COMMISSIONS FAQ

Last updated: 5th February 2019

What is the full process of commissioning a work from you?

  1. I receive your completed "Commission Form" from one of the commission pages and respond to you via email with a quote of how much your commission would cost.

  2. Once we agree on a quote, I will write up a copy of a "Commissioning Agreement" - a legal document that will set out both of our rights and licenses for the new commission, including any performance rights (e.g. worldwide premiere), printing licenses, and the deadline for the delivery of the completed score(s).

  3. After we have both agreed and signed the agreement, after receiving the first 50% of the commissioning fee, I shall begin working on the commission.

    • This is to ensure that my time spent working on the commission is not ​​wasted should the commissioner decide to back out of the agreement after I begin working.

  4. (For "Screen" and "Video Game" commissions:) I will email you rough recordings of the work in progress to get your early feedback on the direction of the commission.

  5. On or before the deadline, I shall email you a preview of the completed score and/or the rough recording (depending on the commission).

  6. If the preview is to your liking, then I will send over all of your requested items once the final 50% of the commissioning fee has been delivered.

Why do I have to pay 50% of the commissioning fee beforehand?

  • This is to ensure that my time spent working on the commission does not become wasted should the commissioner decide to back out of the commission after I had begun working on it.

Can I get a refund of the initial 50%, or all of the commissioning fee?

  • You are allowed to terminate the commission up to 1 hour after the delivery of the first 50% of the commissioning fee. If that happens, I will refund you the entire 50% of the fee you had sent.

  • Otherwise, apart from exceptional circumstances where I feel I am not able to deliver on your commission, I'm afraid I cannot fulfill refunds outside of the above situations.

I don't like the result, what happens then?

  • With most commissions, I am more than happy to tweak and rewrite a few segments of the completed commission if certain passages aren't to your liking, but I'm afraid I won't be able to rewrite the entirety of the commission from scratch without a new commission submission.

    • For "Screen" and "Video Game" commissions, I will regularly send you works in progress​ of the commission, and you are free to give feedback and suggest changes before completion.

  • If, after some revisions, the commission is still not to your liking, then you are not obligated to pay the final 50% of the commissioning fee. If that is the case, you will not receive your requested items from the commission and the "Commissioning Agreement" will be terminated.

If I only want 2 minutes and 30 seconds of music, how much do I pay?

  • The "per minute" method of commission always rounds up to the nearest minute.

    • For example, if you only wanted 2 minutes and 30 seconds of SATB choir unaccompanied music (at £60 per minute), the fee would be for 3 minutes; £180.

    • This is why I ask for the "Duration Range" on the commission form (e.g. 2-3 minutes, 8-9 minutes) as music composition is always a challenge to finish on an exact timestamp (with live performances further skewing the duration).

      • The upper limit of the duration range determines the fee.

  • Further, if I go over your maximum duration specified in the agreement, you won't be charged any additional fee.

    • For example, if your SATB choir unaccompanied commission only wanted between 5-6 minutes of music, but the finished commission is over 6 minutes, you will still only pay the fee for 5-6 minutes (£360 at £60 per minute).

What is the "High Quality Audio" optional addition, and why does the price vary?

  • For all of my commissions, there are two options for creating an audio:

    1. Rough Recording: A recording rendered automatically by ​computer software which is included for free with all commissions.

    2. High Quality Recording: A recording I create myself from scratch using various high quality sample libraries and virtual instruments.

  • The time to create a "High Quality Recording" can vary drastically depending on the specifics of the commission (e.g. a solo piano accompaniment will be a lot faster to produce than a swift, aggressive boss battle theme), which is why the rate varies so drastically. Some high quality recordings can take several days to produce!

 

Who retains the rights to the completed commission?

  • As is the case for the majority of worldwide commissions, I (the Composer) retain the worldwide rights to the commission, outside of the rights granted to you in the "Commissioning Agreement" (e.g. rights to give the worldwide premiere).

  • In some cases of "Screen" and "Video Game" commissions, additional rights and exclusives will be negotiated beforehand, such as:

    • Compensation for any soundtrack album being produced alongside the film/video game

    • Exclusive license to use the commission in the film/video game and promotional material

    • Any required royalties or agreed revenue split

    • Any "Work for Hire" deals (for high-budget projects)

Are the finished commissions registered with a performing rights society?

  • For the majority of commissions, they will be registered with the "Performing Rights Society for Music" (UK). The membership number that the commissions are registered to is available on request.

  • Certain "Screen" and "Video Game" commissions won't be registered if specified in the agreement.

Aside from the premiere, I want to perform your commission again at a later date, or broadcast your commission on TV/Radio/etc.

  • As most of the commissions will be registered with the "Performing Rights Society for Music", you will need to acquire a license from them in order to perform or broadcast the commission. You can view their licenses HERE.

How should I credit you in my film/video game project?

  • A general idea for a good credit looks like this:

Music composed by:

Jonathan Shaw

(www.jshaw.co.uk)

 

I have a question that wasn't answered, how can I contact you?

  • Feel free to contact me over HERE for any further questions!

© 2019 Jonathan Shaw