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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old June 22 2013, 01:11 AM   #31
Sir Rhosis
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

I look forward to reading it weekly.

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Old June 22 2013, 06:06 AM   #32
Harvey
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Thanks, everyone. The hardest part -- which I haven't been able to fully resist -- is not going back and tweaking the posts once they are up over and over again.
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Old June 22 2013, 07:23 AM   #33
Mister Atoz
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Harvey wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Roddenberry wrote the lyrics so that he could get half the royalties from the sheet music sales. They were never intended for any other purpose.
To clarify, Roddenberry didn't just collect royalties from the sale of the theme music's sheet music -- he collected fifty percent of all the royalties related to the Star Trek theme music, including performance royalties.

.
Wouldn't that mean also that Roddenberry and Courage would get royalties ANYTIME the Star Trek theme was even QUOTED throughout the score music composed by the other composers?? Bit and pieces of the main theme get quoted all the time, as we all know. But surely the royalties on the opening and closing themes are the highest.

I am an ASCAP member myself, but I believe lyric music pays far higher royalties than instrumental music. I'm glad Roddenberry was able to make such an arrangement, despite its evident overtness. I'm sure the royalties from the music helped sustain him through the lean years of the 70s.

It's funny, I have scanned Fred Steiner's large article "Music for Star Trek -- Scoring a Television Show in the Sixties" and I found no mention of the lyrics or the royalties in the Star Trek theme.

~ Mister Atoz
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Old June 22 2013, 12:23 PM   #34
TREK_GOD_1
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Mister Atoz wrote: View Post
I am an ASCAP member myself, but I believe lyric music pays far higher royalties than instrumental music. I'm glad Roddenberry was able to make such an arrangement, despite its evident overtness. I'm sure the royalties from the music helped sustain him through the lean years of the 70s.
Lean years..I wonder how much he made from the Animated Series.

It's funny, I have scanned Fred Steiner's large article "Music for Star Trek -- Scoring a Television Show in the Sixties" and I found no mention of the lyrics or the royalties in the Star Trek theme.

~ Mister Atoz
Odd, since GR shoehorning his way into the theme must have come up on occasion.
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Old June 22 2013, 02:17 PM   #35
Christopher
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Harvey wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Roddenberry wrote the lyrics so that he could get half the royalties from the sheet music sales. They were never intended for any other purpose.
To clarify, Roddenberry didn't just collect royalties from the sale of the theme music's sheet music -- he collected fifty percent of all the royalties related to the Star Trek theme music, including performance royalties.

.
Sure, I wasn't saying the sheet music was the only thing he got royalties for. But at the time, nobody had any idea how successful the show would be, how often it would get rerun in syndication or how many movies and sequel series it would spawn that would reuse the theme. In fact, the whole reason he horned in on the theme music, so the story goes, was as a hedge against the show's failure. He didn't expect to make any profit from the show itself (or at least was cautious enough to prepare for the possibility that he wouldn't), so he added lyrics to the theme so that he could at least make a few bucks from sheet music sales -- which, if the show had bombed, would've been his only real hope of seeing any profit from it.


Mister Atoz wrote: View Post
Wouldn't that mean also that Roddenberry and Courage would get royalties ANYTIME the Star Trek theme was even QUOTED throughout the score music composed by the other composers??
Well, there's a credit for them on the CD box set notes whenever that theme is quoted, yes. Even on Courage episode scores, the cues that use the theme melody have an asterisk and a footnote crediting Courage and Roddenberry for the theme. And as a rule, being credited for something means getting a royalty/residual for it.
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Old June 22 2013, 07:47 PM   #36
JoeD80
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
Mister Atoz wrote: View Post
I am an ASCAP member myself, but I believe lyric music pays far higher royalties than instrumental music. I'm glad Roddenberry was able to make such an arrangement, despite its evident overtness. I'm sure the royalties from the music helped sustain him through the lean years of the 70s.
Lean years..I wonder how much he made from the Animated Series.
Probably not much. Animated shows weren't covered by any guild agreements in the 70s, so it was entirely up to the production companies how much to pay. Also it only lasted 22 episodes, not enough to be stripped weekly. Without syndication fees, the show likely did not make much for itself either.
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Old June 22 2013, 08:26 PM   #37
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

^TAS was syndicated here and there over the years. I definitely remember seeing it at various times after its network run ended.

I always thought it would've made sense to add TAS to the TOS syndication package -- add 11 pairs of episodes to the 79 TOS installments (since "The Cage" hadn't been released yet) and have a 90-hour package. If that had happened, maybe audiences would've been more accepting of TAS as an integral piece of the whole. But I guess a lot of viewers wouldn't have been as interested in an animated show. And since TAS was produced and part-owned by Filmation, the rights situation would probably have been different. Although that problem would've gone away once Filmation dissolved and Paramount acquired full ownership of TAS.
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Old June 22 2013, 08:52 PM   #38
Mister Atoz
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Christopher wrote: View Post
Harvey wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Roddenberry wrote the lyrics so that he could get half the royalties from the sheet music sales. They were never intended for any other purpose.
To clarify, Roddenberry didn't just collect royalties from the sale of the theme music's sheet music -- he collected fifty percent of all the royalties related to the Star Trek theme music, including performance royalties.

