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 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 9:59 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

Jacky's long ordeal is now being remedied somewhat by Peter, (DrivingMissDaisy). It is coming out of HIS OWN POCKET, and it should not be. He's doing the decent thing, and it's literally costing him to do so, but it should be coming from YOU. Varese, you have an excellent employee in Peter, but for him to pay out of his own pocket is showing The Varese Company and Label to be nothing more than 'out to make a fast buck, with no moral directions' toward the people that keep it in business, the consumer-customer. The entire debacle of Corporate Ill-Will (detailed in Jacky's initial thread), has probably cost you far more bad publicity among us, your customers than simply rectifying the problem at the beginning, and not thinking about 'saving some $$'.

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 10:10 AM   
 By:   Lokutus   (Member)

I don't think anyone from Varese besides Hackman actually follows FSM... so this is kind of pointless... maybe you should post that on their FB page?

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 10:24 AM   
 By:   CitizenJoe   (Member)

What on earth is this all about?

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 10:55 AM   
 By:   stroppy   (Member)

What on earth is this all about?

I was about to ask the same thing.

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 11:00 AM   
 By:   Lokutus   (Member)

It's a follow up to this:

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=124154&forumID=1&archive=0

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 2:50 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

I just read through that amazing other thread, which I'd missed.

First of all, what is this Naxos thing? Varese can now not be bothered to ship their own product? Is that really how it is over there now? And BTW if the company that bought Varese really did take out a 100 million dollar loan to buy it and other companies, I am here to tell you that 90% of that loan went to other companies. Cutting Edge's purchase of Varese was always weird to me - they simply wanted a label as a toy and to release scores under their control, that I get. But they don't care about film music, fans, or anything that can't make them a buck. They saw a way to make money and they went for it - in the end I don't think that's going to pan out for them and they, like most of these companies, will go the way of the Dodo bird, at which point Varese will probably cease to exist or be sold to someone else.

Look, I was around from the start of the company and helped them get where they were going - it was a VERY different company back then, ran by people who had passion for it and who understood the soundtrack world (which I got them into). Chris Kuchler was a business man with a keen sense of how to make that work - not always pleasant to deal with and a bit nutty, but he made Varese work as a business. Richard Kraft, who followed others, really was the one who took them to the next level. Richard was never about Richard - he was about the company and the music and getting them into companies. When Bob took over (after I turned that position down), he continued along the lines Richard already had in place. Bob was always about Bob, but that's fine. When I finally joined the company full time in 1993 and gave them what turned out to be an incredibly lucrative theater music and jazz line, it was still a company run by passionate people. That changed when Chris allowed himself to be swayed by a few people and brought in marketing people - that was the beginning of the end, when we were suddenly having to deal with people who had no passion telling us why a project wouldn't sell or be viable.

The most amusing story about that is when I went to Chris with an idea I'd had in 1997 - Titanic was breaking all box-office records, everything was Titanic, the score album was selling millions and all these really stupid CDs were coming out to cash in on them - Music they Should Have Played on the Titanic, Music to Sink By, blah, blah, blah. I told Chris we needed to move quickly and that I wanted to do a Titanic compilation album - lots of the Horner score, but also the other Titanic films, all of which had wonderful composers, along with some stuff from the then-running Broadway musical about the Titanic. He scrunched his brow and said, "Who'd buy it?" Then he called in the marketing guy - the latter saw Chris scrunching his brow and immediately took his side - who'd buy it? I told them they were both out of their fucking minds and walked out. Over the next week I kept hammering on about it and kept meeting resistance. Over and over again. I finally marched in there two weeks later and said, "You know what, I'm doing the album. You can thank me later. I already have an orchestrator doing the charts, I've hired the conductor, and I'm having a fifty piece orchestra and we're recording in two weeks. He looked at me for a moment and said, "Well, if you feel that strongly about it..." I burst out laughing - I shouldn't have wasted the two weeks. We did the album, it came out two weeks after we recorded it, the marketing guy suddenly had to do his job because I thankfully hadn't listened to him. The week the CD came out it debuted at number two on the Billboard Classical Crossover chart. It stayed on that chart for over a year. It sold close to 100,00 copies, maybe more because Chris liked to lie to me about sales, and it was their biggest selling release of that year. And never, not once, not from Chris and not from the marketing guy did I ever receive a simple thank you.

