Home | License | About | FAQ

Hi, I'm Dan-O. I am a singer songwriter and I also like making instrumental music which you can use royalty free. Click here for info on licensing my music and songs for your video, photo slideshow, film, app or other media. For questions about my music see the FAQ.

What Does an Executive Producer Do in The Film Industry?

Today I am jotting down some notes I took while researching the role of an “Executive Producer” of movies:

• Overall responsibility for a film but does not actually make it.

• Typically raises the funds to pay for making the film.

• Usually develops or buys the story and screenplay.

• Hires and supervises the Producer and sometimes the Line Producer who actually create the film.

• Representative and liaison to the investors, studio or distributor.

• Ensure the projects stays on budget, on schedule and is being executed as planned.

Hollywood Movie Plot Ideas (and Clichés to Avoid) for Scripts

English: The Hollywood Sign, shot from an airc...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m brainstorming ideas for sub plots in a feature script I am co-writing for my sci fi film Zedic and the Crimson Born. So I am going through some blogs and articles about movie plots and I will make notes of interest.

Of course I know some people are incredibly opposed to writing films based on previously proven plots, so I apologize for that. However, this is my first full length film and I need to learn the basics of what works.

This article The Top Ten Standard Hollywood Movie Plots is funny but true! I realized that for my film I like the plot the author calls “The Twist”. One of the best twist movies I have seen recently is “Salt” starring Angelina Jolie, and this had a huge impact on my vision for my Zedic film. In fact, I would like to have at least 3 twists along the way, like Salt.

The other plots I like in the articles are  the “Epic War” and “Underdog” theme— both of which interestingly enough are present in the Harry Potter series. 5 Movie Plots That Hollywood Has Officially Done To Death also has a some great examples of underdog plots and is just really funny to read! In Guide to Hollywood’s Mainstream Movie Formulas I like the plot idea “Edgy Supernatural Thrillers” which also fits in with the paranormal themes of Zedic.

So those are the three best (or perhaps worst) basic plot lists I found online. Hopefully that might help you with ideas and or show you what may be some common clichés.

If you like this you might be interested in my other posts:

Funding Your Film! Using Film Finance Basics

High Concept Story Plots: How to for Hollywood Screenplays

7 Indie Film Digital Distribution Companies You Can Submit to Online

Other related articles

Funding Your Film! Using Film Finance Basics

I’m looking to raise funds to produce a feature version of my alien sci fi short Zedic and the Crimson Born. So I came across this most excellent video on Film Financing by Dave Basulto from Film School On Demand.

To start Dave explains the basic budget ranges for funding films. At 0-100K you are your own boss and distribution is mainly through festivals and online. 100K-1M films need “name” talent and a sales agent for distribution but you are still your own boss. 1M+ movies require big stars, distributors in place (tv or studio), it takes a long time to raise the money and you have less control.

You must have a budget to get financing. But Dave says this can be easy once you have done the research. You need to include equipment, locations, hard costs like insurance and crew, sound/music, post production (editor) and be sure to add padding, luckily for you there are insurance companies like onesureinsurance.co.uk which are very affordable and they still cover any damage.

Altered version of Nuvola apps aktion.png for ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At a minimum you need equipment rental and liability insurance. You want to try to work with free talent as much as possible and use cheap music like mine. Make sure to include post-production in the cost. Also, include a still photographer.

Dave uses Gorilla film finance production management software in this video to enter above the line expenses (key players) and below the line (production crew) expenses. Check it out, this was very informative!

If you like this post you might also like my article High Concept Story Plots – How to for Hollywood Screenplays or 7 Indie Film Digital Distribution Companies You Can Submit to Online.

Related articles

High Concept Story Plots: How to for Hollywood Screenplays

I’m co-writing a feature length alien sci fi screenplay based on my short film Zedic and the Crimson Born. To improve my knowledge of screenwriting I decided to watch a few how to videos. This first video I came across is a guide to coming up with the main story for the movie which can be called its “High Concept”. This concept can then be the summary you use to pitch your film.

