Here are the job opportunities (or as we like to call them, Grind Opps) from this week's show.
GRIND OPP #1
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles based record label looking for rock producer.
GRIND OPP #2
Junior Audio Mixer
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Music and video production company in LA seeks freelance audio mixer.
GRIND OPP #3
Live Sound Engineer
Location: New York, NY
New York City venue seeks Live Audio Engineer
GRIND OPP #4
Location: Newton, MA
Online promotional company seeks Production Associate
GRIND OPP #5
Location: San Francisco, CA
San Francisco entertainment company seeks a Production Coordinator.
GRIND OPP #6
Film / TV Editor
Location: New York, NY
One of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment seeks an editor in NYC.
GRIND OPP #7
Radio Board Operator
Location: Houston, TX
Houston radio station seeks board operator to come aboard the team.
GRIND OPP #8
On Air Radio Talk Show Host
Location: Des Moines, IA
Des Moines station seeks vibrant, lively talk show host for on air segments.
GRIND OPP #10
Location: Kennett Square, PA
Fast paced restaurant in Kennett Square seeks line cook.
DJ IZ: I’m your host, DJ IZ. I got my lovely Miss Giggles host. Cloie, say what’s up.
Cloie: Happy Monday, let’s get some movement.
DJ IZ: Let’s get it going. Now, we got quite a busy show, but before we go into that, I just, as you can see, we’re back in our home, which is Roland. So shout-out to Roland for allowing us to kick our feet up and hang out, and relax on the day show.
DJ IZ: You know, today is all about Monday movement, and here we are.
DJ IZ: Live and direct in L.A., California.
Cloie: We live, you all.
DJ IZ: We’re live, yeah. So we got a lot of things going on, and I want to just…let’s just get to it.
Cloie: Love it.
DJ IZ: So, we have two guests on the show today, so…
Cloie: [inaudible 00:01:24]
DJ IZ: …before we get into our guests, I want to encourage our viewers to actually get your questions in.
Cloie: Get it in now, because we are moving today.
DJ IZ: Yeah, because when we hit this Q&A, it’s gonna go really fast.
Cloie: It is. And also, for that chat. The chat is in your upper right-hand corner of your screen, so make sure that you can engage with us there.
DJ IZ: Absolutely. So first guest we got up is Steve Gordon.
Cloie: He is an entertainment lawyer, and an author, and just a million other things. And we have him coming to us virtually today. His latest book, “The 11 Contracts That Every Artist, Songwriter, and Producer Should Know.” He’s got over 20 years of business in the legal side of the music business. And has repped Atlantic and Electra, and has also been the Director of Business Affairs for Sony.
We all like to hear about business affairs. That’s how you know when you’re doing it right, when you’re talking business affairs. For more than 10 years. And today, Steve is offering great legal advice for artists, songwriters, and music producers. So Steve, are you with us?
DJ IZ: Are you with us, Steve?
Cloie: This is also the point where I say we’re live.
DJ IZ: We are live.
Cloie: And this is life.
DJ IZ: I don’t know. Should we try the volume on the TV?
Cloie: We can totally try. Steve, are you there?
DJ IZ: Are you there, Steve? Are you with us? Is he here, folks? Is he here?
Cloie: There he is.
DJ IZ: There he is. All right. How’s it going, man?
Steve: Hello? Are we on?
Cloie: Steve, can you hear? Yes. Can you hear us?
DJ IZ: You’re here.
Steve: Let me increase the volume. I can…okay, I think I can hear you.
DJ IZ: Okay, cool.
Cloie: We can hear you.
Steve: Oh, okay. Now I hear you better.
Cloie: Perfect. Fantastic. Welcome, welcome, welcome.
DJ IZ: Cool. So, Steve, we’re gonna get this rolling, man. You know, we kind of just want to dive into this. As you know, our viewers range from songwriters, producers, engineers. You know, we have tons of film students, people who are into the film aspect. And, you know, just to kind of get them up to speed, man, I kinda want to just kinda dive into your book and the reason, you know, for writing it, and what you were thinking in terms of going that route as far as putting a book out.
Steve: Okay. Just getting a copy for you now. Oh, here it is.
DJ IZ: Oh, we got one, too.
Cloie: Yes, we do.
DJ IZ: We got one, too. We’re representing over here, too.
Steve: Nicely done.
Cloie: So Steve, what made you want to decide to write your book?
Steve: It started as a series of articles that I started to write for a blog called Visual Music News. And after I published several of the articles, I realized that it could make a good book. Both the articles of the book are based on my actual experience as an entertainment lawyer in private practice. I often get clients who are emerging artists, or new artists, or songwriters and producers.
And they come in with contracts that need review or to prepare contracts for them. So, for instance, last week, a musician/producer asked me to create a contract between herself and an artist, because she’s going to…she wrote a song and she’s gonna record the song with the artist. And she wanted to make it clear who owned the song, and what royalties the artist would receive.
This week, in fact, this morning, I was just finishing up reviewing a management agreement for a new singer/songwriter who has a lot of talent and a very promising career ahead of her. And I marked that off. There were some big problems with that management agreement that we’re gonna try to fix. But the inspiration for the book was my actual practice, and dealing with these new or emerging singer/songwriters/producers and what have you, and the issues that they come in and want me to work on.
DJ IZ: Interesting.
Steve: Now, I would, as one additional thing, if you look for a contract like a producing deal, or you look for a management agreement online, you’re probably not gonna find anything, because I’ve looked. And so this book provides, perhaps, the only place where you can actually see what these agreements look like.
And, more than that, because as my own law firm would tell me, forms for dummies, I give you the form, but I also explain it, with introductions, and annotations for all the key provisions. You not only have a form of agreement, you know what it means.
Cloie: I mean, that’s, like…
DJ IZ: Yeah, that’s a good…that’s definitely a good [inaudible 00:06:42], which brings me to, you know, something that I always get, and I’m sure you might always get this, but, you know, folks, whether you’re a music creator, you’re in film, or doing anything in the arts at a, you know, at aspiring professional level, people always want to know, at what point do I get a lawyer involved?
You know, do I need to have a lawyer go to this meeting with me? I mean, can you kinda just kinda, like, give some insight on when that needs to happen, when the engagement of a lawyer needs to be brought in?
Steve: I mean, it’s a great question, and I get people who can sometimes barely afford to pay me and I work something out with them. But people will just have no money at all, and one of the things that this book does, it offers a chapter on what you can do and what you should do, what you can and should do without a lawyer.
So let me give you some tips, for those people who don’t have the wherewithal to hire somebody on a retainer now, for say, \$1,500 to \$2,500. What they should and can do, by themselves, if they write songs, they’re a songwriter or they’re an artist who write songs, or they’re a producer that helps create songs, they should become members of ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. These are the…
DJ IZ: Absolutely.
Steve: …what you call performance rights organizations. Now, they’re all free or charge a nominal amount to join, and without them, you can’t get paid for your performance of your songs on radio, television, or the internet. So, without them, you won’t get paid what you call public performance royalties. Now, what if you, like an artist, songwriter, and you say, “Well, I don’t really get anything. I mean, I’m not on radio. I’m not on commercial radio.”
But here’s the answer to that. You should join because each of these organizations, and you can only join one, but they all have a program where if you give them set lists of your performance, say you’re playing sidewalk cafe in New York, or you’re out in L.A., there are probably a lot of places that singer/songwriters are playing for free. If you give a set list to your PRO, performance rights organization, whether it’s ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC, they will pay you, and they’ll take your word for it.
