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Make it LONGER!

Discussion in 'Archive' started by Dirk, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. Dirk

    Dirk Member

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    Hey there, Hi there, Ho there,

    after a weekend just browsing through my Disney-CD-collection to relax a bit I just have to let off some steam on this board ... is WDR in a race with some other record company who can release the shortest CD??

    The running length of some of the latests releases are just ridiculous - and I'm not speaking of CD as "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" or "Happiest Millionaire" where, as we all know in the mean time, legal problems stopped Randy from adding more material, heck I'm not even speaking of the Official Theme Park Albums which click in around 60 minutes. I'm speaking of e.g.

    1. "Best of Annette" - 3X:XX minutes! Sorry, why that?? They released a CD-set several years ago, so they have enough material restored for a CD-release and must have cleared the legal problems, and that old CD-set isn't available any more, so there is no need to hold the material back (as long as no rerelease of the CD-set is planned which I would doubt). And as I'm venting right now anyway, did anybody notice they didn't even worry to name the duet-partner of Annette on the "Best of"-CD??

    2. "Woody's Roundup" - 29:39 minutes! WOW, they managed to breake the 30-minute mark.

    3. "Scream Factory Favorites" - 3X:XX minutes. Not only am I still waiting to find any connection between the country sound and Monsters Inc. that would make any sense, but also I wonder: are the "Riders in the Sky" the biggest superstars of Country so that WDR can't afford to let them record more than 30 minutes of at best mediocre children's country songs??

    4. "Lilo & Stitch" - 39:XX minutes. Hey, we've got a wonderful score, but no, let's not release it, fans of the movie might buy it, let's just release more old Elvis songs - the world is craving for them, especially as countless best of Elvis CDs are released this year too, thanks to the anniversary.

    5. "Lilo & Stitch Island Favorites" - 3X:XX minutes. Damned, we actually sold some of the OSTs for the movies. I guess we have to do something against it. Let's move the release date of this summer-feel-good-compilation CD back into late fall, early winter and don't promote it. Mmmh, think we might still sell too many copies?? I've got a great idea! Let's only use old, very old material, add the same two Hawaiian songs we had on the original soundtrack and keep the playing time short! Never mind that we have plenty of score not yet released which could have been put inbetween the old songs on the CD creating a wonderful mixture, never mind that we have all the Hawaiian music from the polynesian resort at WDW which we could have released thereby getting all the WDW-fans and guests of the hotels as additional customers...

    6. "Santa Clause 2" - 3X:XX minutes. Did you hear the latest? The movie division is promoting this movie like mad, even more than "Treasure Planet" for which we released an OST with a decent length. This is hideous! We have to do something against this movie becoming a full fledged success!! I've got a great idea, let's release a CD with music from the movie as short as possible, so that all the teenagers instead will opt for the "Radio Disney Holiday Jam", or if they buy the CD will really, really be upset. All we have to do is not release more than one track with score!


    While WDR (BVR) is doing great from a collector's point of view with the re-release / first time release on CD of old soundtracks I'm fearing they are in a very sucessfull process of getting rid of their "normal" customers - in the last year or half a year I'm getting more and more fellow Disney fans who ask me wether it is worth buying a certain Disney CD, something that never happened in the past, when they just bought if it looked good, something it seems they are no longer doing. The result? I don't know a single(!) Disney fan who is NOT into music but is just a general Disney fan who bought the "Lilo & Stitch" soundtrack, while I could name quiet a few who bought the soundtracks of the earlier movies....




    Yours
    Dirk (sorry for the long angry post)
     
  2. BLM07

    BLM07 Member

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    I don't understand why they can't just have 2 releases of the soundtrack and the score like most movies do.
     
  3. thx99

    thx99 Real-life Harry Caul Moderator Playlist Author

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    Score CDs are VERY expensive to release, due to the reuse fees which must be paid by the music label. The score is recorded first and foremost to accompany the theatrical release of the film. If a label wishes to release a CD of the score, they must essentially pay the musicians again for their performance since the label is "using" their work again. I'm not sure how DVD/VHS releases factor in, but I'm guessing that they are written in with the original agreement.