The author of this video explains that if you are pitching your screenplay to Hollywood producers and agents, you should stick to a proven high concept—but with an original twist. He says formatting using examples, templates and software can be helpful, but it is not as important as the high level story. The idea is to follow some basic rules, but still be creative. Check out this very informative video!

English: 42, The Answer to the Ultimate Questi...

English: 42, The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life according to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

The high concept is essentially the main super cool original idea behind your script. In the video he gives the example that for the movie “The Minority Report” the high concept is the idea that a small group of psychics can see into the future and you can get arrested before you commit the actual crime. Here is a post that discusses the Titanic’s high concept as well.

So one of the ways to come up with a new high concept as a writer, is to take the idea of a previously successful film and put a spin on it. For instance, take the the same idea but use it in a different genre.

I’ll come up with my own example now.  How about the idea behind the Bourne Legacy —a government experiment of creating super spies gone wrong. Well what if you put that story in space and make it funny. So now you have Bourne Identity meets The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy! Not bad, I may use that : )

If you like this post you may be interested in my other article “7 Indie Film Digital Distributors You Can Submit to Online“.

Also this week I released a new piano and guitar track called “Come Alive” that is free to use in your film or video.

The Bourne Legacy — Making of and Industry Background

Well I saw the Bourne Legacy and it was pretty good. I thought the story was very interesting so I spent some time looking into the industry background and making of the film. Here is what I found:

The Bourne Legacy was directed by Tony Gilroy (previous films: Michael Clayton and Duplicity) he wrote the screenplays for the other Bourne movies as well.

Robert Ludlum wrote the Bourne series of books that the screenplay was based on. He has written over 23 action thriller novels since 1971! However, the novel the Bourne Legacy was written by Eric Van Lustbader—Ludlum passed in 2001.

It turns out Matt Damon was not in the film because he was basically tired of doing Bourne films! Even the initial director Paul Greengrass bailed!

The film was shot mostly in Manila— the final scene was incredibly beautiful, I want to go there : )

The soundtrack was composed by James Newton Howard who has an incredibly long impressive history of film credits. Most recently he did the Hunger Games and Snow White and the Huntsman. I really enjoyed both of those movies.

So far the The Bourne Legacy has mixed reviews. But I enjoyed the story and Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton are super cool.

Worldwide box office so far is $46 million which surpassed expectations and the film sold a few hundred thousand more tickets on opening weekend, than the The Bourne Identity.

Here is the trailer if you have not seen it yet:

7 Indie Film Digital Distribution Companies You Can Submit to Online

I’m looking for a way to distribute my film Zedic and the Crimson Born for viewing online. I am going to explore 7 options and make notes in this post. I could just put it on YouTube but before I do, I would rather find a distribution solution that could do one of the following:

1. Offer a way for people to donate or pay to see the film. Its a short so I would be happy with $1 per view.

2. Provide a “content locking” solution where a viewer would complete a survey or view an ad to see the film and I am paid by the advertiser. I really do not want to deal with YouTube’s random monetization approval.

3. A distributor that offers the film some exclusivity and privacy. This is really a pilot for a feature, so I’m not looking to open it up to the general public – just people who know me and my music, and maybe some heavy duty sci-fi enthusiasts…

4. Provide an existing user-base of independent film fans and discovery engines where my film could be found by indie scfi-fi buffs.

5. Add it to YouTube if all else fails. Promote it, try to make it rank. Buy YouTube views for it if you have to in order to increase reach.

So here we go, I am going to try each of these and let you know how it goes:


Photo Credit: ShowerHacks.com
IndieFlix is a new media indie film distributor and a community for filmmakers and fans. You can go directly to the film submission page here.

To qualify for submission your film needs to have at least been selected for a festival. You need to submit a DVD screener to them by mail, even if you get accepted through Without a Box.

Status: I submitted my online screener through Without a Box and I will update this post to let you know how it goes.


