Musician’s Overview

How the Fund Began

The Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund (FMSMF) was established in 1972 to collect, process, and distribute “secondary market” residual payments to professional musicians who work on a film, TV program, or streaming media program produced under an American Federation of Musicians (AFM) agreement. FMSMF was created through negotiations between the AFM and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), and its responsibilities are described in the AFM’s Basic Theatrical and Basic Television Agreements.

FMSMF is not part of the AFM — it operates like a payroll company but is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit. FMSMF recognizes the challenges of building a career in film and television scoring and strives, as a central core of its mission, to meet the unique needs of the AFM-covered musicians that it serves.

FMSMF also collects, processes, and distributes supplemental market residuals required under the AFM’s Television Videotape Agreement on behalf of a separate sub-fund officially known as the Live Television Videotape Supplemental Markets Fund (LTVF). Learn more about the LTVF.

What are Secondary Market Residuals, and How Do They Work?

The AFM Agreements provide that Secondary Market Residuals are due to participants of FMSMF if a product moves from its original (“primary”) medium of exhibition into a “secondary” market and generates receipts from distribution in that secondary market. Learn more about Primary and Secondary markets applicable to FMSMF (PDF).

Each July, FMSMF allocates and distributes to participating musicians the residuals collected during the preceding fiscal year, which runs from April 1 -March 31. Participating musicians who have taken advantage of the Fund’s Go Paperless option can receive their residual distribution by direct deposit and receive all information and updates electronically. Learn more about enrolling in Go Paperless.

Which Theatrical and Television Products Generate Secondary Markets Residuals?

For a theatrical, television, or “new media” product to be covered for purposes of residuals, it must:

  • Have at least one original scoring session or utilize sideline musicians under the AFM Basic Theatrical Motion Picture or Basic Television Film Labor Agreements and
  • Sessions must be done for a signatory employer (i.e., a producer or company signed directly to the AFM agreements or a non-signatory producer using a signatory payroll company through an assumption agreement); and is either:
    • A motion picture initially released to theaters that commenced principal photography on or after January 31, 1960, or
    • A television film or series initially released to traditional television that commenced principal photography on or after July 1, 1971, or
    • A picture or series made for initial release on “new media” (e.g., downloads, web streaming, subscription services, etc.) produced on or after April 14, 2010.

Who is Eligible to Receive Residuals?

Musicians listed on an original B7 session contract filed through the AFM for a covered theatrical, TV, or new media product are eligible for secondary market payments if they fall into one of these categories:

  • Musicians (including leaders, conductors, and contractors)
  • Sideline musicians (musicians photographed playing an instrument on camera).
  • Music prep musicians (including orchestrators, arrangers, copyists, and librarians) provided the use of at least one original AFM scoring session or sideline session for the product they worked on.
  • Musicians entitled to a “new-use” payment for the use of a pre-existing sound recording in the score of a covered film. Eligibility for secondary market participation for such “new-use” requires:
    • The product using this music must have been produced after January 1, 1991.
    • The sound recording was made under an AFM contract.
    • The original sound recording session(s) were filed on an AFM sound recording contract (B4) with the appropriate AFM local or acknowledged documentation.
    • The participating musician was entitled to a new-use payment, even if the new-use payment was not paid.

How Can I Check Whether I Will Receive Residuals?

The FMSMF website lists products paid in during a fiscal year, updated throughout the year. If a musician believes they have not received residuals for a product that has paid into FMSMF, they can fill out a Film Omission Claim Form.

The Live Television/Videotape Supplemental Markets Fund and How It Operates

The Live Television/Videotape Supplemental Markets Fund (a/k/a/ “LTVF”) is a sub-fund of FMSMF and is administered by the FMSMF staff. The LTVF collects, processes, and distributes supplemental market residual payments for programs produced under the AFM’s Television Videotape Agreement. The programs covered by the Television Videotape Agreement include late-night shows, award shows (e.g., Oscars, Grammys), variety programs, soap operas, syndicated talk shows, and live specials.

Residuals are only due to be paid to the LTVF if a program moves from television to a secondary market and generates revenue in one or more secondary markets. Learn more about LTVF Secondary Markets (PDF).

LTVF distributes residuals to musicians simultaneously with FMSMF distributions – July 1. If a musician receives distributions from FMSMF and LTVF in the same year, payments are made by separate checks – one for FMSMF and another for LTVF.

Fund policies for LTVF participants, such as address changes and updates, beneficiaries, garnishments, etc. are the same as those for FMSMF. If you participate in both Funds, any changes to your FMSMF profile will apply to your LTVF profile and vice versa.

Fund Policies

For the complete and most current list of policies, please visit Company Policies.

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