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Music for Film: Working with a Composer

June 1 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

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When does a film need music? How do you determine musical concept for your film? How do you choose a composer? How do you communicate effectively with your composer? How much should a filmmaker budget for music? Professional composers and film directors will address these questions and a number of issues pertaining to music in film.

Topics include how to talk music with non music people, managing expectations when it comes to music, and what sort of technical things need to happen in order for a recording to end up in a film. Also covered: the legal issues in hiring a composer and how the contract plays against the budget [for instance, if you don’t have a budget for an adequate composer fee, you might still get the composer you want on the project if you let them keep the publishing, but if the production company wants to own the music outright they will have to pay the composer a lot more]. You’ll also learn about spotting sessions and valuable resources offered by organizations like American Composers Forum and BMI.

The talk will be moderated by Aaron C. Young, principle and founder of Young Entertainment Law, PLLC.

Price: $15 regular/$10 IFP MN member

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Guest Speakers

JohnFields PicJohn Fields is musician and producer who has worked with a wide variety of hit-making artists including the Jonas Brothers, Pink, the Rembrandts, Soul Asylum, GooGoo Dolls, Semisonic, Miley Cyrus, Jimmy Eat World, Andrew W.K., and Demi Lovato. His film and TV soundtrack work includes SPIDER-MAN, SAVED, AIRLINE, TINKERBELL, PLANES, ANGRY BIRDS, and most recently, MINNESOTA 13: FROM GRAIN TO GLASS, directed by his partner Kelly Nathe.

Eric Howell Head ShotEric D. Howell is an international award-winning writer and director with experience in every aspect of motion picture production. After working his way through technical filmmaking, Eric joined the Screen Actors Guild in 1992 as a stuntman and actor. This experience propelled him into stunt coordination and 2nd unit directing. Feature credits include NORTH COUNTRY, JOE SOMEBODY, A SIMPLE PLAN, and A SERIOUS MAN, among others.

After directing narrative television, as well as directing and shooting short documentaries of children living in underdeveloped countries for Non-Governmental-Organizations, Eric stepped away from the camera to earn a degree in screenwriting.

Eric was dubbed by Shoot! magazine as “one of the industry’s crop of new directors to watch” and won the FADE IN Magazine Grand Prize. His short ANA’S PLAYGROUND was short-listed for an Academy Award nomination and recently won the top honor Silver Telly Award for a series of three, one-minute shorts he directed for the American Cancer Society.

Eric’s last short film STRANGERS qualified for a nomination in 2015 and he was awarded the McKnight Artist Fellowship in 2016. His feature debut VOICE FROM THE STONE for producer Dean Zanuck starring Emilia Clarke and Marton Csokas is set for release in April of 2017. Eric is managed by M.Sugar and J. Okin at Anonymous Content and J. Burns at United Talent Agency.

Blake Iverson head shotBlake Iverson is a partner at the Friedman Iverson law firm in Minneapolis. His practice is focused on intellectual property, business and entertainment law. He was the 2012-2013 Chair of the Arts and Entertainment Section of the Minnesota Bar Association. He has also taught courses in arts and entertainment law at Saint Mary’s University, McNally Smith College of Music, and the Institute for Production and Recording. He serves as the board chair of the Soap Factory in Minneapolis. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, pub trivia, and working on his house.

Andy KotzAndy Kotz is a composer and owner of AKMusic Productions, based in the Minneapolis area. He composes for several domestic and international music production libraries that pipe music into the television industry, along with occasional film and trailer projects, advertising opportunities, and various other musical projects.

Having started out as a “guitarist for hire” based in southern California, Andy spent 14 years doing studio sessions and touring the world for recording artists until moving to Minnesota in 1997. Andy’s sister, filmmaker Cristina Kotz Cornejo, soon thereafter asked him to compose music for her short student film while she was studying at NYU. He accepted the offer and later received a Best Original Score award at the 1999 NYU/Tisch Film Festival for her film THE APPOINTMENT.

Andy has composed music for several TV series, including THE REAL WORLD, KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS, FIX MY MOM, and E! TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY. View Andy’s IMDb credits here.

Alex with Viola BW (Large)Alexandria (Alex) Mueller is a composer for films, games and other media. Mueller studied film music composition at Berklee College of Music and holds a BA in Music from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where she majored in music with an emphasis on composition and Suzuki pedagogy.

