Cutting Edge Group, the largest independent film music publisher, is expanding its role in the financing of indie films, advancing funds for music rights in the pictures. The latest is a just closed deal for the Bart Freundlich-directed drama After The Wedding, starring Michelle Williams and Julianne Moore.
Cutting Edge has its name on no fewer than eight films that played at the Toronto Film Festival last week. The company pre-bought music rights to Donnybrook, A Private War, The Old Man & The Gun, Vita & Virginia, Hotel Mumbai, What They Had, Where Hands Touch, and Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy.
Cutting Edge’s business model allows it to invest in the music rights as part of the financial close of the film and then oversees all aspects of the music for the production. CEG monetizes the rights through the collection of worldwide publishing royalties, soundtrack album sales, secondary licensing of the music to future productions, and more. Cutting Edge is now rolling-out soundtrack releases and music marketing campaigns as part of these films’ premieres.
Since it launched a private equity fund to finance music on films and TV, Cutting Edge puts capital directly into the music budgets of productions in exchange for creating and owning the music copyrights associated with these productions. Given the difficulty in getting these indie films financed — many of the distribution deals involved low seven-figure minimum guarantees — the capital is music to the ears of the makers of these films.