Music Maestro please…

“Your request to license Stella Maris has been received and will be responded
to within 24hrs.

Thank you for using!”

So after my conversation with Rachel Regarding copyright and legal use of music for films I thought it was time to grasp that nettle and get it done!

I have known for some time which track I have wanted to use for both the beginning and the end of Low Season. As I write this the lovely folk from Moby gratis, a free non commercial site set up by none other than the musician Moby, for students and Indy film makers, are considering my proposal. I will include my pitch below. So my fingers are crossed, it is rare to find such high quality music for free use on the internet, and I have spent months tracking down this particular piece. Despite what one might assume the ability to download genuine and licence free music is still a very difficult thing to achieve if your standards are high.

I have in the past worked with composers that I know and been very lucky with music, I have also hidden behind my status as student and effectively hamstrung myself with music that I do not have the rights to use outside of the education environment. I am not falling into this trap again, and believe me when I say this , the temptation is a big one.

Often my films become linked to a particular track either in the conception or by the theme also. In this film David Bowies (2016) ‘Five years’ is deeply embedded in both. It goes back a long way to my first hearing the track as a 19 year old and in a way the cinematic quality of this track has echoed throughout my life to find a resonance and home in this film, in a way it is a kernel of feeling, and of a imagination.

Here is the track that wont be used as a first rough draft by Kashi, I have included some rough story boards also although they do not follow as to the timing of the use of imagery and soundtrack.

Password: charliedontsurf

Kashi Gill Five years cover from Chris Lake on Vimeo.


So realising that My dodgey Student work around of using a cover of the song in the film was a best, restrictive! Was a hard one to take, I think I already knew it was the case, but speaking to Rachel confirmed this, and I determined to cut it from my process and production.

This wasn’t helped by the fact that I had already spoken to The busker character for the film who had spent weeks learning the track so he could play it on film. But nettle grasped a second time I actually feel a lot happier, it is crucial that I own all the permissions for this film for when I try to get it into film festivals.

The work around for the busking track, was that the same busker character played me a version of a very old Irish Folk song ” P is for paddy” which has many versions and names, but does not have any ownership rights as a song to be covered. When he played me the song It was only then That I thought of asking him to perform the cover of the bowie track, In a way it was the impact of the Folk song that felt so right in the first place, I discounted it because I felt at the time it was so far removed from the film. On closer inspection it is this ambiguity and its wistful tone that works so well. So in a strange circular twist of fate I am back to the folk song with no overt political or social import. That seems to fit perfectly in the tone and ambiance of the film and for whcih I retain legal ownership or at least rights to display and use.

Fingers crossed for Maris!


The pitch I sent in to Moby Gratis:

“Low Season is a film about the long term social consequences of consumerism and capitalism.

The cost on the human spirit, the price extracted when we don’t measure up to the social and economic demands of modern life.
It is a shout out for the dispossessed, a quiet scream for the stragglers on the edges of a system that demands the impossible, constant happiness, economic stability and continual growth.
Set in the twilight of a failing economic and global society, Low Season asks us what it will take for us to find another way forward. Are we truly doomed? Or do we already possess the means to regenerate and re-evaluate our place in the world?

A film about the loss of identity and the fragility of hope.

It follows a man in his late middle age who is clinging to the last shreds of his dignity and humanity, we follow him on a journey of quiet rediscovery in the deserted seaside town in which he grew up.

Is this journey his last? Or does it symbolise a rebirth through the reconnection to elemental forces far greater than ourselves?”


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