They are great with sync and pop pitches, but not really a player at all when pitching film music – which is my specialty in composing and in my heart, it is my personal preference to compose film music more than anything else. So, this writer and I wrote what we thought was a great pitch for one of major artists. I spent about an hour and a half the morning of our write working on ideas and found a great one that we used. I came in with it all mapped out and part of a chorus. We quickly wrote the song. Two days later, he sent me a demo. I got it pitched to that singer we had in mind and she put it on the hold. If we get it cut, we make the same amount of money since we have similar pub deals. So, what do you think? Should I have paid him to track the song? Should he have paid me to pitch it since we used my connections for pitching and he admitted, “never leaves his basement”? Is a great demo that never gets heard worth anything?
Beginning Writer/Unsigned Track Guy. Today – write after I finish writing this chapter – I’m writing with an unsigned guy that I think is really talented. He doesn’t have a deal and he’s never had a cut, but he does killer tracks. He is learning to write but doesn’t often contribute a ton to the song. I’m bringing in a signed artist to our write. If we get the cut, this unsigned writer will make 25% more money than I will because he owns all of his publishing and I just have half of mine. Should I pay him to do the track? Should he pay me to pitch it? For bringing a signed artist into our co-write who is contributing more if he does a killer track?
Multiple Beginning Writers Including A Track Person. In Flipside’s community, we have people with many different skill sets. I’m going to single out Sam Veil because he’s such a hard worker. Sam writes pop and rock music, but he lives far away from our office and studio. Let’s say Sam writes with a track person who charges him to do the track on their song. Sam comes to studio often at his own expense and pitches that song. He even pays to go to some events where he can pitch. He is the hardest working artist I know in show business. So, should he pay his co-writer to do a track? Should his co-writer chip in on his travel expenses when he comes to studio to pitch their songs? Who is contributing the most?
So, What Do You Think? As you can see, there are many scenarios and factors that play into the answer to that question. I arrive at my answer by looking back at a Bible story I have heard since I was a child. I’ll paraphrase the story, but basically, there are three people making offerings at church. A rich man makes a show of throwing $100 in the plate. A middle-class man contributes $10. A poor woman with only a penny to her name quietly lays it in the plate. Then the question is asked “Who gave the most?” The answer, of course, is the woman who gave everything she had. If you are writing with people who are giving it everything they have, there’s probably not a need to sort out whose work is most valuable in the process. The idea, the melody, the lyrics, the track, the final production and the pitching all have immense value. If you aren’t writing with people who give everything they possibly can to the song and you feel a need to ask them for money to compensate you for working more than they do, you probably need new co-writers. Or you need a different view on the value of your (and their) contributions to the end result.