Restaurant workers, retail workers, construction workers, and those employed in warehouses may be the first type of employees people think of when they consider employment standards. But there is another type that often sits below the radar and is never thought of as a typical worker in a standard job. Those are composers, and as of July 1, 2018, they are getting a big break in Tennessee.
Up until July, composers had a tough choice. They could head over to Los Angeles, where things like studio time and recording are expensive. There they are also strapped to a residual contract so they never fully realize all their profits. Or they could head overseas to places such as London, where it was cheaper to create their art, but they also had to sacrifice on quality. Now, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has changed all that.
With new legislation, composers can now create their scores in Tennessee and receive 25 percent of the project cost back in a rebate. That is a substantial saving and makes Tennessee a much more attractive option than going out west. With cities like Nashville that are already considered Music City, composers also no longer have to be satisfied with lower quality just to make their art at an affordable price. In addition, composers creating in Tennessee will not have to be part of a union or sign a residual contract, making it even more profitable to record in the state.
“This is really going to open the door for small films that do not have the high budgets Hollywood can afford,” says Jonathan Street of The Employment Law Group. “And allowing them to work freely, without being bound to a contract, allows them to receive the fair pay they deserve. It is also an important decision particularly, for those that create soundtracks for video games, a sector that often goes unnoticed and underpaid for the many hours of work they put in.”
Everyone has the right to work in fair conditions and receive an amount of pay that properly corresponds with the work they do. This most recent move by Tennessee ensures that everyone, no matter the sector they work in, can do just that.