Old Dogs = 0, New Tricks = 1

At a time where mashups and, licensing, and fair use rights are usually points of “aggressive debate,” the Danny Elfman Project contributes a new perspective. It allows filmmakers to use selections from Elfman’s new album, Rabbit and Rogue, in their short film projects…free of charge…but for a specific creative purpose.

The available soundtrack is 12:12 in length and is completely free for indie filmmakers to use. In turn, they can also submit their short films using Elfman’s music to a competition presented by the LA Film Festival. The requirements are flexible in that entries not only have free license to use the music but submissions can integrate the music as direct accompaniment or simply as inspiration.

Submission deadline was May 9th and you can see the dozens of submissions already on file at indi.com/laffdannyelfmanproject (personally, I love A Day for Manuel).

If you’re wondering what this has to do with the orchestra business, look at it as an example of using a “Yes, And…” approach to dealing with contentious issues between stakeholders that have been fought over for decades. If you aren’t familiar with the approach, I highly recommend picking up a copy of the book by Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton. Just be sure you’re ready to wrap your mind wrap around the idea of approaching stakeholder relationships by accepting and building on what others have initiated without having to first tear down and destroy.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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