But right after that we had to have weekly marketing meetings and it became truly horrible - not that it would mean much here, but if I told you the singers I had to turn down because some idiot wanted to keep his job and hedge his bets you would be shocked - jaw-dropping really, whereas when I began there in 1993 I did what the hell I wanted to with no one telling me anything, and everything sold well and if something tanked a little the next project covered it. Ultimately it became so about the wrong things that it precipitated my leaving the company in 2000 (not of my own choosing, BTW, since I'd been told when I closed down Bay Cities that my job was for life - uh huh) and after that they just became a bit of a joke. I'd been trying to get them to resurrect the club titles for years - they couldn't be bothered - but as soon as I left what happened - they brought back the club titles. Hmmmm. The ultimately fired the marketing person whose waffling and self-preservation ways had lost us so many good projects. And then I knew Chris wanted out finally. And the minute I heard the sale (after two years of no takers) was to Cutting Edge, well - I knew it wouldn't be a good thing.

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 4:20 PM   
 By:   davefg   (Member)

I just read through that amazing other thread, which I'd missed.

First of all, what is this Naxos thing? Varese can now not be bothered to ship their own product? Is that really how it is over there now? And BTW if the company that bought Varese really did take out a 100 million dollar loan to buy it and other companies, I am here to tell you that 90% of that loan went to other companies. Cutting Edge's purchase of Varese was always weird to me - they simply wanted a label as a toy and to release scores under their control, that I get. But they don't care about film music, fans, or anything that can't make them a buck. They saw a way to make money and they went for it - in the end I don't think that's going to pan out for them and they, like most of these companies, will go the way of the Dodo bird, at which point Varese will probably cease to exist or be sold to someone else.

Look, I was around from the start of the company and helped them get where they were going - it was a VERY different company back then, ran by people who had passion for it and who understood the soundtrack world (which I got them into). Chris Kuchler was a business man with a keen sense of how to make that work - not always pleasant to deal with and a bit nutty, but he made Varese work as a business. Richard Kraft, who followed others, really was the one who took them to the next level. Richard was never about Richard - he was about the company and the music and getting them into companies. When Bob took over (after I turned that position down), he continued along the lines Richard already had in place. Bob was always about Bob, but that's fine. When I finally joined the company full time in 1993 and gave them what turned out to be an incredibly lucrative theater music and jazz line, it was still a company run by passionate people. That changed when Chris allowed himself to be swayed by a few people and brought in marketing people - that was the beginning of the end, when we were suddenly having to deal with people who had no passion telling us why a project wouldn't sell or be viable.



Yes Varese was never worth $100 million, that was just the funding that Cutting Edge raised for acquisitions. Why was Varese sold in the first place?

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 4:29 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Chris had been trying to sell it for years - no offers, no interest until Cutting Edge, who was determined to have a label for themselves. Chris was just tired, I think, and saw the writing on the wall in terms of where things were going.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 4:43 PM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

I do wonder how Bob Townson's recent focus on concerts which, while an incredibly noble venture, must be taking his attention away from the label, is playing into this...

I just hope they release expanded editions of US Marshals, Air Force One and Small Soldiers before the doors close. Oh, and I'd like them to re-print The Haunting tray card :-)

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 6:29 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

Jacky's long ordeal is now being remedied somewhat by Peter, (DrivingMissDaisy). It is coming out of HIS OWN POCKET, and it should not be. He's doing the decent thing, and it's literally costing him to do so, but it should be coming from YOU. Varese, you have an excellent employee in Peter, but for him to pay out of his own pocket is showing The Varese Company and Label to be nothing more than 'out to make a fast buck, with no moral directions' toward the people that keep it in business, the consumer-customer. The entire debacle of Corporate Ill-Will (detailed in Jacky's initial thread), has probably cost you far more bad publicity among us, your customers than simply rectifying the problem at the beginning, and not thinking about 'saving some $$'.




