Cutting Edge bows music score site

Idea is to enable secondary use of film composers' work

LONDON — Cutting Edge Group has launched its new Cutting Edge Film Scores website, a resource set to provide a “one stop shop” for licensing movie scores for secondary usage.

The service officially launches today following beta testing. It allows users access to almost 200 film scores including Alexandre Desplat’s Academy Award-nommed score for “The King’s Speech” and recent music for films including “End of Watch,” “Looper,” “Arbitrage” and “The Woman in Black.”

The catalog is expected to expand at a rate of 60 films per year, with titles set for 2013 to include “Dead Man Down,” Stephen Sommers’ “Odd Thomas,” Catherine Hardwicke’s “Plush,” and Taylor Hackford’s “Parker.”

“Traditionally it has been a very difficult rights area. It has often been very hard to license film soundtracks for secondary usage in broadcasting or advertising,” said CEG managing director Phil Hope. “This site provides a one stop shop for licensing.”

Hope said for the most part film scores rarely see future exploitation following their delivery. “Most music sits on a shelf. We see this as a service for composers to drive extra revenue for them.”

He also highlights the opportunity for better exposure. Previous film scores are regularly used in temp-tracks during post-production, but these are usually limited to scores available for retail. “CEFS has every cue to every score available to build a temp track, which will also drive additional business to the composer,” said Hope.

The site includes a SonicSearch function that allows subscribers to upload a piece of music and have it automatically matched to similar music in the database, helping filmmakers to find music and composers with a similar sound to their desired outcome and helping expose lesser known works.

CEG controls both master and publishing rights to all the scores available on the CEFS service enabling users to select the music they want to license quickly and easily. CEG comes onboard the films at production stage and provides funding for the score in exchange for control of the rights. This enables filmmakers to get the score or composer they want while providing the composers with additional revenue streams.

“Our model came from working on many independent movies; most of them have run out of money by the time they get to the music,” said Hope, who revealed the company’s investment in films could range from $2,000 to $200,000. “We recoup our investment out of the music rights.”

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