Guest: Adam Dugas - What Happens When Your Music Rights Go Wrong / by Samuel B. Prime

Editor's Note: In late June of 2014, LA Ciné Salon screened Adam Dugas' and Casey Spooner's DUST for a limited run. The film is the spiritual descendant of the movie world's gutter-trash poets, Paul Morrissey and John Waters. If filmmaking is at all like going to war, occasionally there are things that blindside you, take you by surprise. Dugas writes about one such instance, which has led him to crowdfund via IndieGoGo to finish the film

- Samuel B. Prime, Founder

As anyone who makes things knows, unexpected problems are unavoidable. For our super independent film DUST, however, I always had a nagging part of my brain that reminded me constantly that our music licenses weren’t finalized. Sure enough, years after completion, the writers behind some of the songs we used began a legal battle amongst themselves, leaving us and our film with a gaping sonic hole.

Luckily, the artist who composed our score, Ben Bromley, popped into the picture at the same time. I had been worrying that I would have to find new writing partners or compose songs myself - but sometimes it turns out that the most obvious and easy path to success is right in front of you. Ben has some tracks that we are going to adapt to the project, and the truth is that I think it will strengthen the film by having the soundtrack all be of a piece from one composer. Having Ben’s beautiful, moody electronic music over the credits will set a tone that better prepares a viewer for the strange, funny, emotional story that is about to unfold.

The journey this film has taken us on has been strange, funny, and emotional as well - not to mention long! Beginning with a kamikaze shoot in Kansas City, Missouri with barely any money and nearly no food on set (not recommended), a pickup scene shot in Los Angeles, editing and finishing in New York, film festivals in Spain and South Africa, and now this final frontier - CROWDFUNDING

We’re really excited to be releasing DUST later this year in partnership with Traverse Media. It will finally be available on a wide digital platform with some marketing behind it so that people can find it and see it! But first we have to pay the composer for his time to work on the music, go back to the audio house to fix the mix, adjust the end credits, pump out a new master, hire a closed-captioning service, pay music licensing legal fees, and deliver the package for distribution!

My video pitch says it all - we think the best perk we have to offer is the film itself. Any and all contributions will go directly to take care of these myriad issues. We’ve had some incredible champions behind the film, but the biggest heroes in this process have been all the friends and strangers who have shown their faith by helping us in this final push. It is a humbling experience, and I am honored that so many people have shown up for us.


- Adam Dugas