    Certainly everyone can understand that; however, up until recently, the reuse fees were priced through the roof (especially considering how many musicians are involved) and were purchased in ~15 minute blocks. This explains why a great number of film score releases, such as on the Varese Sarabande label, are around 30 minutes in length. Believe it or not, it is often less expensive to rerecord a score than it is to release the original recordings!!

    The musicians' union has loosened up a bit and now offers lower fees, requiring that the CD be a limited release ( latest release.
     
  4. Dirk

    Dirk Member

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    Hey there, Hi there, Ho there,

    your post THX99 was very interesting - I wonder: was the score release of "Princess Diaries" maybe already realized under these new rules? I don't know about the "limited" part but it has all the musicians listed in the booklet (or should I say folded cover?).

    But: while this explains the problem with score releases, I still stand with my original post, which frankly comes down to the question: why should anyone buy a CD from Walt Disney Records anymore? With the current trend to shorter releases at WDR basically you get half the amount of music for the same price other labels charge for their releases. Looking at releases as e.g. "Lilo&Stitch" the question must be: isn't the normal Disney fan better off waiting for the next "Best of Disney Music"-compilation which will most propably include the best of the movie's songs together with the hits from other Disney movies instead of paying full price for half a CD now??

    Honestly: the current release policy of WDR makes me grow more and more disenchanted with Disney CDs ... and just based on how lively the discussion about Disney CDs were on the board in the past and how slow they are now I believe most of us are in a similiar situation, even so I obviously are a bit more "angry" right now...


    Yours
    Dirk
     
  5. thx99

    thx99 Real-life Harry Caul Moderator Playlist Author

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    You've hit the nail on the head, Bill. It is the Union (the American Federation of Musicians) which wields the most power. The system is designed such that any use of the music outside of the film warrants a reuse fee. I don't know of any film in which the score CD was worked into the original contract, but it seems plausible, especially for films which would definitely have a score release (i.e., Star Wars films).

    [Edit: Just remembered that the Star Wars film scores were recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, which is obviously not a member of the AFM; therefore, the AFM reuse fees do not apply to the CD releases of the scores.]

    If I were a musician, I'd be thrilled on one hand that the AFM was in my corner; however, if their policies and fees prohibited the release of a score CD on which I performed, my thrill may turn to frustration.

    BTW, here's a link to a brief description of the changes made to the original AFM reuse fee policy:
    http://www.filmscore.org/quickies/quiknote...l.asp?NoteID=43
    It describes the conditions differently than what I remembered, but then again, I may have been mistaken in my previous post. Since virtually all score CDs sell fewer than 25,000 copies, this new agreement would apply to all score releases.
     
  6. thx99

    thx99 Real-life Harry Caul Moderator Playlist Author

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    Thanks!

    It's very possible that PD was released under the new agreement. However, another wrinkle in this topic is the fact that all orchestras/ensembles which perform film scores in the US are not necessarily members of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Union, which means that the high AFM reuse fees may not apply to a particular score CD.

    And reuse fees for orchestras in Europe, Asia, etc., tend not to be as high or the CD release is negotiated upfront. One positive side effect of John Williams preferring to use the London Symphony Orchestra on most of his high-profile film score recordings. :)


    As to WDR's recent trend of short CD releases, you've got me on that one. Easier to produce? Less overhead?
     
  7. Dirk

    Dirk Member

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    Princess Diaries - the Score recorded by union members

    ... a late addition to the question "Princess Diaries - the Score recorded by union members?" ...


    a close look to the back of the jewel case shows a little graphic in the lower right corner looking a bit like a state-seal which reads - if you look very, very close - "American Federation of Musicians". Even so there is no mentioning of the word "union" I assume that this indicates that the orchestra members are members of the union and the recording therefor is governed by the union regulation thx99 explained earlier in this thread, which makes it highly likely that the CD "Princess Diaries - the Score" was actually a first release under the new regulations for "score-releases".