If you just show them the songs that you perform, which you’ve written, they’ll actually pay you. I have a client, friend, got paid \$1250 each quarter from doing this with SESAC. But BMI and ASCAP have it as well. And of course, I have links to all these organizations in my book. But if you have a pencil and you’re a singer/songwriter, or you’re playing your own music, EMI Live, ASCAP on Stage, SESAC Live Performance, go to bmi.com, ascap.com, sesac.com and you’ll find the page where it’ll give you more instructions on how to get paid.
One other suggestion I would make, is to register with the U.S. Copyright Office. It’s pretty easy to do. You can do it on your own. You don’t need a lawyer. Just read the instructions at www.copyright.gov. And for \$35 you can register your song. For \$55, you can register a group of your songs. And the reason that this is important, is without registration, you can’t sue anybody and if you register it after an infringement, you don’t get the benefits of the registration, which are attorney’s fees and \$150,000 in statutory damages.
So, it’s a big weapon if you do it right, and a good defense in case anybody steals your music. And there’s a myth that sending your song or the lyrics certified mail to yourself will protect you. It doesn’t do anything. The only way to get protections of the copyright law is to register it with the copyright office.
DJ IZ: That’s actually…that’s incredible information. I’m actually…I’ve been with BMI, I want to say, for the last 25 years. And, you know, I think, for me even, as a creator, to be able to see them evolve, as you both and I know, the industry from all aspects has evolved and has had to evolve because of, you know, obviously, other things like piracy and downloading and just, you know, the financials aren’t there like they used to be.
So that’s extremely helpful information. You know, one last question, too, because, you know, I’ve been in music all my life and I’ve dealt with an array of attorneys, and, you know, you always hear the horror stories of folks that have had just bad deals done by attorneys and everything. And, you know, I always have this rule of thumb is, you know, attorneys like…they would like for you to believe that you work for them.
But at the end of the day, they work for you. How important is it, even just from your, you know, experience or your career as a lawyer, just to always remain in good rapport with your clients?
Steve: Well, let me give you an example of how a lawyer can help. One day, I got a call from a father in Canada of an 18-year old singer/songwriter. And he said, “Steve, first of all, are you an entertainment lawyer?” So I assured him I was. He said, “My daughter is a brilliant singer and a brilliant songwriter,” and I hear that a lot. But when he sent me some of her music, even though I’m not an A&R, I knew she was special.
And then, he sent me the agreement that two guys in New York had offered her. One guy was a producer and the other guy came from investment banking. And the agreement that he sent me is what I refer to as the contract from hell. And it comes in various forms. This one would have required her to pay 40% of her income from the entertainment business forever. And they were here exclusive recording company, and exclusive management, and it was just two guys.
And they were out for a hustle. Now, if they had put this in an offer, I could have worked with them. But they put signature lines when they sent it to her in Canada. And that is really bad [inaudible 00:13:05]. And of course, I persuaded them not to sign it. Now, where a lawyer can help is to prevent a person, artist, from entering the contract from hell. But in addition to that, I hooked her up with management.
Now, this girl had a quarter of a million followers in Vine, and already put a song up on iTunes. That was the second best seller to Ed Sheeran in singer/songwriter category. So she was already getting, you know, letters from junior people at the labels kind of interested in her. And she did all of this without anybody, without a record company or management. And that’s how those two guys found out about her.
I hooked her up with very powerful management, represents a lot of stars, celebrities. And the head of the management company did take an interest in her, recognized her talent, and the next thing we knew, there was a bidding war between the major record labels. And I mean a real bidding war. She met with Sony one day, and the president of Warner Records flew in that night because he had heard that Sony wanted to sign her.
Anyway, she got a million-dollar deal. She’s now a household name in Canada. She just won a big JUNO award, and she’s soon going to probably be famous in the United States. And all of that started with the contract from hell that I helped her not to sign. So that’s how a lawyer can help.
Steve: So I wanted to give you a positive story.
DJ IZ: That’s awesome, man. You know, unfortunately, there’s more horror stories than there is positive. But I think, you know, the great thing, too, man, is that, you know, in this day and age, I mean, we still have people like yourself on the other end, you know, who really provide that pathway and gateway for aspiring creators, songwriters, producers, and artists.
And, you know, it doesn’t surprise me, but to me it’s very, like, unfortunate that fools are out here still trying to take people for everything they possibly can. Like, I mean, I was like, dude, because you see it happen so many times and it’s like…
Cloie: Yeah, you sure do.
DJ IZ: …at some point, man, you’re still on that? It’s like…
Cloie: As long as people will bite why wouldn’t they do it?
DJ IZ: As long as people will bite and, you know, and I think that’s key. I mean, when you can have access to, you know, a guy like Steve who can…
Cloie: Because it’s amazing.
DJ IZ: Yeah, who can show you what, you know, what ugly looks like. It’s like, you don’t want to do that. This is what you wanna do. Hold off on that, you know.
Cloie: Wait, speaking of hold off, can we bump into our GrindOpp 1? Steve, we’ll be right back with you in just one second.
Steve: Sure. Okay, absolutely.
Cloie: All right, rolling it for GrindOpp 1. Hit it, you all.
DJ IZ: First GrindOpp of the day is in the field of music producer, Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles based record label looking to rock producer. Looking for rock producer. Manage all phases of production process from recording to product ordering to delivery. Ensure all production materials are created to production spec, accurate, and error-free. Communicate and manage recording/production/delivery deadlines. Now, here’s what’s great.
Cloie: Hit it.
DJ IZ: What I love about this details, this is the first details we actually had that said error-free. And what people don’t realize is, like, for all our viewers who are tuning, a lot of these environments are error-free. There’s no room for mistakes.
DJ IZ: There’s no room for figure it out the moment you get there. Like, you know, and…
Cloie: You’re right. This is actually…this is the first time somebody said don’t oop up.
DJ IZ: Error.
DJ IZ: Yeah.
Cloie: Don’t mess up.
DJ IZ: But, and it’s funny, because, like, even when I get a chance to talk to folks and, you know, they’re aspiring engineers or producers or anything of that nature, it’s like, you know, the first thing you have to understand, there’s no room for mess-ups. Man, this is like you get in there, you gotta know your gear if you’re gonna be an engineer.
DJ IZ: You gotta be able to go, you know, because that time of you not knowing something, somebody’s having to pay for that.
DJ IZ: And I always said, “Man, I’m not teaching anybody on…
Cloie: On your dime.
DJ IZ: …my dime anymore. I’ve done my fair share of community service. Those days are over. But that’s extremely important, and, you know, again, that was in California.
Cloie: That was totally in California. Should we bounce back to Steve?
DJ IZ: Let’s bounce back to Steve.
Cloie: We got more… Steve, we’re bouncing back to you, okay?
DJ IZ: Are you there, Steve?
Steve: Yes, I’m here. And I did want to add something. You know, I wanted to add that, you know, I’ve heard stories of bad lawyers. I was at Sony Music for 10 years, and everybody I dealt with, including the lawyers for the artists were, like, really good and had a lot of integrity. I know there are some bad lawyers out there, like there are in any field, but the way to avoid that horror story, I heard about one guy, one lawyer in Philadelphia, who charged a lot of money, promising a lot of things, shop the records, get you a deal, and then the client hardly heard back anything.
One way of avoiding that, to the extent there are bad lawyers, is don’t offer them a lot of money up front. Just like anything else, like hiring a home improvement contractor or somebody to repair your kitchen, pay them in installments and see if they’re doing a good job for you. And even for me, I don’t ask for a lot of money up front. I’ll ask for a \$1500 retainer against a certain number of hours, and if the client thinks I’m doing a good job, we’ll go on from there.
So just like anything else in business, you know, use a little caution. And I did want to add one thing about money up front. If you become a member of ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, not only will you get paid for your own set list at gigs, but you need to exploit what they’re offering you. And you should know this from the experience at BMI. The membership offices have these young guys and women who are really music lovers, who know a lot about it, and these are not the admin people, the bean counters.