This service allows filmmakers to distribute through iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and Cable VOD. They only accept feature length films.

You need to pay a set up fee for this service but you keep 100% of the revenues.

iTunes: $1295 plus $79 a year

Amazon VOD: $95

Netflix Watch Instantly: $595

Filmmaker Direct (Cable/Satellite/Telco VOD): Submission is $249, $5000 if you film is accepted

Status: These fees are too high for me. But if you have a budget for a feature, I think it is incredible that you can be nationally distributed for under $10K and producers keep all revenue.


Producers can distribute their film for free on Vodo via a network of P2P file sharing sites. Down-loaders watch for free.

Vodo then offers sponsorship opportunities to people who like the film. Vodo also offers a 50/50 split on syndication to cable/satellite TV and streaming services.

Click here for the direct link to sign up as a publisher and submit your film.

Status: I registered and submitted my film for approval. The submission form only asked for film title and a website.

Update: I got rejected because Vodo only accepts shorts 10 minutes and longer so they do not “compete with other file hosting sites”. That makes sense because YouTube does *not* accept videos 10 minutes and longer. 


Focuses on bringing on-demand independent films to fans for free. Advocates of indie filmmakers and active in the film community. Shares ad revenue with producers.

They prefer submission via Without a Box and it is free to submit! Click here to go directly to the submission page. They have minimal acceptance criteria so approval is likely based on the quality of the film.

Status: I submitted via Without a Box.


You embed their player on your facebook page, blog or website. Users can buy a stream or download right from the player. So people see your trailer and they can immediately purchase a view of your film.

It’s free to sign up and add 1 film! Just click here. Then filmmakers earn 70% of all revenues.

Now this sounds cool.

Status: I signed-up and uploaded my trailer. First the trailer was processed and they sent me an email. Next I uploaded the entire short – my 8 minute film took about 30 minutes to upload. After a while it was processed and I set the price at the minimum of $.99 cents. Here is the real live player!!

Updates: I also did a test purchase on the Distrify player. The payment processing and streaming player are both excellent.

I logged in and found that I actually have a few rentals! The Distrify dashboard shows your preview to rental conversion rate and right now it is about 3%.


An embeddable player like Distrify that offers viewer the ability to pay for viewing using PayPal. Its like a YouTube player and you can put it anywhere so there is no software involved.

The DynamoPlayer is also a free to set up solution! Producers keep 70%. I like it, let’s see how it works : )

Status: Bummer, their Java-based up-loader does not work on any of my browsers. I’ll try again later and then send a note to support.


This is another media player type option with a twist. You mail the company your DVD for processing  and a “.Egg” file is created. Then when viewers pay, your .Egg can be streamed or downloaded on the desktop, iPhone or iPad. Read EggUP: A DIY Indie Film Distribution Platform for more info.

The .Egg file is self-contained but secure so you can send it anywhere and you don’t have to be concerned with piracy.

As a final step you would use the EggUp paypal widgets on your website or blog to actually sell the .Egg file.

Status: I’m already set-up with Distrify so I think I’ll pass on sending in a DVD. But this looks like a good alternative used by many filmmakers.


Well obviously Distrify gave me an immediate solution for providing semi-private and secure access to the film. The next step will be creating a marketing plan that actually drives digital streams from the player.

Since this post my film Zedic was screened at the New Filmmakers festival in NYC (which was very exciting) and I discovered that they have a service for private online screening and submission to distributors at NewFilmmakersOnline.com.

I didn’t find any great ad “content-locking” solutions though I did learn that BlamAds is probably one of the best options for that.

Hopefully IndieFlix, Vodo or SnagFilms will work out as a way to offer the film to a community of existing music indie film viewers.

My next step for “Zedic & the Crimson Born” is to package up a proposal for a feature film to pitch to co-producers and investors. For the full length version I will explore a much wider range of distribution deals : )

The Best Electronic Music Blogs

I have been doing electronic music for years (listen here) and I can tell the genre is definitely getting more popular. I have seen a huge increase in the number of people listening to the style online. A major reason for this is because each year electronic artists invent fresh new styles. Electronic music is very interesting and fun!