    But this brings the question up: was the CD a limited release as the new regulations allow, so less than 3000 copies?? If so, why didn't Disney state that on the CD? And even worse: the CD was still available in quiet a few CD-shops in the LA area in mid-November ... let's hope Disney had so much believe in the score that they negotiated for a release with more than 3000 copies because if this was a test how well a score CD with 3000 copies sells I doubt it was a very successful test...



    Dirk
     
  8. deviantman

    deviantman New Member

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    Hi,
    The limited edition of 3000 copies for score CDs covers more than just an agreement with the music union but also with the movie studios that pay for the music in the first place which also includes when the recording was made. New recordings are expensive, but old achived music is more reasonable but still not cheap, that's why Disney's classic music vault is so tight.
    If you remember a few years back, Disney and Intrada Records made some sort of arrangement to issue score CDs like Honey I Blew Up The Kid (41:06) and Homeward Bound (30:59) both by Bruce Broughton. Both albums probably sold well under 3000 copies, but that is to be expected. Score albums do not sell like wildfire unless there is popular demand, like Ghost had several years ago... for a particular song, not the score!

    It was great for Disney to issue a score album to showcase John Debney's music for Princess Diaries but how many copies were sold? Record labels like intrada and Varese Sarabande learned the hard way just how many score albums to press from collector demand. Old CDs like Spies Like Us are in abundant supply because too many were pressed, that's why many unique scores are now being issed under limited pressings of 3000. 3000 copies, as it turns out is plenty for an average album.

    Disney joined the limited edition bandwagon but decided to press 60,000 copies (Fantasia 2000) or 30,000 copies (Lilo & Stitch), but only the packaging artwork is rare not the CD which was mass produced and marketed in every Walmart across the country. Many record labels would love to issue long forgotten Disney film scores, but Disney imposes Re-use fees that no one can afford.

    You just have to be lucky that something has been issed. I only hope that someday The Black Hole (John Barry) and The Dark Crystal (Trevor Jones... hopefully due in Jan/Feb 2003 expanded to 70 mins) among othet great Disney scores will be transfered and preserved on CD.
     
  9. Dirk

    Dirk Member

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    Hi there, Hey there, Ho there,

    I absolutely feel lucky for every piece of score that gets released - and this does inlcude the Priness Diaries release.

    All that I wanted to point out with the last post of mine in this thread was that if the Princess Diaries score CD was limited to 3,000 copies due to the regulations the release was governed by as created by the union of the musicians this means: they didn't sell that many based on the number of copies still to be found in the stores.

    As you pointed out with your comparison to Varese Sarabande (who I'm still angry at for abondoning the show music area by the way) 3,000 may be a high number for score only releases as only a few scores are getting true "hits" (from the "recent" Disney past the only one I would list as a "hit" is "The Rock" which never claimed a chart position as far as I know but which still has decent sale numbers just based on the talks I had with some major CD-shops in my town) - but: if you only make a limited release why don't you tell this the customer??

    I think this is a perfect example for one of the big problems of the WDC in recent years: their once stellar marketing has gun sub-average (another example: Lilo&Stitch was released on the big screen this spring and jumped to the number one spot of the movie-charts but got no extra advertisment as this happened - when the Elvis anniversary came along while the movie was still playing on the big screen, even so not on chart position number one, it screamed for an advertisment featuring Stitch as Elvis trying to tie in the Elvis-craze - but they missed it again).

    Now back to the CD: if you market a 30,000 or 60,000 copy release as "limited", why don't you do it with a "3,000" copy release? You don't need to print the individual number on every case, as this might increase the costs, but put a sticker on the jewel case or print it on the cover: "Limited Edition" - this can help increase the sale ... and does cost nothing if you incorporate it in the cover-art. I waited nearly a year till I bought the CD ... and I would have bought it earlier if I knew it was limited, just because I would have feared I wouldn't be able to get a copy later on, and I assume there are more customers out there who get an extra incentive to buy a CD if it is limited.



    Yours
    Dirk
     

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