These are real music folks. And they will, if you actually push them, or just actually call them, because they have millions of members, okay, ASCAP and BMI, and very few people know that they can arrange for an appointment with the membership office and actually sit down with somebody who can evaluate their music, and also, if they like you, set you up with a producer, an artist, and so forth.
Now, Kesha and Dr. Luke may not love each other anymore, but Kesha would probably have never become Kesha unless she met Dr. Luke. And it was BMI that arranged that introduction.
DJ IZ: You know, that’s awesome information. And you know what I love? Something that stood out to me about what you just said, was, you know, people in our industry who aren’t bean counters who are making decisions. And I think, at one point, that’s kinda where our industry began to really change is when, I think, bean counters got into places of, you know, being the gatekeepers. And it was no longer the creators making the decisions.
And now here we are, you know, everyone’s trying to scramble because we’ve been reduced down to 99 cents a song. And I think it’s key for, you know, folks to understand those various outlets and that information, because it’s out there now, and, you know, you figure that the music industry, years ago, I mean, not everybody was willing to share information like publishing and, you know, how the pie divvied up.
And, you know, it’s getting to the point now where, you know, you can’t just easily fool people now because the information is so, you know. So much of it is out there. But that’s, you know, it was great things you pointed out there, Steve. One other question I do have for you. As far as, you know, we get a lot of kids who are making beats in the room, who are sampling, and doing stuff on the computer. What are some of the…some advice you can give on sampling and how those dynamics work when you’re using other people’s music?
Steve: Okay, well let’s discuss, first of all, what we’re talking about exactly. There are two forms of sampling. And most people think of it as just taking a piece of a recording, like some drum play, and inserting it in your song. But sampling can also occur when you re-record a prior composition. You know, “Missing You” by Puffy comes to mind. And that’s sampling as well. But, the basic rule is this.
The original owner of the song or the recording has a copyright interest in that song or master. And they have, under copyright law, the exclusive right to make so-called derivative works. So that when you take a piece of an underlying song, or you take a piece of a recording, you’re creating a so-called derivative work, which is in violation of the original owner’s copyright. So as a general rule, you need permission.
Now, there are exceptions, and I’ll discuss them in a minute, but in terms of getting permission, people like me and other clearance people, as well as lawyers, are in the business of clearing samples. And big record companies will hire a clearance person or a lawyer to clear those samples, because they have deep, so-called deep pockets, and a lawsuit for sampling could result in heavy damages for an artist or a record company.
So, for instance, when I was working with Alistar Records, they cleared everything in terms of samples when Puffy’s new records came out, when he was with Alistar for a minute. But, in terms of fees, it ranges on the popularity of the original song. If you are using some obscure reggae beat, you know, you’re not gonna pay as much. But if you’re using a big hit, the answer is going to be, “No, you can’t sample at all,” or it’s going to be more money.
And another big factor is how you use the sample. If you repeat it again and again in a loop in your song, you’re going to pay more than if you use just a measure inside your song, and if it’s not the essence or the heart of your song. So, it could depend, depending on these factors, negotiation could range from \$1000 to \$2000, all the way up, okay?
Now, the exceptions. If you are using a recording in your song in a manner that it’s unrecognizable as to what it originally was, then number one, probably nobody’s gonna find out about it. And even though they do, it’s called…could be deemed to be a diminimus [SP] use, because nobody recognizes the original song. Of course, the whole point of sampling, more often than not, is that it conjures up the original song.
But the less that it resembles the original, the more likely it wouldn’t have to be cleared. Another exception is parody. A parody is an exception to the copyright act. And it allows someone to spoof an original song or make fun of it. For instance, Saturday Night Live spoofed the New York, New York theme, I love New York, in a parody about how bad things were in the city. This was back in the ’80s.
And the copyright owner, the original writers of the jingle, sued and they lost because the court felt that the parody in Saturday Night Live was making fun of the original, and that was…and didn’t use a lot of the original. It just used a couple of bars. And the Saturday Night Live people won the case. The unfortunate thing about this defense, which is called a fair use defense, is everything depends on the facts in each case.
And so that’s why Weird Al, when he does his parodies, he always gets permission, because he doesn’t want to contend with litigation. So, to be safe is better than to be sorry. And if you’re going to bet on your song becoming a hit, then you better think twice about sampling without permission. In fact, that actually happened [inaudible 00:24:59]…
DJ IZ: [inaudible 00:24:58]
Steve: A client of mine used…
DJ IZ: No, it’s just that that’s actually, you know, that’s like a miniature clinic on sampling, and you heard it from, you know, one of the best on how to do it and how to be clever if you can, you know.
Cloie: You sure do.
DJ IZ: And I think that’s important, because, you know, I actually came up in an area, Steve, where, you know, I was…I gravitated towards [inaudible 00:25:21] machines that sampled and I used to just kind of go through crates and that’s kind of how I built, you know, just what I’ve been able to do on the music side. So that’s extremely helpful information.
Cloie: Before we do go, we do have a question on the more of the TV end and film side. And the question being, for the…on the TV and film side, with the composers, what parts of your book apply specifically to the music that would go into the movies, and the television shows, and composing for them?
Steve: That’s a great question. And it’s important, because that’s an important source of income for a lot of musicians. My best friend is a jazz musician. He writes occasionally for Spike Lee ads and movies and so forth. That’s a big chunk of his income. So, I have two different chapters in the book that deal with this. Because writing for movies, whether it’s an independent feature movie or it’s a major Hollywood blockbuster movie, A, composer agreements for movies fall into a certain set of standard terms.
Now, in the book, in this chapter, as I do with other chapters, I present two contracts. One is pro composer and the other is pro producer, so that composers, because this book is basically for creative people, can see both sides of the equation, and they can identify what to look out for, and what kind of contract not to sign without trying to make it better. A pro composer agreement would give the producer of a movie a limited right to use the music, say, an exclusive right to use the music for a period of time.
And then, after which, the composer can use the music again for other reasons or other purposes. So that, say, a movie comes out this May. The producer would have the right to keep the composer from using that music for, say, a year. And then, the composer could use the music again. A pro producer contract will use the words work for hire, which is always, almost always, a bad thing for creative people, which means that the producer would gain all rights in the music forever, and the composer could never use it again.
And other provisions that are really important in this agreement are in this chapter, including a credit for a composer, because credits can lead to bigger jobs, better paying jobs in the future. And of course, the composer should get a credit in the movie. And if at all possible, in the advertising for a movie as well. So, that’s one chapter dealing just with writing music for movies, because it really is a special kind of animal with special terms that apply in that world.
Then, I have a chapter on writing music for television, which is somewhat different. So let me give you an anecdote of how that would work. A guy came to me through a mutual friend and he had just landed a gig, an offer to write music for a major TV campaign. And I took a look at the agreement that he was about to sign, which did say work for hire, and we were able to change it to a one-year deal. So he got the right to use the music again.
I got him a little more money, and I got him the right to retain the right to collect public performance royalties. Now, we talked about ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. When a commercial plays on television, it generates public performance royalties. ASCAP and BMI both collected over a billion dollars each, just in the United States. And public performance royalties is really important, and I got him the right to retain his share of those royalties.
And he made more money, and it was from BMI, from those royalties, than he did from the original sync fee, is what we call the original fee. And, I was able to get him a credit in YouTube so that when the commercial aired on the internet, you were able to press a button for more information and his name popped up. So that kind of agreement we refer to as sync agreements, and I have a whole chapter on the ins and outs of how to make those deals better.
DJ IZ: Awesome, man. Well, thank you so much for providing that information, Steve. As you know, Connected is also about providing jobs, so we’re gonna cut to another job right now, if you don’t mind.