Blogs have popped up everywhere to cover all the innovative music making out there. They provide the latest news, information about events and offer free or paid downloads of the latest songs. This selection of the best electronic music blogs is based on the number of hits they receive, what they offer, popularity and freshness.


One of the most visited blogs is Discobelle. The blog is based in Sweden and has been in existence for the past 6 years. Over this period it has managed to get allot of fans.

Content is posted regularly about a wide range of sub-genres. They have posts on single tracks, remixes and new videos. They also have exclusive guest mixes.

Feel My Bicep

Feel my bicep, is a blog based in London. The owners of the blog have a electronic music project which is well established and they tour extensively.

The blog has a wide selection of tracks that are of great quality, and that is why it is preferred by many fans.

Salacious Sounds

Salacious sounds is a very popular blog. It has new and fresh electro, dubstep and house music. The layout is great and simple – enabling a user to easily navigate the system.

Allot of the music can be downloaded for free. There all also lots of “best of” lists, news and articles.

Fresh Beat

Fresh beats has a collection of really amazing music.

The blog has a great design. It has information ranging from the latest news and music to a bunch of interviews and fresh promos.


Resident Advisor

This unique electronic music blog publishes reviews, features and news. Thousands of label profiles and artists are also featured.

You can view the club listing and user-generated events, applicable for both club-goer and clued-up music lover. Users are also free to join competitions and other activities by browsing their forums.

Bacau House Mafia

This electronic music blog offers previews and downloads of quality house music.

The blog often posts entire sets of tracks at once you can download. It also has a clean, nice and simple layout that is very easy to manage.

Just beware that tracks are on file hosting sites that are hosted on cheap hosts like BlueHost – so you will have to open new tabs to listen and download.

Electro Station

This electronic music blog specializes in daily posts with quality tracks from different music genres.

Every post is tagged and sorted for fast and easy browsing. As a visitor, you have the ability to preview tracks without leaving the blog.


Top 5 Online Electronic Music Radio Stations

It’s difficult to find really good streaming radio to listen to on the computer. So I put together this list of the top 5 online electronic music radio stations that I like! You can also stream my electronic music : )

Proton Radio

Featuring some of the latest online electronic music radio singles, Proton Radio is on the forefront of the internet radio scene. Boasting a powerful combination of electronic dance favorites along with superb DJs who are entertaining, informative and don’t get in the way of the music. You can listen to the live feed for free or become a subscriber and listen to all of their shows on demand.

Established in 2001, Proton Radio boasts over 100 original shows broadcasting all day and all night with a focus on introducing great new talent in the electronic music scene. For the best in electronic music on the internet, Proton Radio is definitely on top.


Straight from The Netherlands, EclecticRadio features the hottest dance and house music around, offering a world-wide audience along with artist from all parts of the globe as well. ElectricRadio recently revamped its entire 2012 line-up to bring you the best in electronic music.

More than just an internet radio station, EclecticRadio is also an artist and event management agency bringing you the total package in electronic music entertainment. This bold approach ensures that ElectricRadio will be a real force over the foreseeable future as they are expanding their radio shows to bring even more into the electronic music scene for your entertainment.


Provides a number of great DJs hosting electronic dance music shows 24/7, UZIC features bold, fresh electronic music that fills the internet with new, exciting talent. Located in Geneva, Switzerland, UZIC has become one of the leading electronic music radio sources in the world.

A great combination of established artists along with new talent makes UZIC one of the great forces in today’s electronic music scene. Having been established several years ago, UZIC also has one of the finest lineups of DJ talent in the industry today; hosting vivid, exciting shows while staying out of the way of the music.