Varese is the Scrooge of this Christmas.

 
 Posted:   Dec 23, 2017 - 8:13 PM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

I do wonder how Bob Townson's recent focus on concerts which, while an incredibly noble venture, must be taking his attention away from the label, is playing into this...
I just hope they release expanded editions of US Marshals, Air Force One and Small Soldiers before the doors close. Oh, and I'd like them to re-print The Haunting tray card :-)


Didnt Bob say..."That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

 
 Posted:   Dec 24, 2017 - 12:24 AM   
 By:   orbital   (Member)

Didnt Bob say..."That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

LOL

 
 Posted:   Dec 24, 2017 - 1:37 AM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

The most amusing story about that is when I went to Chris with an idea I'd had in 1997 - Titanic was breaking all box-office records, everything was Titanic, the score album was selling millions and all these really stupid CDs were coming out to cash in on them - Music they Should Have Played on the Titanic, Music to Sink By, blah, blah, blah. I told Chris we needed to move quickly and that I wanted to do a Titanic compilation album - lots of the Horner score, but also the other Titanic films, all of which had wonderful composers, along with some stuff from the then-running Broadway musical about the Titanic. He scrunched his brow and said, "Who'd buy it?" Then he called in the marketing guy - the latter saw Chris scrunching his brow and immediately took his side - who'd buy it? I told them they were both out of their fucking minds and walked out. Over the next week I kept hammering on about it and kept meeting resistance. Over and over again. I finally marched in there two weeks later and said, "You know what, I'm doing the album. You can thank me later. I already have an orchestrator doing the charts, I've hired the conductor, and I'm having a fifty piece orchestra and we're recording in two weeks. He looked at me for a moment and said, "Well, if you feel that strongly about it..." I burst out laughing - I shouldn't have wasted the two weeks. We did the album, it came out two weeks after we recorded it, the marketing guy suddenly had to do his job because I thankfully hadn't listened to him. The week the CD came out it debuted at number two on the Billboard Classical Crossover chart. It stayed on that chart for over a year. It sold close to 100,00 copies, maybe more because Chris liked to lie to me about sales, and it was their biggest selling release of that year. And never, not once, not from Chris and not from the marketing guy did I ever receive a simple thank you.


I still play that one, especially for the "Rose" piano solo. And it has Lennie Niehaus's theme from the CBS TV movie that immediately preceded Horner.

I have to ask: in the sales figure, is a zero missing or is the comma in the wrong place? Because 100,000 is a lot of CDs.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 24, 2017 - 10:38 AM   
 By:   Brundlefly   (Member)

I just hope they release expanded editions of US Marshals, Air Force One and Small Soldiers before the doors close. Oh, and I'd like them to re-print The Haunting tray card :-)

If the doors really closed, wouldn't it be easy for other labels to get the rights of that music?

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 24, 2017 - 11:21 AM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

If the doors really closed, wouldn't it be easy for other labels to get the rights of that music?

It would depend what happened to those licences I guess. They could end up trapped in legal hell!

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 24, 2017 - 12:04 PM   
 By:   Roger Feigelson   (Member)

Most soundtrack licenses have a clause that if you go under the rights revert back to the licensor.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 24, 2017 - 3:35 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

The most amusing story about that is when I went to Chris with an idea I'd had in 1997 - Titanic was breaking all box-office records, everything was Titanic, the score album was selling millions and all these really stupid CDs were coming out to cash in on them - Music they Should Have Played on the Titanic, Music to Sink By, blah, blah, blah. I told Chris we needed to move quickly and that I wanted to do a Titanic compilation album - lots of the Horner score, but also the other Titanic films, all of which had wonderful composers, along with some stuff from the then-running Broadway musical about the Titanic. He scrunched his brow and said, "Who'd buy it?" Then he called in the marketing guy - the latter saw Chris scrunching his brow and immediately took his side - who'd buy it? I told them they were both out of their fucking minds and walked out. Over the next week I kept hammering on about it and kept meeting resistance. Over and over again. I finally marched in there two weeks later and said, "You know what, I'm doing the album. You can thank me later. I already have an orchestrator doing the charts, I've hired the conductor, and I'm having a fifty piece orchestra and we're recording in two weeks. He looked at me for a moment and said, "Well, if you feel that strongly about it..." I burst out laughing - I shouldn't have wasted the two weeks. We did the album, it came out two weeks after we recorded it, the marketing guy suddenly had to do his job because I thankfully hadn't listened to him. The week the CD came out it debuted at number two on the Billboard Classical Crossover chart. It stayed on that chart for over a year. It sold close to 100,00 copies, maybe more because Chris liked to lie to me about sales, and it was their biggest selling release of that year. And never, not once, not from Chris and not from the marketing guy did I ever receive a simple thank you.