DJ IZ: All right, GrindOpp 2 today is junior audio mixer, Los Angeles, California. Cali is on the map today.
Cloie: It really is representing.
DJ IZ: Here are those details. Music and video production company in LA seeks freelance audio mixer. Perform basic mixing for in-house projects. Prepare audio files for senior sound mixers. Work with senior sound mixer to ensure a seamless hand-off form editors to sound editorial and mixing. Now, this is a great gig for, you know, engineers. Now, there’s two types of engineers. Engineer who loves recording, and then you have an engineer who loves to mix. And then, three types of engineers. Engineer who loves to record and then mix.
Cloie: [inaudible 00:30:35]
DJ IZ: Yeah, so this could be really good for you guys. You know, I think, definitely, you want to make sure your ear is polished prior to taking this gig.
DJ IZ: And you definitely want to be well-experienced.
Cloie: Should we pop back over to Steve?
DJ IZ: You want to pop? Let’s pop. Let’s pop.
Cloie: Because we can talk [inaudible 00:30:50].
DJ IZ: Let’s pop over there.
Cloie: Steve, we have one more question for you, and then we’re gonna talk about this book right quick, because there’s a fantastic author for it that we have access to right now. So, what is the weirdest contract that you have ever been a part of?
Steve: Well, I was going to use that contract from hell as an example, because that wound up to be an amazing story. I just get a lot of contracts from people on the other side, either managers or production companies, that try to save money on lawyers. And the contract is almost incomprehensible. Perhaps, let’s get to…let’s get real for a minute. When a producer puts his beat up for sale online, sometimes that producer will offer a contract to a potential buyer that is difficult to understand and sometimes inconsistent.
And before a producer puts that beat up for sale, he should know two things. Number one, he should know what he’s selling. If he’s selling the exclusive right to the song, then he has to know that he cannot sell it again. Now, this is a real case. In fact, I’m supervising some litigation about this, because a producer did put a beat up for sale and he offered a so-called exclusive license.
Now, he sold it to my client, who actually is in Europe, who created a song with it that went nowhere. But, the producer sold it a second time, which is in contradiction to the contract that he signed with my client. And when he sold it the second time, he sold it to an aspiring hip hop artist who is now among the most successful hip hop artists of our era, okay? And the song has become…was the greatest hit, actually, on Spotify in 2015.
Needless to say, this producer is in a lot of trouble because I’m supervising a case now where we’re presenting evidence to some major music companies, not only his record company, the hip hop artist, but his publisher, and the producer’s publisher, and the producer’s record company. And all of them are involved now, all because he was providing a contract online and he either didn’t know what he was doing or he acted in bad faith.
So, I guess what I’m saying is, you should try to figure out what you’re doing, and you can use this book to help you, and you should act in good faith. You know, you were mentioning there are horror stories among lawyers. Well, there are horror stories among all parts of the business. In this case, the producer was probably acting with bad faith.
DJ IZ: And I totally hear you, man, but of course, I gotta fight for my creators, because I’ve been one of those guys how have had to sit in front of, you know, lawyers who, you know, just, you know. But I’m glad we’re here with you, man. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad we’re here with you, absolutely. Can we let our viewers know where they could find your book and how then can get a hold of you as well?
Steve: Sure. They can find the book in the Hal Leonard website called Backwing. And if they just type in “Backwing 11 contracts” they can find the book and they can find more information about the book there. And of course, the book is available at Amazon as well. And I do want to clarify one thing, because one guy who bought the book had a question where he could find the online content. There is online content, and it’s on the very first page of the book.
You get a website and a password or passcode. Go to that website, it’s the Hal Leonard website. You put in your passcode and you’ll get video content. Now, I told the publisher I did not want the forms downloadable. I want to be clear about this. Because, like I said before, forms are dummies. And I didn’t want people to use these forms indiscriminately. I wanted them to read the book, read the annotations in each contract, so they understand what the contract means.
But, you know, nothing is to prevent them from re-typing the contracts. But by then, you’re going to know what they mean. And the online content that’s available is not the forms themselves, but video of, for instance, my discussing music licensing and music clearances. So if you’re doing a documentary or you’re doing a promo video, using some other people’s music, you know how to clear it for your project.
And we also have a conversation between myself and another veteran music attorney, Bob Celestin, on the four most important contracts. This book has 11, 4 of which are perhaps more important than others. But let me just tell you what those agreements are. Management agreements, production company agreements, and production company agreements on how they should read, not the contract from hell, label deal, sync licenses, producer agreements, music publishing contracts.
And in the music publishing chapter, I get into what music publishing is and why it’s important. Composer agreements, live performance contracts, music video, band agreements. And also, in the band agreement chapter, I point out that a band doesn’t necessarily need an agreement between the members about how the money is divided and, you know, who owns the gear and all that stuff.
And you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money on a lawyer to create that. Because the band may not be successful. And in most cases, unfortunately, they’re not. And then, the contract that you paid a lot of money for, is, like, meaningless. But in that chapter, I also write about the things that you can do without a lawyer. And one of the things that I didn’t mention before is a split sheet.
So let me give you a very brief anecdote. Lauren Hill and a bunch of her boys went into the studio and created the autobiography of Lauren Hill. In my opinion, one of the best albums of that decade, and a very good selling album. Now, everybody in that studio, as far as I know, was a little bit high, shall we say. And nobody thought about writing down who owned what. And so the litigation surrounding that album lasted for approximately five years or more.
And at the end of the day, Lauren Hill broke down on the witness stand and said, “I don’t know who wrote the songs. I guess God wrote them.” But in fact, it was she and her crew. And what could have saved all that litigation, and the cost and the money spent on attorneys and so forth, would have been a simple split sheet, which would have…it’s a very simple document. Basically, it has the name of the song, and the percentage of ownership of each of the people involved.
So, if I contribute a lick to a hip-hop song, then my contribution might be 10%. Of course, everybody’s got to agree on the percentage of ownership, but it will save a great deal of lawyers’ fees if you simply have a little time and effort to make this so-called split sheet. And an example of a split sheet is in the book.
DJ IZ: Awesome. Well, man, dude, I’m definitely scooping up your book, man, because I think just so great to have that on hand and on deck at any time you run into a certain situations that you’re not clear of, especially for creators. I mean, so many creators in the culture right now just, you know, they need to understand the importance of doing their homework so that they can protect themselves.
You got a, you know, you got a industry now that’s, you know, driven by also the technology aspect, and various things like that. So it gets intense. I know Cloie had a question for you, as well.
Cloie: We do have…this is actually a question from one of our viewers. This is Chris from Amarillo, Texas. Shout-out, Chris. He wants to know, what role an engineer…excuse me. What role does an audio engineer have in a music production contract?
Steve: That’s a great question. You know, if your talents exceed simple engineering and you can deem yourself to be a producer, then the benefits of that title come with the title, which is a royalty, an interest, an ownership interest in the song, and so forth. But if you’re an engineer and you stay in that role, then you’re probably gonna get paid by the studio, because studios employ their own engineers, or you should get paid the artist and/or the producer.
And generally, engineers are worth higher. But if the engineer does contribute creatively to the process, then they should make a case for getting an ownership interest in the song. And again, the money from songwriting is even more important than sales of records, because as you pointed out, sales of records is down. They’re down 50%, without accounting for inflation, from the high point in 1991 of \$14.6 billion in the U.S. to around \$7 billion now.
For accounting for inflation, that’s a decrease of 75%. But money from songwriting, especially from ASCAP and BMI, has actually increased every year. Because every time a song is performed on radio or on Spotify, as well as venues, then the songwriters are credited. So if the engineer actually contributed to the song, and he can get a stake in that song, even if it’s only 10% or 15%, he can make significant income from ASCAP and BMI if the song becomes a hit.
