×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

L.A. Music Jobs Travel Far From Hollywood Stages

Insiders blame residual commitments, incentive coin for pushing more gigs overseas

Just as production flight from Los Angeles has been decades in the making, the reasons for the decline in work for musicians on film and TV projects are deep-rooted. But while there is agreement that solutions won’t be easy, there are differing opinions as to how to solve the issue.

Marc Sazer, president of the Recording Musicians Assn., maintains that the current tax incentive schemes in California and 44 other states across America aren’t just harming the livelihoods of thousands of professional musicians in Los Angeles, but are a misuse of tax dollars.

In particular, Sazer says the current development of companies accepting tax dollars from California and other states and then taking scoring jobs to England is particularly unseemly. “I understand if a producer is receiving English tax dollars and scoring there, but if the idea of California incentives is to keep production here, that has to include musicians as well,” he says.

Sazer maintains that incentive programs need local hiring safeguards to ensure that film and TV scoring jobs are protected.

SEE ALSO: L.A. Mayor Declares State of ‘Emergency’ As Movie, TV Production Flees Hollywood

Conversely, top composer agent Richard Kraft of Kraft-Engel Management advocates a need for musicians to rethink their approach to the issue of runaway production. At issue, he says, is the 1% of video revenues companies must pay American Federation of Musicians members who work on film and TV projects.

Kraft, who last year launched the blog BringMoreRecordingtoLA.com, notes that the music for the six top-grossing films last year were all recorded in London. “Of all the films released in the first half of 2013, only perhaps two dozen were recorded (by members of the) AFM,” he says.

SEE ALSO: Where in the World Will the New ‘Star Wars’ Films Shoot?

Kraft says the union needs to be flexible about backend payments, and maintains that they help a relatively small number of musicians who get the lion’s share of work. “Composers have learned how to adjust their deals to the needs of clients all over the world,” Kraft says. “That kind of thinking is long overdue in the leadership ranks of Los Angeles film and TV musicians.”

Meanwhile, classical music expert Jim Svejda describes the working Hollywood studio musicians as the greatest on Earth, toiling at “the most lucrative gig in classical music.”

More Music

  • Billie Eilish Coachella Day 2

    Billie Eilish, Chance the Rapper, Post Malone to Headline Life Is Beautiful Festival

    Billie Eilish, Chance the Rapper, Post Malone and the Black Keys are a few of the more than 70 artists set to perform at the seventh annual Life Is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas, which takes place from Sept. 20-22. Following sold-out shows for the last two years, the rapidly growing festival brings several musicians hot [...]

  • Britney Spears Musical

    Britney Spears Musical 'Once Upon a One More Time's' Film Rights Land at Sony

    Sony Pictures has won screen rights to the Broadway-bound “Once Upon a One More Time,” a fairy tale featuring classic songs from Britney Spears, sources have confirmed to Variety. John Davis’ Davis Entertainment will produce the film along with Spears and her manager, Larry Rudolph. Neither a writer nor a director has yet been attached. [...]

  • NSYNC

    Is *NSYNC Planning a Reunion Without Justin Timberlake? 'There Are Offers'

    It’s a legitimate question. Following the surprise appearance of *NSYNC members Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick with Ariana Grande at the Coachella music festival on April 15, could the group stage a comeback play without Justin Timberlake? The foursome took to the stage deep into Grande’s song “Break Up With Your [...]

  • Linda Perry poses for a portrait

    Linda Perry Named as Honoree for Grammy Museum Benefit

    Linda Perry, who was nominated at the most recent Grammy Awards as producer of the year, isn’t finished with her 2019 Grammy-related honors. She’ll be the subject of a tribute concert as part of a Grammy Museum benefit gala being held in her honor in downtown Los Angeles June 29. The event is being dubbed [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Brothers Accused of Jussie Smollett Attack Sue His Attorneys for Defamation

    The two brothers who allegedly participated in a staged hate attack on Jussie Smollett have filed a defamation suit against Smollett’s lawyers, accusing the attorneys of smearing their reputations in a bid to salvage Smollett’s image. Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo filed suit in federal court in Illinois on Tuesday. The suit alleges that Smollett’s attorneys [...]

  • Steve Lassiter

    APA Names Steve Lassiter Co-Head of Worldwide Music

    Steve Lassiter, a 20-year veteran of talent agency APA, has been promoted to co-head of worldwide music, president and CEO Jim Gosnell announced today. Lassiter joins fellow co-heads of worldwide music Bruce Solar and Steve Martin. He most recently served as head of concerts at APA Nashville, where his roster includes Travis Tritt, the Charlie [...]

  • Seth MacFarlance Musical Career

    Seth MacFarlane on Immersing Music Fans in 'Emotion' for Fifth Album 'Once in a While'

    Malevolent toddler voice? Check. Boozy, foul-mouthed teddy bear voice? Got it. Silky-smooth singing baritone that can croon a saloon song all the way down to the bottom of the whiskey glass? Seth MacFarlane can do that, too. When he’s not minding his expanding multimedia empire, MacFarlane’s personal passion project is singing and recording classic tunes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content