13 Jun

Music and Muppets

It’s been a difficult morning. My internet connection has gone flaky just 24 hours after my singing the praises of Virginmedia. However, I’ve managed to connect long enough to post this and to see myself get a namecheck over at the Times Online, where Kermit the Frog answered one of my questions. That has to be a personal high for me, greater than anything I’ve achieved so far. I’ve now dyed myself green in honour of the frog.

However, I face a bit of an uphill struggle today. I’ve finished my animation and edited it to my satisfaction. Only, I’m now stumped as to what to do about the music. It’s a crazy situation that a small not-for-profit animation requires copyright lawyers and a sizable bank balance before it can get a descent soundtrack but that’s the case if I want to do this legitimately. Of course, I could rip music from different places (and I’ve done that in my edit) but now I want to post this to a wider audience, I’d like to do it without ending up deported to Guantanamo.

The alternative is to use some free music produced by some unknown bands (all of whom seem to specialise in ‘experimental’ music, which is just like real music but without all the notes) or use music that’s fallen out of copyright, usually some tuba sola by a Russian orchestra recoded in the dark days of Stalin and potato blights.

I would normally post a small cartoon here but this internet connection won’t allow me to upload graphics. A shame. It would have been a good one too…



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12 thoughts on “Music and Muppets

  1. From my experience at work, a lot of people (admittedly not mega-stars) consent to use of their music for a credit and a link. What’s the non-copyright-free track that you have in your edit? What’s the feel you’r going for?

    • The track I was having trouble finding was some sleazy funk but thankfully I found an alternative with creative commons rights. You’re right, I guess, that I’d probably get away with most tracks but I figure I’d be a touch hypocritical moving to pen and ink to avoid copyright issues for photos and then nick my soundtrack. 🙂

      As its turned out, I think I have better music now than I has before with established names, as I hope you’ll agree. I’m aiming to post the video to tomorrow.

  2. I’m glad you found what you were looking for.

    Just to clarify, I wasn’t suggesting that you use copyrighted material without consent – rather, that you ask to use it. Although not everybody will agree, a lot of ‘undiscovered’ folks will agree in exchange for a prominent link. For example, if somebody of your stature asked to use some of your work with a credit and link, you might agree because of welcomed exposure, a sense of validation, or just wanting to help. Sometimes you just have to ask. “Dear so-and-so, I really like your work and was hoping to us it in my … so on and so forth. I can’t offer x, but I can offer y …”

    • Ah, the old diplomatic approach. To be honest, I spend enough time being rejected by agents, publishers and Private Eye, to add musicians to the list. Besides, my work is pretty throwaway at the moment and not at a high enough standard to warrant the effort. However, when I finished my nine hour animated version of the Leveson Inquiry, I’ll certainly write a letter to Sir Cliff. 🙂

        • LOL. I think I’ll wait to see if the effort I put into the last animation was worth it, though judging from this morning’s response (i.e. zero), I’d say that other than an academic exercise of learning to do this stuff, I’ve completely wasted my time. 🙁

          • To be perfectly honest, I’m just posting it for this blog at the moment. Call it a confidence thing… I’ve not had much luck showing the world my work lately and I’d prefer it if the usual trolls out there left me alone for a little while.

  3. Fuck them. You’ve managed to make impressive videos using different techniques each time. You should be proud of yourself, there is clear progression. Don’t your own ambitions overwhelm you. So what if people are rude or indifferent? People like Miranda

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