DJ IZ: Got you.
Cloie: Dig it. Well, thank you again, Steve, for joining us today.
Steve: Thank you.
DJ IZ: Yeah, thank you, Steve.
Cloie: You have just been, like…
DJ IZ: Pleasure having you, man.
Cloie: Right? A wealth of information. For those of you that missed it or you’ve been under a rock, if you want to get a copy of “The 11 Contracts” we have it at a discount for today. It’s normally \$50, but if you do go to Amazon right now, we’ve got a few copies that are available for \$14.99. Just make sure you put in RECORDINGCONNECTION in checkout. And if you miss it, of course, you can go to backwingstore.com/11contracts and enter RECORDINGCONNECTION to get it at \$30. And that’s gonna be valid until Sunday, 4/23. And that’s all…what is that, midnight?
DJ IZ: Yeah.
Cloie: Eastern Standard Time? Eastern Standard Time?
DJ IZ: So don’t sleep, folks. Go out there and get you one of these. It’s definitely gonna help you along the way.
Cloie: I lost my earring.
DJ IZ: And almost shield you from a lot of the, you know, the chaos that can happen within these industries.
Cloie: Protect your behind.
DJ IZ: So you definitely want to protect your behind. So, Cloie, what do we have next?
Cloie: Well, just thank you to Steve for…
Steve: Thank you very much.
Cloie: …so much time, Steve. Check him out at Steve Gordon Law. And then, I think we’re moving into some more GrindOpps. Because, guys, we’re giving away jobs. Thank you, Steve.
DJ IZ: That’s what we do. Thank you, Steve, man. Good-looking, and appreciate you for making time…
Steve: Thank you.
DJ IZ: …to join us on our show today, man. Extremely helpful to our viewers.
Cloie: Love it. Roll that GrindOpp 3, please.
Steve: Thank you. Thank you.
DJ IZ: GrindOpp 3 is in the field of live sound engineer. This is New York, New York. Here are the details. New York City venue seeks live audio engineer. Manage audio volume and sound quality during events. Proper set up and teardown of equipment. Assist artist’s engineer with use of in-house equipment. And this is in New York, New York. So, you know, a lot of these things, too, with live sound engineer, you know, a lot of it is, you know, when you first get in, you’re gonna be dealing with the grunt work.
Cloie: Right, right.
DJ IZ: Which is, you know, the teardown, rolling up cables, the whole nine. But, you know, it’s a great way to understand the environment and what goes along with it, right? Because people think you’re gonna get into a live sound gig and just jump behind the board.
Cloie: No, you’re not gonna do that.
DJ IZ: You’re not gonna do that.
Cloie: You can’t do that.
DJ IZ: And I always tell people, you know, for those aspiring engineers, like, find a local spot within your town. You know, find your local areas that have the gigs going on, and the bands, and see if you can get in there and maybe meet the sound engineer, and hang out, and kinda just pick his ear. You know, a lot of times you’ll find that a guy will kinda take you under his wing and let you see what it’s like. You know what I’m saying? But you ain’t touching the board.
DJ IZ: But yeah, so again, that’s in New York, New York. And here we are.
Cloie: We are back, and we are live.
DJ IZ: Yes.
Cloie: And what’s also great today is, in a day of guests and so much fun stuff, we do have our second guest, which is a student success story that’s real and it’s live.
DJ IZ: Mm-hmm.
Cloie: Because our next guest is a Film Connection grad. His name is Adam Howell and he just moved here to the Lala, straight from Boston.
DJ IZ: Boston. Yeah.
Cloie: Hi, hello. How are you?
Adam: What’s going on? How you doing?
Cloie: We’re great.
DJ IZ: What’s up, Adam? Talk to me, man.
DJ IZ: You gotta lot of life in you, man. What’s going on?
Adam: What’s up? How you doing? All right? I’m good.
DJ IZ: I’m good, man.
Cloie: So just to be clear, you got here a week ago today.
Adam: Yeah, Monday, last Monday. Yeah.
Cloie: And first impression, how are we doing? We seem to be adjusting.
Adam: Absolutely. I took a visit out to Los Angeles two years ago and I liked it. And right now, I’m just getting acclimated to, like, the time change right now, because about, like, almost 3:00 in Boston right now. So, yeah. So, that’s the only thing that’s kinda been like, you know, slowing me down. But other than that, I love everything about LA.
DJ IZ: Dope, man.
DJ IZ: Cool, man. We’re happy to hear you, bro. And I’m just gonna tell you, straight up and foremost for our viewers, to me, you’re, like, the perfect walking example…
Cloie: You are.
DJ IZ: …of somebody that has gone through the process, along with the Recording Connection, has had a mentor, and here you are…
Cloie: Doing your thing.
DJ IZ: …from Boston, coming to LA to get it done, man. So, if you can, for me, just kinda person…like, walk me through that personal experience of what that process was like for you, being a student, having the mentor, doing the whole Recording Connection. Because we get a lot of viewers who also haven’t been through that route.
Cloie: That maybe want to.
DJ IZ: That maybe want to, and just kinda want to know what it looks like, man. So if you kinda just dive in with us on your experience.
Adam: Well, I did, like, a lot of web surfing about maybe a few years ago, and I got linked up with the Film Connection back in 2014. So I started doing it with the local advertise agency back in Boston. It’s called, this place called Nicom [SP]. I was doing some advertising, [inaudible 00:46:02] work, AC work with another kid that was part of the Film Connection. And I did that for about a few months, maybe, about, like, four to six months.
Then I got linked up with this screenwriting mentor, you know, through the Film Connection, and, you know, we built, like, a phone conversation back and forth for, like, the last two and a half, three years now. He’s been helping me, like, looking over some of my work, because I’m, you know, tuning my craft when it comes to screenwriting and developing stories, and developing characters, and everything like that. Because eventually, that’s what I want to do. I want to write and produce films.
DJ IZ: Right.
Adam: But yeah, it’s got to a point where, basically, you know, me and my girlfriend, we had the right opportunity to just get up and move, and come out here to Cali, and just make it happen, man.
DJ IZ: Make it happen.
Adam: We still young. We ain’t getting no younger, nothing like that.
DJ IZ: But you know, man, that’s so dope, Adam, because, you know, I mean, for both of us, I mean, the most…like, the biggest piece to me, man, is people hearing that. You know what I’m saying? And folks who are in your same position who are like, “Yo, man. This is what I would love to do,” and, you know, but you’ve put in the work…
DJ IZ: …bro, you but in the cause…
DJ IZ: …the sacrifice, and understanding the importance of honing in on your craft. Right? Because I always tell folks, it ain’t always so much about the talent anymore.
DJ IZ: Everybody’s got talent. These kids are rolling out of bed, four or five years old…
Cloie: They sure are.
DJ IZ: …got more talent in their pinkie than I ever had at their age. So, it’s like, understanding the other dynamics, right? Get with folks, putting in the time, you know, making yourself available, you know.
Adam: You have to have…like, I feel like, in this industry right here, you have to have assistance. You gotta really love what you doing. You gotta really say, “You know what? This is what I want to do. I don’t want to, like, sit behind the cubicle, like, for 8 hours a day or 12 hours a day and do this for, like, 20, 30 years of my life. And then, when I get done with that, it’s just like, ‘Damn, I should have did this. I should have did that,'” and everything like that.
DJ IZ: Right.
Adam: Because I know, like, a lot of people, personally, that have talent, like, in a lot of things, but they don’t have the courage to do it.
DJ IZ: The courage to do it.
DJ IZ: And it’s even harder, man, when nobody’s writing you a check, you know. And it’s like…
Cloie: Right, and you’re hungry. And you’re hungry.
