SAMRO Documentary - Music made for television
The arrival of spring brought with it Notes 2 Notes, a fascinating documentary on the history and development of SAMRO. It showcased perfectly just how music creators can benefit from leveraging their music in such mediums. It was screened on SABC 1
The arrival of spring brought with it Notes 2 Notes, a fascinating documentary on the history and development of SAMRO. It showcased perfectly just how music creators can benefit from leveraging their music in such mediums. It was screened on SABC 1, on Sunday night, 1 September, with a repeat screening on Wednesday, 4 September.
Commissioned to commemorate SAMRO’s 50-year anniversary, Notes 2 Notes not only tells the SAMRO story, but tracks both the country’s political and musical context from which it grew.
The documentary was produced by Emmy Award-winning local production house Rapid Blue and directed by Sara Blecher, with assistance from respected music guru Lloyd Ross. Rapid Blue is responsible for television shows like Strictly Come Dancing and Come Dine With Me, but also boasts a reputation for fair and truthful documentary story-telling.
The evolution of Africa’s oldest and largest copyright administration society is narrated through interviews with key players in SAMRO’s history; musicians, composers and music industry thought leaders all add their memories and insights to the story. The documentary also features music from many of South Africa’s top artists.
Feature films, television and documentaries all make use of music and this can prove a very lucrative income stream for music creators. Music used in television shows or documentaries attracts royalties from both mechanical rights and performance rights. The mechanical rights royalties are earned by music composers, lyricists and publishers when their musical works are used from one medium to another. The rights are usually negotiated by the production company with the individual record companies, RiSA or the individual copyright holder, and royalties are then paid to SAMRO for distribution to the music creator.
Performing rights royalties are earned when the musical creation is performed in public, which includes broadcast. These royalties are paid by the broadcaster to SAMRO for distribution to the member.
Music creators should look to their record companies to promote their music to production companies for use in television or documentaries. Alternatively they can approach the production companies themselves and motivate for their music to be used. Production companies often commission music specific to a production, especially for the title tracks. For instance Rapid Blue has a policy of featuring and promoting as much local music as possible and most often commission local music creators to produce it. The opening sequence of Notes 2 Notes, which won a Promox Gold for Best Graphic Design for an Opening Sequence, used some of Peter Klatzow’s music from I am an African.