EXCLUSIVE: I broke the news back in 2008 that Cutting Edge had signed a deal with Joel Silver to put money into Dark Castle movies in exchange for soundtrack rights. Now the London-based music company is raising a new, larger fund. It’s also putting together more Joel Silver-type deals with Hollywood producers. Cutting Edge raised £13.3 million last year. It’s been involved in about 95 films so far including 2012, Harry Brown and Fish Tank. Cutting Edge injects between $50-100,000 into a production in exchange for music cues it can exploit across all media.
This can be a lucrative business. How many times have you heard a Massive Attack track in the background of a TV show? Broadcasters pay music publishers a usage fee every time seconds of soundtrack clip are used. Celador, producer of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, was careful to ensure that its own music was used when it sold the show worldwide. It earned millions that way. Most indie producers aren’t aware they can make money through music publishing. UK broadcasters spend over £300 million a year on music rights. Broadcasters across Europe spend £1 billion a year buying film and TV music. Music publishing today has become a $10 billion business.
Cutting Edge has just announced an initial 5-film deal with Exclusive Media Group, the international sales arm of Hammer Films. It’s investing in Let Me In, Hammer’s remake of Swedish horror tale Let the Right One In, directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield), and the Hilary Swank woman-in-peril thriller The Resident. Both films are in post-production.