DJ IZ: And you’re hungry. You know, and you start looking at things like, you know. And what you said is so true, Adam. It’s like, it takes a lot of courage, man. But I always say, you know, at the end of the day, man, what other person to roll the dice on than yourself?
Cloie: Than yourself.
DJ IZ: You know, as long as you know you got drive and you can get out there, and hit the pavement, and grind…
Cloie: And also, that you have the chops to back it up on the back end, and that’s where talent comes into play.
DJ IZ: Yeah.
Cloie: You can have all the drive, all the hustle, but then you show up at the opportunity, and if you suck…
DJ IZ: Yeah, it is what it is.
Cloie: …I mean, it just…
Adam: Well, it has to be a balance.
DJ IZ: It has to be a balance, absolutely.
Adam: That’s why it’s important to, like, really, like I said before, just on developing your craft, and also learning, like, the business side. That’s why, you know, it’s very important to do, like, do your homework on all this type of stuff. If you’re gonna be in this industry, like, no matter what you’re doing, whether it’s film, whether it’s music, I feel like you really gotta understand, like, what’s going on behind closed doors, and everything like that. So you won’t be in a situation where it’s just like, “Damn, I remember this dude from so-and-so and you don’t see him anymore.”
DJ IZ: Right, right.
Adam: Because it’s like, because a lot of people, they’re not on their business game enough like that.
Adam: So, I mean, it’s very important. But you gotta take it serious, though. I take it very serious. I take it like a…I mean, this is like my passion right here.
DJ IZ: This is your heart.
Adam: I don’t…
DJ IZ: You know what I’m saying?
DJ IZ: This is your heart on the table. So, you know, and that’s the thing. It’s like knowing all the spectrums, man. You gotta know all the spectrums these days. Whereas, you look at even the generation that was before us who were aspiring film guys and music, because they were so caught up in, “Man, I can shoot this, and man, I can play this guitar like this,” they never went beyond that, because they didn’t understand the things on the other side, which were the business aspect, how to protect your creativity. Now, what were some of the things you were able to extract from your mentor and learn, and see, and just kinda gauge what you need to perfect?
Adam: Well, you know, honestly, and I bring it back to writing a lot because that’s, you know, primarily, like, what I do with my time, and everything like that, writing spec scripts. It’s basically, it’s funny, because you see, like, all these different, you know, websites or you see these advertisements for, like, [inaudible 00:50:07] and all that, talking about, you know, write your screenplay in, like, a week, or something like that, and sell it to, like, Warner Bros. or whoever.
DJ IZ: Yeah.
Adam: It’s just like, the bottom line, you gotta, you know, you just gotta site down and you gotta do it.
DJ IZ: You gotta do it.
Adam: And you gotta, like, really, really love what you’re doing.
DJ IZ: Yeah.
Adam: You have to, you know, research, you have to take the time out to do it. I mean, whether it’s 10 minutes, whether it’s 15 minutes, 20 minutes.
Adam: You know, for me, personally, I used to just wake up every morning and do it for about, you know, two or three hours on a good day, or something like that. Sometimes even longer than that, like if it’s a Saturday and I have nothing going on. So I would spend, like, majority of my morning and my early afternoon just doing that, and just keep on doing it, also.
DJ IZ: Yeah.
Adam: Because it’s a practice tool. And I know a lot of times it’s difficult, because you’re thinking like, “Oh, damn. I got these money problems,” or, you know, some people might have families or whatever like that. They might have kids that they gotta take care of and everything, but it’s just, like, you know, if you keep on doing that, then eventually something’s gonna, like, come back to you.
DJ IZ: Yeah.
Adam: Because I look at it like this, basically. I mean, what good is opportunity if you’re not prepared for it? You know?
DJ IZ: Yeah, straight up, bro.
Cloie: Wow, wow.
DJ IZ: I used to hear that all the time, man. It’s like, you get that one call, that might be your only call, you know, and you gotta be able to deliver, you know.
Cloie: [inaudible 00:51:22]
Adam: Absolutely. I mean, and that’s why practicing is good, because you can’t be coming out here, like, you know, just saying, “Oh, well I’m aspiring to do this,” and then somebody may like you. And they’re like, “Okay, well, you know, you got any type of work you can show me?” And it’s just like, “Well, actually, I haven’t done anything, but I want to start doing it.” And that’s like, that’s a missed opportunity right there.
Cloie: Yes, it is.
DJ IZ: Yeah.
Adam: So it’s just like, all right, boom. So like, if you been, you know, working and putting in the work and doing that, you know, staying in the crib when everybody’s trying to go out and drink and everything like that. And you just saying like, “No, I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna work on my craft,” and everything. And then, you know, when people see that, they’re like, “Oh, okay. This dude’s serious,” or [inaudible 00:51:56]…
DJ IZ: It’s the dedi-…
DJ IZ: Yeah, it’s the dedication, man. It’s the work ethic. It’s the sacrifice, and the appetite to want to do something. What it is. Like, I would tell people, “Yeah, I love this,” but, you know, it’s like, man, you say you love it? That’s how you love it? That’s how much you love it? You know?
Cloie: [inaudible 00:52:12]
DJ IZ: Now, for those…like, for our viewers who aren’t really hip as far as the Recording Connection process, let me just ask you on some, just straight up, like from a 1 to 10, how would you rate your process with the Recording Connection, and what you’ve been able to experience?
Adam: If you…okay, I’m gonna be…
DJ IZ: Right, give…
Adam: I’m gonna keep it at thousand right now. So, basically, if you’re, you know, wherever you’re at, whether it’s anywhere in the States or, you know, Canada, or somewhere else, or whatever like that, it may…it’d be good because you’re actually, like, learning. But it gets to a certain point where, if you’re that serious, you kinda need to be out here. You kinda have to. I feel like once I…I mean, like I said, I came out here last Monday, and then, you know, things have kind of been, like, rolling for me more since I’m physically present.
And that’s where you get the most of this program, is, you know, like, if you’re in the entertainment capital. So basically, I feel like, from where you’re doing that, like, wherever your hometown may be or something like that, I think it’s cool that you actually, like, you know, get your feet wet, and just doing the practice work and everything like that, and just learning certain type of things. But you bet the full experience when you actually, you know, come out here to Los Angeles.
DJ IZ: Right.
Adam: So, I know it’s pretty good in New York, too. I guess, like, from what I hear. But for the most part, you kinda have to be out here.
Cloie: [inaudible 00:53:38]
DJ IZ: Yeah, and that’s also key, because it’s important for people to know. At the same time, eventually, you have to get where it’s at.
Cloie: Yes, you do.
DJ IZ: You know, and you still have LA, you still have New York. You actually have a lot popping in Atlanta…
Cloie: Yeah, [inaudible 00:53:51].
DJ IZ: …because the permits are…you know, it’s a lot cheaper out there.
Adam: Well, Boston is pretty good, too.
DJ IZ: Boston.
Adam: Yeah, because, like, the tax incentives are real good, so Hollywood’s into, like, a lot of features out there. I worked on a few films back in the fall, like, doing some PA work. I learned a lot about that, because eventually, I want to produce, too. But, yeah, with tax incentives as good and everything like that, but at the end of the day, I mean, like, you want to find out, like, where’s the money coming from, how to get the money.
DJ IZ: Yeah, you want to go to where it’s popping, man.
Cloie: Well, a good thing. End of the day, and where the money is coming from, and where it’s popping, I think, is a perfect opportunity to move into GrindOpp #4.
Adam: Oh, okay. Good.
Cloie: Let the church say, GrindOpp #4.
DJ IZ: Mm-hmm.
Cloie: All right.
DJ IZ: I’m gonna let you have this one, Cloie, because this is your road.
