Sunday’s New York Times had a great article on the cost of clearing music in documentaries. It’s a very changed landscape and highly recommend reading this prior to shooting ANYTHING!

“Clearance costs – licensing fees paid to copyright holders for permission to use material like music, archival photographs and film and news clips – can send expenses for filmmakers soaring into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Jonathan Caouette’s “Tarnation,” for instance – a portrait of a young man’s relationship with his mentally ill mother that Mr. Caouette edited at home, on a laptop computer – was widely reported to have cost $218. In fact, after a distributor picked up “Tarnation,” improved the quality with post-production editing and cleared music rights, the real cost came to more than $460,000. Clearance expenses were about half the total.”

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