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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 11:16 PM   #1
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Portfolio Reels...

Hey guys,
I'm applying for a couple scholarships and schools and I needed to make a portfolio reel of my work, I was wondering if I could use copyrighted music for this or did the music have to be original too? Thanks.
Glen Chua is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2005, 07:12 AM   #2
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I am sure that lots of college professors have no respect for copyrights, yet would howl if someone even copied a page out of a textbook they authored. But if you want people to respect your work in the future, you should start now by doing the same.

I think you are safest (and legal) if you use some legitimate music, either royalty-free or licensed. You could also go thru the trouble of trying to get permission from an artist if you really want to use a specific song. If you manage to get permission, make sure you mention it on your reel and in your letter and everywhere else. THAT would impress me that a student navigated all those hoops to stay legal. And since it is for a pretty minor use, you might even find the artist giving you permission (or not). Either way, it will be a great educational experience.

Of course, original music that you create would be a lot better than any other choice.
Bob Costa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 26th, 2005, 10:32 PM   #3
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I don't think it's entirely necessary to get the rights just for submission work. You aren't displaying it publicly or for profit, and thus nobody should really care.

Now, it is GOOD TO GET INTO THE HABIT of using legal music. I strongly recommend you do that. But as far as revising older work to become legal, I wouldn't bother. The work you've done in the past is the work you've done in the past. For all your FUTURE work, however, get into the habit of being legal. But what's done is done. Don't go out on a limb to make your old work legal if you're ONLY using it as submittion material. If you plan on using this work to send off to festivals and stuff, that's another story. But as far as submission material, most kids and student filmmakers don't have the money for that anyway. I'm sure that most college submissions do not have royalty-free music, and I'm sure they don't dock you for that.

Just as a matter of interest, I have 2 friends who got into USC flim and 1 who got into UCLA, and all 3 of them submitted work that had some copyrighted music in it.
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