Mueller has composed music extensively for orchestra, wind band and choir. She has had works performed by ensembles of all ages and abilities and has won several awards for her compositions, including the James and Paula Nelson Young Composers Competition (Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra 2013), Kenwood Symphony (Minneapolis, MN) composition contest, the UW-Stevens Point Music Department’s Wind Ensemble Composition Contest. Mueller served as Teaching Artist in the Very Young Composers’ Project, a project that invites fourth and fifth grade students to create their own music, and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Very Young Composers of Central Wisconsin.

Mueller is also a licensed attorney practicing in the area of entertainment law. She graduated cum laude from Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Saint Paul. She is author of a chapter on music transactions for the upcoming publication of the Intellectual Property Deskbook for Business Lawyers, published by the American Bar Association.

Kelly N Head ShotKelly Nathe is a documentary filmmaker, writer, and television producer. Her very first documentary gig was as a camera operator for Michael Moore. From there she worked on a number of independent films in NYC before directing and producing her first documentary, HOTEL HIDAJET, which won awards at SXSW and Slamdance Film Festivals. After moving to Los Angeles and working for the Sundance and Los Angeles Film Festivals, she returned to the nonfiction production world as a field producer on a several docu-series for TLC, VH1, and A&E, including their hit series AIRLINE. She then joined the staff of Public Interest Pictures, a nonprofit documentary production company, working on a wide array of seminal political docs, including UNPRECEDENTED, BROADCAST BLUES, and HACKING DEMOCRACY for HBO. She produced Miss Tibet: Beauty in Exile, which held its world-premiere at DOC NYC, and produced and co-directed MINNESOTA 13: FROM GRAIN TO GLASS, which has been on a robust self-distribution run since premiering at MSPIFF last year. Kelly is currently producing programs for the Travel Channel and batting around ideas for her next documentary.

Michael W PicMichael Wandmacher is an award-winning composer and one of the most diverse musical talents in Hollywood. Recent credits include Sony Pictures/Lakeshore’s UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS, the newest installment in the vampire/werewolf franchise starring Kate Beckinsale, ABC’s hit comedy series THE GOLDBERGS (entering its fifth season this fall), and the indie drama/thriller VOICE FROM THE STONE starring Emilia Clarke. His music can also currently be heard on the ABC series IMAGINARY MARY starring Jenna Elfman. Among his 50+ credits, Wandmacher has composed scores for MY BLOODY VALENTINE and Marvel’s PUNISHER: WAR ZONE. No stranger to videogames, he worked on Sony Playstation’s critically-acclaimed megahit BLOODBORNE, as well as AAA titles like TWISTED METAL and SINGULARITY.

In addition to composing, Wandmacher often creates original songs and remixes. He recently collaborated with Amy Lee of Evanescence to write an end title track for VOICE FROM THE STONE and has produced re-imagines of songs from artists as wide-ranging as Sting (who recorded a brand new vocal for the classic Every Breath You Take specifically for Michael’s version of the song), Soundgarden, The Who, Lenny Kravitz, and Culture Club. Michael is represented by Rich Jacobellis at First Artists Management.

Aaron Young_Bio PicAaron C. Young (moderator) is the principle and founder of Young Entertainment Law, PLLC with clients that include the Twin Cities Film Fest, Wondervision Productions, Warbux Sports & Entertainment, Born Into Royalty, and Greenwich Vintage Co. In addition, Aaron represents award-winning filmmakers, producers, authors, painters, sculptors, composers, recording artists, and professional athletes, coaches and sports executives.

Aaron received his Juris Doctor (JD) from Marquette University Law School (Milwaukee, WI) in 2001 and his Master of Laws (LLM) from Southwestern Law School (Los Angeles, CA) in 2003, specializing in Entertainment & Media Law. He also has certificates in Sports Law from the National Sports Law Institute and Comparative Law from the University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia).

Aaron is an Adjunct Professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law teaching Independent Film, and a former Adjunct Professor of Law at Hamline University School of Law teaching Sports Law, Adjunct Professor of Law at William Mitchell College of Law teaching Client Representation, and Adjunct Professor at McNally Smith College of Music teaching Legal Aspects of Music & Entertainment, Business Law, and Contract Law.

Active in the business and charitable world, Aaron sits on boards or committees of several for profit and nonprofit organizations, including the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Legal Advisory Committee for Springboard for the Arts in St. Paul, MN, and the Board of Directors of Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota.

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