Most people know that Sonnyboo.com has free music & other downloads. It’s odd, I get 15-17 emails a day (literally) thanking me for my generosity, and these days, a lone poster who feels that I am an evil bastard because I benefit from the promotion of my downloads. Today I received my 17th email just on the ON THE LOT site alone since joining thanking me for the Royalty Free Music, I offer on Sonnyboo.com, which is my website. I was a musician from the time I was 5 years old. I started noodling with the piano, then the saxophone, then guitar, and everything else as I grew up. My sole purpose was to write music for movies. That’s it. That was the sum total of my purpose in life until 1997 when I finally got my first chance to get my music on a soundtrack. The movie was AWFUL. I don’t mean in a fun, Mystery Science 3000 kinda way, I mean in an ugly, so bad it can’t even be laughed at because I want to put a fork in my eyeballs kind of way. I said to myself – “I can do better than that” and that moment redefined who I was. Everyone SAYS “I can do better than that”, but I endeavored to do so. I spent a few years writing screenplays and trying to sell one so I could make my own low budget SLACKER/CLERKS/EL MARIACHI.
In 1997, I retired my songwriting endeavors. I had recorded 8 or 9 CD’s worth of music where I played most or all of the instruments. I never really felt I connected with any audience at any time. Part of art, to me anyway, is to express yourself solely to get it out of you, and the other part is to express yourself in a way that communicates with other people. I didn’t feel like a failure with my music, but I also didn’t get fulfilled because I wasn’t expressing myself in a way that other people understood.
In 2000, I started making short films. As crude and amateurish as they were, I seemed to be connecting to audiences much better. More people than not, understood what I was trying to “say” with this artistic expression. Going to film festival screenings, big and small (mostly small) really enhanced the experience as you get unadulterated feedback from the great amorphous beast known as an AUDIENCE.
After making short films for 2-3 years, I did what ever amateur does – I used © copyrighted music in my movies. Pretty quickly, I found the limitations in how little you can do with a short with stolen music in it. The joy in working with musicians again and getting original music for my films. Original music made the films more personal and more unique, at least in a simple aesthetic way.
Once I was able to get TV distribution for several of my short films because I had obtained the legal rights to the music, as well as cell phone distribution, and other money making revenues – I wanted to make sure other people that want to further their careers were able to do so also. It’s also a great promotion for my website & short films. Uh oh! The smoking gun! I admit that it is promotional!!!! As if this is something to be ashamed of. I genuinely want to help people AND I want to get name recognition for my site. I have been accused of being a marketing whore. Well, I am. But I don’t see how that somehow negates the actual generosity of giving completely, true ROYALTY FREE MUSIC and other downloads for filmmakers on my site. I don’t require anyone to watch my movies, and I don’t even require any notification from filmmakers who choose to use my music in their movies.
Here’s a newsflash – PEOPLE CAN HAVE MULTIPLE INTENTIONS!!!! I don’ t have a problem giving away stuff for free and also use it to market myself. My dual intentions are not evil or wrong, at least I sleep okay at night knowing why I do things. I just don’t understand why there are people who stay awake at night, writing characters in their screenplays about it, and hounding my posts and blogs about it so I have to censor the replies.
Here’s some irony – all I ever wanted my whole life was to have my music in movies. Years after I quit making music, that’s when songs I wrote started appearing in literally hundreds of movies. I don’t know exactly how to feel about that, but it’s a mix of pride, jubilance, and of course a tinge of regret, but not enough to make me pick up my stratocaster and try to play again. I do NOT miss making music at all.
Ah, the spice of life. Differences of opinion.
In other news of the Boo…
I have been added as a guest speaker and on a panel or two with cinema greats Uwe Boll, Lloyd Kaufman (Troma), and more at the IT CAME FROM LAKE MICHIGAN film festival and indie film event. This will be a hoot. I’ll get a table to sell my books and DVD’s, etc. This will be kick ass. I love these kind of events and always have a ball. This time I want my woman there to help hock stuff. I always seem to sell more when a hot chick sits behind the table.
Thanks to the new GOOGLE ANALYTICS for website stats, I made an interesting discovery: Many Sonnyboo shorts are being used in educational institutions. Colleges like uses THE LINE OF MASCULINITY and the “Best of Sonnyboo Shorts” DVD and the class has to write an analysis. There are also links and mentions of me & the Sonnyboo.com site in High Schools (like Smithtown in New York) and also Ohio University, both online & even to students. I got an email from a friend whose professor at Devry mention my site by name during class. I feel so wierd having my stuff mentioned in educational institutions. It kicks ass, but it’s odd.
Anywho… We’re gearing up for the research trip to Europe. That’s right, France and Germany and Poland for 15 days. We’re doing research for a feature for 2008-2009. This is a true story about the Axis and one girl’s story (not Anne Frank). In many ways I’m just along for the ride, but another trip to Europe on someone else’s dime never hurts. I will miss the cats, but then again, I just made MP3’s of an butt load of director’s commentary tracks and compressed them down a lot so I have 48 hours of audio on my 1 gig MP3 player. Train trips and long flights won’t be so bad.
The Boo’s world is spinning faster & faster. Let’s see what else we have to see until next time.