I still play that one, especially for the "Rose" piano solo. And it has Lennie Niehaus's theme from the CBS TV movie that immediately preceded Horner.

I have to ask: in the sales figure, is a zero missing or is the comma in the wrong place? Because 100,000 is a lot of CDs.


100,000 or more is the correct number. They made close to a million dollars profit on that CD. And they own it.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 24, 2017 - 7:18 PM   
 By:   Mr. Popular   (Member)

The most amusing story about that is when I went to Chris with an idea I'd had in 1997 - Titanic was breaking all box-office records, everything was Titanic, the score album was selling millions and all these really stupid CDs were coming out to cash in on them - Music they Should Have Played on the Titanic, Music to Sink By, blah, blah, blah. I told Chris we needed to move quickly and that I wanted to do a Titanic compilation album - lots of the Horner score, but also the other Titanic films, all of which had wonderful composers, along with some stuff from the then-running Broadway musical about the Titanic. He scrunched his brow and said, "Who'd buy it?" Then he called in the marketing guy - the latter saw Chris scrunching his brow and immediately took his side - who'd buy it? I told them they were both out of their fucking minds and walked out. Over the next week I kept hammering on about it and kept meeting resistance. Over and over again. I finally marched in there two weeks later and said, "You know what, I'm doing the album. You can thank me later. I already have an orchestrator doing the charts, I've hired the conductor, and I'm having a fifty piece orchestra and we're recording in two weeks. He looked at me for a moment and said, "Well, if you feel that strongly about it..." I burst out laughing - I shouldn't have wasted the two weeks. We did the album, it came out two weeks after we recorded it, the marketing guy suddenly had to do his job because I thankfully hadn't listened to him. The week the CD came out it debuted at number two on the Billboard Classical Crossover chart. It stayed on that chart for over a year. It sold close to 100,00 copies, maybe more because Chris liked to lie to me about sales, and it was their biggest selling release of that year. And never, not once, not from Chris and not from the marketing guy did I ever receive a simple thank you.


I still play that one, especially for the "Rose" piano solo. And it has Lennie Niehaus's theme from the CBS

I have to ask: in the sales figure, is a zero missing or is the comma in the wrong place? Because 100,000 is a lot of CDs.


100,000 or more is the correct number. They made close to a million dollars profit on that CD. And they own it.


Yet the catalog is how labels survive today in the age of streaming. Varese has a strong catalog.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 25, 2017 - 1:39 PM   
 By:   Brundlefly   (Member)

Most soundtrack licenses have a clause that if you go under the rights revert back to the licensor.

Who is the licensor? Is it normally the film studio?

I could hardly imagine that any titles by Goldsmith, Horner or Poledouris could ever be damned to never get an expanded release. Sooner or later there will be a way, like it was the case with Damnation Alley.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 25, 2017 - 7:35 PM   
 By:   Mr. Popular   (Member)

Most soundtrack licenses have a clause that if you go under the rights revert back to the licensor.

Who is the licensor? Is it normally the film studio?

I could hardly imagine that any titles by Goldsmith, Horner or Poledouris could ever be damned to never get an expanded release. Sooner or later there will be a way, like it was the case with Damnation Alley.


The licensor is the person who owns the master rights. Yes, it can be a film or tv studio, a producer, sometimes it can be the composer (rare, but there are some instances).

 
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