Electronic music of the people, by the people and definitely for the people, Mugasha has taken the unique approach of allowing you, the listener to create their own podcast and have it broadcasted on Mugasha. If you are an aspiring DJ then this is your chance to shine on one of the best electronic music stations on the internet.

Mugasha also provides easy to use features such as their app you can download for your mobile device to let you hear the best in the latest music when you want, where you want. Offering new sets of material you may have never heard with popular sets of your favorites, Mugasha stands at the forefront of today’s electronic music scene.


Since 2004 Beatport has been delivering the best in online electronic music radio. Featuring premium digital formats and combining the best in new talent along with showcasing the favorites, Beatport has carved out a unique niche in the electronic music scene.

Every week the DJs update the lineup with new, exciting electronic music with hundreds of fresh tracks, many from artists just making their name on the scene. 24/7 you can hear new, exciting music sent straight to your computer or mobile device. From their studios in Denver, Colorado and Berlin, Germany, Beatport has become one of the internet favorites for showcasing the best in electronic music.

Electronic Music In New York

So you want to check out electronic music in New York City? Well there is plenty going on including festivals, events and of course clubs! If you are a fan, DJ or producer that is living in or visiting New York—then have a look at what’s happening here.

Electric Zoo Festival

The Electric Zoo is a 2-3 day outdoor summer electronic music festival in New York City—known for it’s after parties! You can buy a full 3 day pass or for individual days. They also have “VIP” and the best coolers for everyone, which have one of the most amazing traveling packages. The main stage features top acts like David Guetta, Tiesto and Skrillex. Check out the killer trailer:

Cielo Club

Cielo is *the* electronic music club in the Meat Packing District of NYC. It is upscale but not elitist like some “guest list only” clubs. It has a really high end sound system and a 70s look. Started by Ibiza DJ Nicolas Matar—Cielo has risen to number 22 in DJ Magazine’s “Top 100 Clubs of the World”. The club is open Monday-Saturday (but not Tuesday) from 10pm-4am. There are some clips of the club half way through this video:

Provocateur NY

Provocateur is a strictly “guest list only” club but also one of the coolest. If you are a great social networker you can probably get to know some insiders via GuestlistSpy.com to get invited. Its designed as a glamorous fashion club—complete with huge 20 foot wings where girls dance on the balcony (you can see those in the video). There are plenty of lighting and smoke effects that sync up to really amazing electronic music!

DubSpot Electronic Music & DJ School

So maybe you want to learn how to produce electronic music or become a DJ in New York City? Professional producers and DJs at DubSpot can teach you music creation and mixing using software like Ableton. All you need is a computer and passion to learn electronic music! The school has a very personalized program based in a supportive community philosophy. You can see from this video that DubSpot is a special cool place.

I Love Electronic Music NYC Meetup.com Group 

So maybe you want to check out some of these clubs and events but none of your friends or family like electronic music? Well then the iluvEM Meetup.com groups would be cool to visit. You can discuss electronic music with other fans or network to promote your work. This is an actual *offline* social gathering of real people who live and breath electronic music in NYC!

Electronic Music In New York


Shockwave Sound Review and Recommendation

I get many requests for music styles that I often can not accommodate so occasionally I like to recommend other royalty free music sites.

Allot of people want royalty free music that doesn’t sound like stock “library” music – but more like music from real artists and composers, if you check this site you’ll find out more. That is one of the reasons I like Shockwave Sound since they work with really talented performers.

Also, I know from running my site that many people have trouble with downloading files and Shockwave Sound offers delivery on CDROM as an option. They also have entire discounted collections on CD.

One of the best features the site offers is that they do not enter their music into the YouTube content id system.  They have a complete page on their YouTube policy you can view here.

Shockwave adds new music very regularly and they also have sound effects. The site is known for classical music if you are looking for that in particular. If you are a high-end user they even have wav versions of the files you can purchase.

So if you can’t find what you need here on DanoSongs.com check out Shockwave Sound : )

Next Page »« Previous Page

Blog | Follow | Contact | Terms | Privacy