The job title loosely describes what being a music supervisor is about. If you think that their job entails them sitting back and watching others do work you are mistaken. In fact they have several responsibilities that they must complete. Music supervisors are often present during the creative process, working closely with the artist, guiding the project towards a future movie, commercial, TV pilot or video game.
On the business side of things the music supervisor must make sure that all the paperwork be correct so that the royalties will be going to the proper place and that the use of the song and or album is legal.
The negotiations usually occur between the record label who owns the songs master and the publishing company who have possession of the copyright. In a case where the song is not published, the music supervisor will discuss legalities with the songwriter directly. It is beneficial for the label and its artist to have their songs placed in other types of media seeing as it creates a series of revenue streams, including the synchronization license, master use license and the public performance royalty.
Once the proper channels have sifted through the countless submissions sent to the office they will then give it to the music supervisor to listen to. Those that have the privilege of reaching the desk will go through the second elimination round via the music supervisor.
Tips To Survive The Second Round:
• Make your “art” pleasing to the eye as well as pleasing to the ear by having artwork on the cover.
• Organization and neatness are essential.
• Promptly display the following information: artists name, the record company, writers and publishers.
• A web presence is another crowd pleaser. Therefore supply the supervisor with your URL.
• CD’s are the format of the last generation but some supervisors still prefer the old school method over the digital format. If you are using the digital format remember to create a zip folder when sending multiple files and label the songs so. With a CD you can circle or highlight the songs that you want the supervisor to consider.
• Invest in a jewel case when submitting a CD.
• It is important that the label and or artist know something about the project in which they are applying for.
• Have instrumental versions of your song on hand.
• Capture the supervisor’s attention in the first 30 seconds of the song.
• The bridge might work better than the chorus for a commercial spot or clip in a video game. Write down the stop and start time of this bridge so that the supervisor can advance the song to that particular spot.
• Sometimes there will be a concept or early version of the prospective media available. Use this to your advantage by sending the supervisor a file that incorporates the audio and video. This will show them how well your song fits with the material.
Peters, Mitchell. “@Film and TV Conference: How to Pitch to Music Supervisors”.Billborad.biz. 2010, October 27.
Fitch, Ryan. “Ryan Fitch’s How to Pitch Music Tip Sheet”. NARIP. 2011, December 6.
Songs into Film & Television. ASCAP. 2002, December 1.