Getting permission to use a single song in the movie may require negotiating and signing six different contracts. The Masters contract, the Synchronization rights, the composer's contract, the label's contract, the publisher's contract, and the performer's contract. I generated 120 musician contracts in December, and I have signatures for 70% so far. People have asked me if it's hard to direct a movie. I tell them directing is nothing compared to producing. Writing and directing comprise about 2% of the time I have spent on The Last Hurrah. Everything else I do is producing.
As far as wrangling musicians to sign their agreements, I'm very glad to have Adam Boardman to help me chase down a few folks.
I'm thrilled to be using Sugarman 3 in the soundtrack. I've been such a big fan of them for so many years, and it is wild to talk to Neal Sugarman on the phone and get his thumbs up for the movie!