Cloie: Oh, is it me? All right, GrindOpp #4 is for a production associate.
Cloie: …and interacting with guests on-site for interviews. And again, that’s coming to you out of Newton, and that’s for a production associate. Dig it. I mean, I don’t know what to say extra about that. I feel like it says everything. I don’t know. What do you think, Adam? Anything to add?
Adam: I mean, yeah. Like I said, I mean, since I been out here, like, the experience has been good. I been meeting, like, you know, other people on my own time, too, just building other relationships and, you know, connects. Because that’s the thing about LA. It’s just like, you can be walking down the street, getting a cup of coffee, getting a, you know, getting a taco or something like that, you might run into somebody.
DJ IZ: Yeah.
Adam: And it’s just like, “Oh, okay. All right. This is what I do,” and everything like that. I want to do this. This is what I want to pursue and everything. It’s like, all right, cool. So, you know, you can build something up.
DJ IZ: Yeah, you know it.
DJ IZ: Absolutely.
Adam: So, I mean, and it’s just so much easier, like, when you’re actually present because somebody may like you…
Cloie: Very true.
Adam: …and they’re like, “Well, can you come, you know, meet us for drinks later on tonight?”
DJ IZ: Yeah.
Adam: And it’s just like, “Oh, I can’t. I’m in Australia,” or something like that.
DJ IZ: Yeah, that’s true, Adam. Like, I feel you on that, man, because, you know, there’s only so much you can do over phone and emails, to where people gotta really see you to make that connection.
DJ IZ: And to kinda be over there, like, look at you, be like, “You know what? I know this kid. I know this kid knows his shit. Like, we gotta snatch him up.” You know? And that’s how it goes a lot.
Adam: Well, it’s all about the energy, too.
Cloie: It is.
Adam: I’m very vibrant. I pick up on, like, you know, vibes and energy and everything like that. And that actually makes people want to, you know, kinda deal with you more.
DJ IZ: Yeah.
Adam: [inaudible 00:56:29] like, you know, business level, personal level, I mean, whatever you’re doing. It makes you kinda like, you know, want to be around that type of energy, when somebody’s doing something that’s, you know, inspiration, or is doing something, like, you know, passionate, that they really care about and everything.
So, I tell people a lot of times, if you’re gonna be doing something, especially, like, when it comes to film work or whatever you’re doing, music, something like that, if you don’t have… I feel like this, if you don’t have any children or if you don’t have, like, no spouse or whatever like that, I feel like you have to be in love with it. Like, I’m in love with it the way I would be, you know, in love with a woman or something like that.
DJ IZ: Absolutely, bro.
Adam: Or in love with, you know, my firstborn child or something like that.
DJ IZ: You’re married to it, man. That’s what it is. You’re married to it.
Adam: Yeah, married to it. Absolutely. You have to be in love with it, because you can’t really chase it for the money.
Adam: If you chase it for the money, you’re not gonna last in this industry. You just have to be in love with it. You have to be…like, you have to breathe it, you have to…
DJ IZ: Yeah.
Adam: …you know, sleep it, wake up, think about it. It has to get you out of bed in the morning, basically, for you to do that.
DJ IZ: Absolutely, man.
Cloie: So then, [inaudible 00:57:25] move into our last GrindOpp, what has been your big…one of the biggest lessons that you learned at Film Connection?
Adam: Well, I mean, it’s basically about just being consistent. You know, being present. You know, keeping…staying consistent with it, just continue to do it no matter how… I mean, I understand, like, you know, life gets in the way. You got things going on and you might not be able to take care of it right away, but I mean, as long as you stay consistent in doing what you’re doing, as long as you still love it like that, you know, you don’t have anything to worry about. You just got to keep on doing it.
DJ IZ: Absolutely.
Adam: You know, you gotta keep on moving. I mean, life is hard, man. You know what I’m saying?
DJ IZ: Yeah.
Adam: So, like, this right here is just like, I look at his like, yo, man, like, life is hard. So I’m like, this is like whatever right here. I’m gonna keep on doing this. This is gonna be nothing.
DJ IZ: It’s the one piece that takes you away from what life is.
DJ IZ: I get to do what I love for this moment in time. Just let me enjoy it and let me go.
DJ IZ: Absolutely. So, we’re gonna move into this fifth GrindOpp of the day. Fifth GrindOpp of the day is in the field of production coordinator. Cloie, I’m gonna let you have this one again, because this is…
Cloie: See, look at this.
DJ IZ: …yeah, go for it.
Cloie: Okay. So this is for production coordinator, coming to you out of San Francisco, California. A San Francisco entertainment company seeks a production coordinator. Must be a self-starter, understand deadlines, and able to handle multiple projects simultaneously. Assist with the day-to-day needs of the video production and post-production teams. And assist producer or producers in creating and maintaining project budgets.
The other thing that we don’t have up there, but to manage and collect and organize media, as well as work with social media teams to monitor content performance. And again, that’s coming to you out of San Francisco, California. That is a job with many parts, many hats, much organization, I think, is needed. But I think that’s also pretty self-explanatory. What would you say, fellas? Yes?
DJ IZ: Man, it was all there for me. It was all there. So, we’re gonna move on into our newsletter…
DJ IZ: …and our success, our students’ success.
Cloie: Because we do. So, this week, our student newsletter, as you know, because you are a walking success, we have our newsletter, and this is Jason Abranches. And we’re shouting out to our Recording Connection grad because not only did he land a job with a top recording studio in Maui, he has been assisting rock folk like Fleetwood Mac ever since. So, shout-out to Jason.
DJ IZ: What up, Jason?
DJ IZ: Congrats.
Cloie: For the full story on Jason, you can make sure that you check out our weekly newsletter, which will be coming to you a little bit later on today. And the graphic right there, if you…
DJ IZ: Bam, yeah. Yeah, it’s right there. So, you know what, Cloie? We’re gonna jump into…we also have five additional GrindOpps.
Cloie: We sure do.
DJ IZ: So let’s get that up on the screen. We have, you know, for folks, now, Adam, when we first started, man, we were only have five jobs a week.
Cloie: We sure were.
DJ IZ: So we’ve been able to grow, man. We’re doing culinary. So now we have five additional jobs, which we introduce on our website. So we’re at 10 jobs a week now, which I think ain’t too bad, right?
Adam: Yeah, [inaudible 01:00:22], yeah.
DJ IZ: From your view, man, how many folks out there are handing out jobs, man?
Cloie: So many.
Adam: Yeah, I mean, well, like I said, you know, out here, there’s a lot of jobs available. But again, you have to put yourself out there. You have to want to do it. You have to want to seek it, and you really have to just be about it and everything. Because I talk to so many people. They tell me about, you know, what they want to do and what they’re in love with, but again, they don’t actually do it. They talk about it for so long that it’s just like…you see a lot of people come up that they end up doing it. It’s like they end up passing them by a little bit.
DJ IZ: Absolutely.
DJ IZ: So those five additional GrindOpps, let me show you real quick. Those are in New York, New York, film, TV Editor. One’s in Houston, Texas, radio board operator.
Cloie: Where are we at?
DJ IZ: You want to read them?
Cloie: We got…
DJ IZ: You want some? [inaudible 01:01:11]
Cloie: Oo, on-air radio talk show host in Des Moines.
DJ IZ: I like how you…
Cloie: We’ve got also, in radio…
DJ IZ: I love how you jump into that.
Cloie: As I do my official [inaudible 01:01:18].
DJ IZ: I feel like I was hogging.
Cloie: Not at all. We’ve also got, out of…shout-out, D.C., for an…
DJ IZ: D.C.
Cloie: …on-air radio personality. And also, in the field of culinary, we’ve got a line cook in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
DJ IZ: Bam.
