thanks man, hope it makes things easier for somebody out there
There's been tons of films posted on NFS that have taken people years to make. Think about Chris Nolan's Following. He shot that on weekends for about a year. The trick is, they do it on the side. You can do the same. That equates to experience. The more you do, the more you will learn. Like the saying goes: Fail, fail again, fail better. You will get better and that experience will translate to the option of acquiring more experience in another way.
If you can get an internship, go for it. If you're cool, and do your work, and pick things up fast, you might get offered a job down the line. It's all relative experience, you'll be working alongside people who do it for a living. And people want to work with people they like. People become interns, assistants, and then execs the next day. Happens all the time. Buff up that resume and lie your way into the internship if you have to.
So my advice to you is pursue jobs like others said. If you're lucky enough to get a great career-type job or successive jobs on sets, that's awesome. You can use that to build up. But always be making something yourself. Why not try to write something? There's literally nothing stopping you. Everyone is a first-time filmmaker sometime, if you research all the greats you will find the same thing: they started, they tried again and again. So always have that thing you can do by yourself even if it is only achievable in small increments or maybe it's a comedic short film that revolves around a single joke/situation/location/scenario, and it's the writing and characters that shine. You won't need a huge budget or equipment that way. If you get a ton of views online or get the film to the right person or get your film in a festival you can make moves for yourself that way.
All the things you do otherwise (assistant job, working on sets, internship, etc) will all connect given the right time and effort. Keep trying to make your own projects too. You never know what will take off, so do both. And each one affects the other, and the next.
This is what I know as having to pursue this myself as a producer. Not saying this is the exact best way to do it, make sure you do your due diligence.
The 2 things you need:
- Synchronization License: This is the right to synchronize a song or a piece of music with your visual image. It must be obtained from the copyright owner of the music, which is usually the publisher.
- Master Use License: This is the right to reproduce a specific recording of a song in your film. You clear this right with the record label who owns the specific recording you would like to use
In this case you'll need both: sync and master (so you will have to pay two separate fees) if you want the Gladys Knight original version.
If you want to record your own cover track, you need only the sync. Again if you want the actual Gladys Knight recording, you need both.
First things first check out a site like discogs to see what the record company was and where the songwriters arehttp://www.discogs.com/Gladys-Knight-And-The-Pips-Midnight-Train-To-Geor...
For the SYNC, the publisher is usually either ASCAP or BMI (http://www.bmi.com/search).
In your case its ASCAP so search for song here: https://www.ascap.com/home/ace-title-search/index.aspx
Comes up as UNIVERSAL POLYGRAM INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING INC
2100 COLORADO AVENUE
SANTA MONICA, CA 90404 US
So time to contact them: http://www.umusicpub.com/#contentRequest=licenserequests&contentLocation...
Then for the MASTER USE you gotta see what the record label is. In this case it's Buddha Records, so which company now owns Buddha Records: http://www.discogs.com/label/12217-Buddah-Records
"In 1986 Buddah Records was sold to Essex Entertainment Group, which in turn was sold to BMG Special Products.
BMG has since been absorbed into Sony Music, with the Buddah/Buddha Records catalog now being managed by Legacy Recordings."
So, contact Sony for licensing here: https://sonymusiclicensing.com/
You follow the process and start giving them the info they want: what the scene is, runtime of song, production co, budget, film synopsis, etc etc. The song is either the main focus of the scene or just the background/underneath. Background is obviously less.
You can be denied, in my experience, based on a bunch of things. If they don't want the song to be in your film, your given budget's not high enough, song is very hard to license, etc
Midnight Train to Georgia is a pretty famous song so if you want that song for a film and want the rights in perpetuity, worldwide, be prepared to shell out multiple multiple $10,000s or more.
Obviously how many seconds of the song you want to use will matter. You could always choose US only and limited (1 year) rights to cut the cost, as well as no-internet.
The best thing would be having a music supervisor so you don't have to do this yourself.