IM Global’s Music Arm Takes Global View of Songs and Scores

IM Global’s newly formed music arm is taking an appropriately global approach to owning and controlling the songs and scores of its various film and TV projects.

“What we want to do is to be part of that at a 360-level: not just be the sales agent, or produce the actual film or TV show, but to own the underlying musical content as well — to own the publishing asset, produce the soundtrack, be involved integrally with all the music,” says IM Global Music president David Schulhof.

Taking it a step farther, IM Global Music recently announced a partnership with Universal Music Group’s Republic Records to co-produce and co-finance films. Their first project will be “Rollin’ Thunder,” an urban comedy set in the bowling world, expected to go before the cameras in Atlanta in September with Nick Cannon and Nelly as co-producers.

Also slated for this fall is another IM Global project, an untitled romantic drama starring R&B singer Miguel with an original song score by John Legend, expected to shoot this fall in Philadelphia. Both films are likely 2016 releases.

IM Global Music is also launching its own soundtrack label, with its first releases slated to be albums for the upcoming films “Autobahn,” “The Secret in Their Eyes,” “Viral,” “Incarnate” and “The Autopsy of Jane Doe.”

Schulhof, an industry vet who spent seven years running Miramax’s music operation and then ran his own music publishing company, understands the often hidden but always lucrative side of the music business: music publishing, meaning ownership rights.

“We are in the hunt right now for publishing assets that we can leverage through the platform,” he says.

IM Global Music is about to ally with an unspecified “major music publishing company,” Schulhof says, to handle administration and co-financing of publishing ventures.

“We’re also financing film scores, partnering and working with producers who come to us. We have capital,” he points out, telling producers, “Give us your score rights, your soundtrack album rights, and we’ll help monetize those for you.”

Following on Schulhof’s plan to be a “full-service film and TV music operation,” he is also planning to do music supervision. “Let us find the right songwriter to write that main-title or end-title song. Let us do the creative with you, and we’ll also do the ‘back office’ with you,” including clearance and licensing services, he says.

The company will be “involved … in an advisory capacity,” he says, with the upcoming films “The Man Who Made It Snow,” Antoine Fuqua’s Colombian-cocaine-empire film starring Jake Gyllenhaal that Schulhof expects to have “a great Latin-music soundtrack.”

On the television side, Schulhof says they are looking at possibilities for music-driven TV series, possibly for one of the over-the-top services like Netflix; and getting the word out to the recording-artist community that “we really want to partner with artists that have great stories to tell.”

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