A good movie score or soundtrack can often set the tone for an entire film. Just ask Dylan Eiland, aka Le Castle Vania:
[…] it’s also cool getting to see how big a part the music is in terms of affecting the feeling. The whole scene changes depending on the music. I’ll be working on something and see, “Okay, this is making the scene really dark” and you change it and change the whole scene.
However, getting just the right music can often be a challenge. With licensing rights and royalty payments, indie studios often have to settle for lesser or different music choices than the ones they know will define a film. For Eden, that meant the possibility of not acquiring the rights to use music from Daft Punk, who would become key players in the ’90s house music scene known as “French Touch,” more commonly known as French house or nu-disco.
There’s a moment early in Eden when a teenage Thomas Bangalter (played by Vincent Lacoste) and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (played by Arnaud Azoulay), the music duo better known as Daft Punk, play their soon-to-be hit “Da Funk” for the first time while DJing a party at their parents’ house.
This would prove to be a pivotal point in the movie, and for anyone that knows Daft Punk’s work, it remained necessary to have their music in that scene. Luckily, Eden co-writer Sven Hansen-Love, the inspiration for the protagonist Paul, was still in touch with Bangalter. Through that connection, Eden was able to license three Daft Punk tracks for about €3,000 each (or about $3,700), which normally run “in the neighborhood of $1 million.”
Daft Punk eventually gave Eden three tracks for 3,000 Euros (a little over $3,700) apiece, which then set the price tag for every track used in the film. “No one was going to ask for more than Daft Punk received,” explains Sven.
Moral of the story: it really is all about who you know.
The whole story is a great read, and you can head over to Billboard to check it out.