.
Sure, I wasn't saying the sheet music was the only thing he got royalties for. But at the time, nobody had any idea how successful the show would be, how often it would get rerun in syndication or how many movies and sequel series it would spawn that would reuse the theme. In fact, the whole reason he horned in on the theme music, so the story goes, was as a hedge against the show's failure. He didn't expect to make any profit from the show itself (or at least was cautious enough to prepare for the possibility that he wouldn't), so he added lyrics to the theme so that he could at least make a few bucks from sheet music sales -- which, if the show had bombed, would've been his only real hope of seeing any profit from it.


Mister Atoz wrote: View Post
Wouldn't that mean also that Roddenberry and Courage would get royalties ANYTIME the Star Trek theme was even QUOTED throughout the score music composed by the other composers??
Well, there's a credit for them on the CD box set notes whenever that theme is quoted, yes. Even on Courage episode scores, the cues that use the theme melody have an asterisk and a footnote crediting Courage and Roddenberry for the theme. And as a rule, being credited for something means getting a royalty/residual for it.

What this in effect means is that (just about) anytime the Enterprise appears, the music royalties put money in Roddenberry's pocket. As I recall, one of the things that Steiner mentioned is that whenever the Enterprise appeared, the familiar 8 note phrase would be played in some form. That was in the compositional /music editorial rule book.

~ Atoz
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Old June 22 2013, 10:41 PM   #39
Harvey
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Christopher wrote: View Post
In fact, the whole reason he horned in on the theme music, so the story goes, was as a hedge against the show's failure. He didn't expect to make any profit from the show itself (or at least was cautious enough to prepare for the possibility that he wouldn't), so he added lyrics to the theme so that he could at least make a few bucks from sheet music sales -- which, if the show had bombed, would've been his only real hope of seeing any profit from it.
At a certain point, Roddenberry's claim that he wasn't going to make any money from Star Trek doesn't hold water. As the show's producer during the first broadcast season (1966-67), he was paid $3,000 per episode and had an annual guarantee of at least $85,000. That doesn't include his payment for writing or re-writing scripts.

It's reasonable to assume that Roddenberry was worried about his bottom line before the series was picked up, which happened in February of 1966, but isn't the income from sheet music sales pretty much zero when the music is for a television series nobody has seen (i.e. a failed pilot)?

In other words, if the show wasn't picked up, the value of half the music royalties for the theme would be almost nothing. If it was picked up, Roddenberry's income was such that he was making a sizeable income from Star Trek. (Adjusted for inflation, his guaranteed salary alone would be almost $600,000 in 2012 dollars).

You have to give the man credit, though. Given the show's success in syndication, Roddenberry's share of the theme music royalties must have been pretty helpful financially during the comparatively lean seventies.
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Old June 23 2013, 12:04 AM   #40
JoeD80
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Harvey wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
In fact, the whole reason he horned in on the theme music, so the story goes, was as a hedge against the show's failure. He didn't expect to make any profit from the show itself (or at least was cautious enough to prepare for the possibility that he wouldn't), so he added lyrics to the theme so that he could at least make a few bucks from sheet music sales -- which, if the show had bombed, would've been his only real hope of seeing any profit from it.
At a certain point, Roddenberry's claim that he wasn't going to make any money from Star Trek doesn't hold water. As the show's producer during the first broadcast season (1966-67), he was paid $3,000 per episode and had an annual guarantee of at least $85,000. That doesn't include his payment for writing or re-writing scripts.
Pretty sure Gene was referring to what money he would be making once the show was over. Producer's fees are one time paychecks; no royalties with those.
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Old June 23 2013, 12:31 AM   #41
Harvey
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

That's true, although I believe he was paid residuals for the eleven episodes in which he received story and/or teleplay credit, in addition to residuals for his "created by" credit.

Not an expert on the ins and outs of whatever deals the WGA had in place in the 1960s, though. Anyone here have knowledge as to how episodic television residuals (if any) were set up back then?
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Old June 23 2013, 01:00 AM   #42
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Harvey wrote: View Post
...but isn't the income from sheet music sales pretty much zero when the music is for a television series nobody has seen (i.e. a failed pilot)?
Well, you never know. A failed pilot, maybe not. But a short-lived series? I seem to recall my father having a couple of musicians' "fake books" that included the themes to one or two relatively short-lived shows. Sometimes the popularity of a piece of music will have more to do with the music itself than the show it was attached to.
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Old June 25 2013, 09:15 PM   #43
Harvey
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

Since this week's post mostly re-uses Alexander Courage-related content that I've posted in this thread, I wanted to add something new for readers here. So, on the sidebar, I've included links to the finding aids for every Star Trek-related archival collection that I've been able to find so far. If there are some that I've missed, let me know.
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Old June 29 2013, 12:22 AM   #44
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

I am loving this. So tired of the oft-repeated myths.
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Old June 29 2013, 12:43 AM   #45
Sir Rhosis
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Re: Fact-Checking Inside Star Trek: The Real Story

As am I. Harvey, are you open to suggestions for topics?

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