disney World Forever since they already existed for the not-so-musical Ariel performances?

    The mystery continues...
     
  8. Disneymagic022

    Disneymagic022 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great topic, I had heard once through the grape vine that The voice of the monorail was paid in the form of a silver pass. He is a DCR Cast member. Maybe they just give everyone mickey money and call it a day :O)
     
  9. SharonKurland

    SharonKurland Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2002
    Messages:
    1,209
    Likes Received:
    0
    The current voice of the spanish announcements at WDW works at Coronado Springs .
     
  10. BLM07

    BLM07 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2002
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    0
    I realize that this thread is somewhat old by now, but there are a couple of things about movie albums that I've wondered about for some time. I'm gonna use the Lion King soundtrack for examples. Of course, I am talking about the musical movies of the past.

    1. Why can't they put more score on to releases? I (sort of) took the score out of the Lion King DVD, and the nearly everything (all music and songs minus about 6 minutes) could fit on a 80 minute CD with the 2 Elton John songs not in the movie.

    2. Do artists get paid the same amount no matter how much score is used on the CD?

    3. Order. Score is always after all the songs, which is annoying. In the case of the special edition of Lion King, Morning Report is after all the original songs, if a person doesn't want to hear it won't they just skip it no matter where it is? Things always seem to be out of order.

    My guess is the answer to all questions might be the target audience, most people don't notice much of the score missing and kids just want the songs. I'll admit sometimes when listening to movie score it can get repeatative, but in the Lion King I can listen to the whole thing.
     
  11. Dirk

    Dirk Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey there, Hi there, Ho there,

    the Lion King OST is an interesting example - because the German releases of the CD always included one extra track from the score titled "hyenas" right before "...under the stars". I had expected it to be included in the "Special Edition" of the US-release but alas it was not, while it was included once again in the German release of the "Special Edition".

    From German contracts with orchestras for movie scoring I can tell you that the amount of material that can be released on a CD is decided in the contract negotiations. Usually the players agree only with a partial public release, hoping that they can negotiate for extra payment if a complete CD is to be released at a later time due to outstanding sucess. The movie producers are not really interested in paying more for a full right to release everything in the first place as today still score CDs do in most cases not bring in that big sales money, so they see paying for full rights, which they do not need, as a waste.


    Yours
    Dirk
     

Share This Page