Avoiding the Leeches and Parasites

| March 11, 2013

Spock_attacked_by_parasiteI just received yet another promise of becoming the next big hit if I would just take this guy’s seminar for a roll of Jacksons or a couple of Benjanins.

And of course, he is an expert …


This article is to warn those who actually make something …

Specifically, those who make
intellectual property.

However, anyone who actually produces product needs to know about the leeches and parasites who will only suck the life out of you and ultimately destroy your good works, trust in others and momentum.
There are self-appointed “experts”“gate keepers” … and other ilk who will offer you their “services” in order to make success happen for you. Never mind that they never achieved.

Sure – there are wonderful sources and experts who are legitimate in their services who have “been there and done that”.

Those true mentors and elders now in the autumn of their experience set out to guide the next generation based on their vast experiences in the game. Those are the ones who will benefit you. The coaches and mentors with the credentials of experience.

Blessed are the mentors who bare the battle scars of experience.

mosquito_blood_suckerBut there are PLENTY of those who promise to show you how to be the next big hit who have little or no experience, or maybe had a small taste or have positioned themselves in a doorway.

I want to share just a couple of examples to help you realize some pitfalls and not loose time and money.

What prompted me to finally publish this article was getting an email about a seminar to teach you:

parasite_hookworm“How to sell your script to Hollywood”.

Yet, a little investigation of credits revealed that this fellow had only one script that ever “made it”. It was ten years ago. It was a historical adaptation, not a narrative. It was on television and not in theaters or DVD – only on TV in Canada.

So, my question to you is this: How can this person teach you how to sell a script in Hollywood when he has never sold a script in Hollywood – or anywhere in this country for that matter ?

Here is yet another good example –

I was interested a few years ago to see if I could use a certain pop song in a project – to see how much it would be to license it.

Of course you want to know the costs of materials in pre-production when you are trying to determine a budget.

( In this example, I’m going to assume you know what intellectual property is and why materials are licensed from the rights holders. If you don’t … then I suggest you hit the library or bookstore and start reading up. )

I found the number to a “film music expert” out in L.A. through what I thought was a legitimate association and gave him a call.

Definition of copyrightHaving an expert out there ( your “Music Director” ) who has relationships with publishers that could help get a good deal on music license would pay for itself in the long run. There is no legal mechanism for music in film as there is in recording a song for a album.

Let’s say, for example, you are doing a music album, CD, whatever – and you want to do a modern version of a past pop song by the Beatles, then you simply follow the law and pay so many cents per unit (copy of the album) to the publisher – payable upon manufacture. So it’s roughly $90 for a Beatles song for every 1000 copies you manufacture … That’s pretty much it in a nut shell. Because a song stands on its own on an audio recording.

music_sync_filmHowever, putting a song with an image is much different …

When a song is synchronized with an image then that song becomes identified with that image. A song can mean something different in the mind of every listener – but when a song accompanies an image, it takes on the meaning of that image.

A sync license is a different animal altogether – every instance is negotiable – if not, there would be pop recordings used on nasty adult movies without the rights holder’s say in the matter simply because the producer could pay the fee …
But I digress …

I explained to the dude that I wanted to see how much moola it would be to use a particular pop song …

… and he jumped in … obviously jumping to the conclusion that I fell off the turnip truck the day before as he was apparently accustomed to …

… and he began to “explain” how music with movies works –

“What you do is pick out all the songs you want to use from your record collection. Ten or twelve songs is the usual number. Make your movie and get it finished. Then give me the list of the songs and I will check the price to license them and get back to you with the total.”

I couldn’t believe the horrific B*ll S**t I just heard from this shyster !!!

bullshit-meterI immediately knew I was either dealing with a complete idiot who knew nothing of the can of worms he mapped out – or he was a real scam artist –

I politely inquired what his fee was for getting this information for me.

He hesitated – hemmed and hawed a bit – did a little tap dance – a sales pitch on his “unique expertise” … But finally said he charges $950 per song for his “service”.

shocked-baby-faceWTF ?!?

You give him a list of ten songs, he makes a few phone calls that anyone could do and then bills you 10 x 950 = $9500 for his “services” ?!?

I pointed this out to him – he KNEW I was onto him and cut the conversation short …

This creep had figured out a way to operate without necessarily breaking a law – but stealing just the same.

scam-artistUnethical at best but legal enough to not be arrested.
Maybe sued eventually.

How can people like that sleep at night ???

You have to realize –

… his “methodology” is completely backwards from reality …

Intellectual-Property-Survey-Report… not only that – he said for you to finish a film – master it – without knowing what the music licensing will be !?!

On top of that – using a bunch of songs from a record collection ?

You’d maybe get off lucky paying $25,000 per song – IF the record companies liked the project for some reason …

So you end up being informed that your mastered audio track is going to cost you $250,000 at best and $10,000 for his “fee” !

And then you’d be stuck with a mastered film – and could only go back and re-edit to take out all that expensive music …

Hollywood isn’t that stupid … no one is … or maybe yes – SOME are ripe for the picking since this guy is in business doing this to people.

scam-artist-dudeThe ironic part is, the “film association” that lists this guy to get a 10% discount if you are a member of their “association”

Gosh – I could site a few more examples –

But I hope you get the picture …

I need to get back to more happy and constructive activities right now.

Birds of a feather flock together – so beware the leeches and parasites.

Category: Tony Rollo Blog

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