Still River Films Case Study

Promotional Video

A life with music

A journey into music copyright

Music copyright is a big issue for any video production company. Some people are not aware of this important detail, but all music must be properly licensed. This unfortunately adds to the cost of the overall production. The silver lining is that when you have the correct music license, you never have to worry about receiving a copyright claim.

The promotional video

Creating a promotional video is a big investment for any type of business, but perhaps more so for individuals and entrepreneurs. A single person business or a small company can’t easily afford to have a promotional video made. Even though there is a fundamental appreciation in the value that a video can bring, and the value that exists in attracting new customers to experience their products or services. With this in mind, let’s have a look at Sarah’s story.

Sarah is an amazing violinist! Her professional career has seen many years in playing for National Orchestras both in the UK and overseas. She developed a passion for sound and its qualities in being a therapeutic remedy for healing. This took her on a new journey – exploring new horizons with her considerable talent in music.

In this film, we wanted to explore Sarah’s music side – what made her get into music and what is it about music that keeps her invigorated. Its always amazing to see how individualised music can be, yet at the same time, seeing how it brings communities together. Doing short films like this doesn’t require a big studio; contrary to the popular myth I seem to come across frequently. We filmed the interview at a friend’s house. It was the first time we had met Sarah and we spent some time chatting over a cup of tea, before we setup the lighting and cameras for the interview. The interview is very informal and is more like a normal conversation between two people. This is how we like to do our interviews. We want you to appear natural and believable. Hopefully, you can see how relaxed Sarah is during the interview. And we also hope you find yourself connecting with her passion for music.

An example of music copyright

After the interview was over, Sarah played some of the most beautiful violin music. This allowed us to get some extra footage to support her story. She played “The Ashokan Farewell” by Ungar, and as a backup, we also asked Sarah to play something she had written or perhaps something improvised. We were mindful beforehand about music copyright and that we may need to get permission from the copyright holder (Ungar). We were also mindful that this might be a potential problem.

After checking the music copyright of Ungar’s music score we decided it was easier to phone them directly. We spoke with the main person dealing with Ungar’s copyright dealings at the Song Writers Guild in America. We soon discovered that getting a music license from Ungar was not straightforward. The questions were very detailed and it seemed that it would be unrealistically expensive to purchase a music license for a short film like this. We spoke with Sarah and agreed that her improvised music score was the one to go for.

The power of having a promotional film

A short film like this one can attract people to who you are, not what you do. Suppose you’re a teacher of music (for example), your potential clients already know that you’re a teacher, which is why they came to you in the first place. What can separate you from the other teachers in the marketplace is to communicate, “who you are”. Ultimately, people connect with people. If your client connects with you before they’ve even met you, then you’re at an advantage straightaway.

What’s your story?

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