Michigan Film Tax Incentive and Music Videos:Protekted Records featuring P-Live

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Protekted Records  (P-Live) Written by Hope Cobb Crenshaw 

for Michigan Movie Magazine

Photography by Joe Gall and Diana Levine

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (the size of Montana!), you know that Hollywood has arrived!  It shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that the 42% Michigan Film Refundable Tax Credit also applies to the music industry.  Everything from the wages the studios pay the big stars, to equipment & editing can be applied to this refund.  That sounds good to me!
Instead of a credit against taxes owed, this is a REFUND.  Can you imagine
receiving 42% of you’re expenditures for the year?  That is a mind blowing idea.   No wonder every buddy and their brother are arriving en masse.  I imagine a caravan o’ trucks, trailers and limo’s speeding along America’s highways in a line that stretches as far as the eye can see!  A modern age gold rush, straight to us!
As you and I speak, countless music video producers are taking advantage of this huge tax credit.  In the last 2 years the amount of music videos produced in Michigan has increased by about 100%. There is a true movement among Detroit Music artists to bring Detroit back to its former glory.  We can thank Eminem for 8 Mile and countless other supporters for bringing the attention back to Detroit, and we are anxiously awaiting another music based movie!  Anyone have the chops?
Jon Gornbein of Protekted Records does, he could have set up shop in LA or New York, even Nashville, but as a tried and true native, he knew this was where he wanted to grow his business.  Four years ago, when Jon started Protekted, there were not too many people to help show him the ropes.  As a self-taught man, he has made a promise to help others learn, what he has, thru trial and error.  As Jon said,  “what goes around, comes around!”
Jon also works as a consultant, connecting artists with the right people.  Don’t forget Jon’s 5 keys to success:  talent; timing; who you know; luck; and money.  I also include persistence.  You can have talent and money, but if you don’t keep your nose to the ground, forget about it.
We know you have been wondering what it takes to be signed to record labels large and small.  Artists must have a minimum of 4-6 songs, at least one video and the larger labels require a full album.  Most video costs range from $2000 to skies the limit for 3 min ute music video.
As in the case of P-Live's debut video, Fresh 2 Def, filming was completed in 16 hours. It is very important to over plan what needs to happen since that leaves little room for error - don’t you think?  With 11 people in the crew, (you find as many crew people on some films!) every detail was anticipated.   Even though filming took only one day, this was a month long venture.  From securing funds, acquiring the director ,crew, and extras, this was a 24 hr/7 day a week production.
After Filming is completed, the first thing they do is sleep!  As I’ve found, there are also the post-production blues.  After the excitement of the set, there is the inevitable let down, kind of like the day after Christmas, and you feel a little blue.  Then you must have patience. Patience, patience, patience.  Once the raw footage goes to the editor, it is out of your hands!  I imagine that loss of control can be maddening.  Editing for a 3 minute music video can take as long as a day to three days, this includes three to four rough drafts, a teaser and the final cut.   Then we are off to the races, or maybe the nuthouse!
img_6185The most important way to bring your video to the attention of the networks is to have a video promotion company working for you. This is VERY IMPORTANT! Promotions companies like Rive Video Promotions, keep in constant contact with the program directors.  They are the ones who are telling the artists story, pushing the artists, making them seem larger than life!  The networks like MTV, BET, FUSE, FUEL etc. all have meetings every Monday to go over the new videos that are sent in.  Can you get your video seen as an up and comer? Yes, but as we all know, it helps to "know people” to get it in the right hands.
With Protekted Records stand out boy P-Live debuting on BET and MTV in the middle of June and the video sent to over 154 outlets,  they are proving Michigan can and will compete on a national level.  Watch out world, here we come!plive castand crew
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