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Writing Plays/Screenwriting/Recorded music in a screenplay


My screenplay is set in the 70's and 80's, and involves my experiences as a night club singer.  Because of the nature of my screenplay, it was paramount to use bits and pieces of the music of the era.  In formatting the music segments, should I use the slugline such as
Dave sings the chorus of THE BEE GEE'S "How deep is your love".

or should I slug it as

Dave sings a song in the vein of THE BEE GEE'S "How Deep is your Love".  

I do realize that their are copywright licensing issues involved.

Hi Dave,
Sounds like a good topic for a screenplay.

Music in movies is an issue I had to deal with many times as a film producer.

My attitude is that, when you're writing the script, go for broke, and don't worry about acquisition of the rights, or clearances of any kind.

Unless you're producing the movie, the music usage and rights are in in the hands of the producer and director, so you have nothing to lose in suggesting whatever music you think is best.

Send me an e-mail at and I'll send you, by attachment, a package of free minibooks about screenplay writing. If you just  put "free minibooks" in the subject line, that would be sufficient.

All the best of success with your screenplay.

Writing Plays/Screenwriting

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Barry Pearson


I`m a credited writer on nine feature films. My latest movie, IRON ROAD, which stars Peter O'Toole and Sam Neill, opened as feature, then aired as a four-hour miniseries on network television. Sun Li, the Chinese star, won the best actress award at the Roma Fiction Fest recently. I’ve produced more than 300 episodes of television drama, including 13 episodes of Deepwater Black, and 106 episodes of Katts & Dog (Rin-Tin-Tin, K-9 Cop in the U.S.). I've answered over 1200 All Experts questions!


I've been in the business of writing and producing feature films, television series, and MOW's for over 20 years. You can check me out at this URL

You can find my books on Amazon. See DON'T LET ANYONE STEAL YOUR STORY ( is a stripped-down readable summary of copyright, full of entertaining anecdotes and real-life examples. Read about the true horror stories that clearly show you what you need to do to avoid the misfortune of having your literary material stolen. Find out: * How to take simple inexpensive steps to protect yourself, before, during, and after you write your literary work. * How copyright law applies to writers of literary works. * How literary works enter public domain, and how you can use it to your advantage. * What aspects of literary works are protected by copyright, and what aspects are not protected. * How to create documentation that will prove your copyright entitlement in the event of an infringement on your rights. * How you can protect yourself if you are contracted to write for television. You’ll also get a FREE sample of an Option and Purchase Agreement, a contract used in the acquisition of rights in a literary property—a contract that you and your lawyer can customize for your property. Written by a writer, for writers, Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Story will help you protect yourself against plagiarists and anyone else who might infringe your right of sole ownership. ------------- Also on Amazon, my book of four short stories, THE TWENTY-BUSHEL RACER. A man’s redemption from bitterness enables him to become a loving father. A teenager discovers the importance of his attachment to the people in his life and the place where he is growing up. A man, who has for years considered himself a coward and a betrayer of his comrades, musters the courage to stand up against a pair of would-be assassins. Two young men, who grew up in the same town, meet unexpectedly, reminisce about a girl they both loved when they were boys, and unveil a truth that changes both their lives.

Master of Arts degree (Drama)

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Among my awards are Best Screenplay, Best Picture, at the International Film & Television Festival of New York for THE LIFE AND TIMES OF EDWIN ALONZO BOYD, Best Screenplay, Feature Film, at the 12th International Film Festival in Sitges, Spain for PLAGUE, and a Special Jury Award, Feature Film at the San Francisco International Film Festival for PLAGUE.

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