Cloie: It seems like today, we’ve had a…it’s been a California and New York sort of day.
DJ IZ: It has, huh? We being greedy?
Cloie: [inaudible 01:01:37]
DJ IZ: I want to mention we’re spreading it out.
Cloie: [inaudible 01:01:39]
DJ IZ: You know, look, we got my man from Boston, so that made it great.
Cloie: Wait, so speaking of, Adam, we’ve got a question for you from our viewers. We have Marlin from Pico Rivera, who wants to know what products…products, what have you made? No. What projects do you have in the works?
Adam: Well, currently, I’m just…I just been, you know, writing a lot of different spec scripts and trying to figure out ways to get them off the ground and just meeting with people. And basically, it comes back to find out where the money is.
DJ IZ: Yeah.
Cloie: I heard that, loud and clear.
Adam: Find the money.
Cloie: And the money will find you.
Adam: You just gotta get out there and look for the money. So, I mean, basically, if you want to keep on, if you actually want to film some projects, just keep on doing what you’re doing. But get with like-minded individuals that, you know, have the same vision as you and find the money. Yeah.
DJ IZ: Okay. We got one from Brooklyn, New York. What’s the best way to get good actors to work on your project?
Adam: Well, I feel like, if you can’t, you know, pay them a lot of money up front…
DJ IZ: That’s real, though. That’s real spit right there.
Cloie: It is, though.
Adam: If you can’t, you know, pay them any type of money up front, you know, try to provide some type of, you know, reimbursement with gas, you know. You want to keep people fed really well…
Adam: …when they working on projects, because…
Cloie: I will work for [inaudible 01:03:00]. Let me tell you this. As an actor, I will work on your project if you don’t have money to pay me, but I do, like, believe in your scripts and I love the team. If you tell me that you can feed me, well, I’m not talking about pizza. I’m talking about there are vegetables present, and a protein, maybe even a dessert if we’re getting real crazy, but I’m not picky, or wine, or something like that, I will work with you.
Adam: Yeah, you gotta… I mean, I feel like you gotta offer them something. Like I said…
Adam: …when it comes to, you know, gas reimbursement, or…
DJ IZ: Yeah, something, right?
Adam: …food, something.
DJ IZ: Absolutely.
Adam: You just gotta build some type of way, eventually. I mean, because if you…because at the end of the day, it’s all about, like, growing relationships and building relationships, because, you know, five years later, they might be in a certain type of position, they’re gonna be like, “Oh, okay. This person gave me a chance, so I remember this.”
DJ IZ: Right.
Adam: I mean, this industry is really all about, you know, building relationships and everything like that.
DJ IZ: Absolutely.
Cloie: And maintaining.
Adam: Maintaining them, that’s the…
Cloie: Building and maintaining.
DJ IZ: Adam, we have one last question for you, man. Do you ever have trouble writing what you see in your imagination, or getting the right words on the page?
Adam: Not necessarily, because that’s actually, like, a fun process of screenwriting for me. But if you do have problems with it, I feel like whatever you’re thinking about, you should just always carry, like, a notebook, you know, a pen with you. Write everything down, you know, no matter if you’re at work, or if you’re doing something else. You should always carry, like, a pen and a pad with you so then you can go back to try to visualize it and everything like that.
But me, me personally, that’s one of the experiences that I like about screenwriting, that process of going through the struggle and bringing something to life. Because if it’s the same, it’s not gonna stand out. It’s gonna be like everything else.
DJ IZ: Right.
Adam: I think that’s one of the biggest problems with, you know, Hollywood as a whole, because there’s…we almost lost that space for, like, a middle ground of movies now. So if it’s not, like, a big temple type of movie, big blockbuster, it’s like a small, you know, indie film or whatever. But, you want to try to do something that’s unique. I mean, and it means something to you.
DJ IZ: Right.
Adam: So, yeah. Don’t just try to do it because, you know, this is what’s going on right now, or this might make me a lot of money. You just gotta…it has to mean something to you and you gotta want to do it.
DJ IZ: Absolutely. Man, well, dude, thank you so much for coming on today, man.
Cloie: Thank you.
DJ IZ: And also, too, I want to make a point that we here at Connected stay in tune with you, man, and just kind of keep up-to-date on what you got going on out in LA.
Adam: I appreciate that.
DJ IZ: We’d love to have you back, man.
Adam: No doubt.
Cloie: Where can we find you, for people that do want more info on you and to reach out to you?
Adam: I’m on Twitter right now, so you can catch me on Twitter @Acehowe1. So that’s a capital A-C-E-H-O-W-E-L-L-1.
Cloie: Love it.
DJ IZ: Word.
Cloie: On the Twitter.
Adam: On Twitter.
DJ IZ: On tweets.
Cloie: The Twitter machine.
DJ IZ: Get your tweets together.
Adam: Yeah, yeah.
DJ IZ: Well, again, man, thank you for coming by, man. We’re getting ready to close out this show and I just want to shout out our Connected team who, you know, makes this possible for us to do every Monday.
DJ IZ: And also, our Roland guys, you know, our Roland family.
DJ IZ: Igor, Chris, Mark, what up, yo? Thank you, guys, so much. It’s always great to be over here and kick our feet up on the couch and, you know, just kinda vibe out, and hand with great guests like that.
Cloie: Live and be and do.
DJ IZ: So, yeah, man. So, Cloie, I’m gonna let you let them know where they can follow us at.
Cloie: Absolutely. Follow us, guys. Follow us, follow us. There’s a graphic. It’s going in. It’s got all of our information on social media. We are @IZConnected. So, to go there, you’re gonna get connected with us on the Twitter, on the Instagram, on the Facebook, all @IZConnected. Then, to email us directly, we’ve got [email protected] We’ve got our info for our web. That’s where you can get all the way connected.
We’ve got our Facebook messenger app. Make sure you’re not missing that. For more information, rrfedu.com/connected/app. Roll that second slide, please. Then, of course, to apply for our jobs, you’re gonna go to our connected latest page that’s gonna have the 5 GrindOpps that we featured, as well as the 5 additional GrindOpps that we have, because now we’re giving away 10 jobs instead of just 5.
For all of our resources, make sure you check out our vault. That’s our rrfedu.com/connected/vault. And, of course, our newsletter, which this week is featuring the fabulous Jason Abranches. That is rrfedu.com/weekly-report. And that is for our newsletter. Shout-out again to our team, because when we talk about connection and getting people connected, our team here is made up of Recording and Film Connection alums and grads.
DJ IZ: Mm-hmm.
Cloie: So, and it’s Lea, and now we’ve got photos. Put in the photo. Can we see the photo of the team?
DJ IZ: Wow. Look at that.
Cloie: That’s everybody. Look at everybody, and they make up our Connected crew. So thank you all and, of course, the fabulous Lea, who runs our social media and…
DJ IZ: Holds it down, yes.
Cloie: She holds it down.
DJ IZ: She does.
Cloie: So, thank you, guys. Thank you, thank you. We wouldn’t be able to do this without you. We are ever so grateful. And that’s our show.
DJ IZ: And that is our show for today. We look forward to seeing you next week for next Monday’s movement. And again, thank my man, Adam, for coming out and hanging out with us, and helping us understand his roadmap from getting out here, to getting out here to Cali. So, I’m IZ. My love co-host, Miss Cloie, and it’s been fun and inventive. Love you guys. Peace.
Previous Episodes of Connected
- Electronic musicians, DJs and beat-makers
- Runners and assistants
- Aspiring show hosts and more
- Get job tips on all the best jobs and career opportunities
- Get mentored and find out how to get and keep the best gigs in the music and film industry
- Get to know your favorite artists
- Hear industry success and horror stories from the legends inside the business
- Find out real tips to get hired at your dream job