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SXSW Music 2013

Songwriting for the Screen

Last year the fact that only two songs were nominated for an Academy Award was hot button discussion topic throughout the music community. What determines a true “original” song? What should? From montages to key scenes, main titles to end titles, original songs are written for film and television regularly, both by skilled songwriters and popular artists. The ability to capture the essence of a film (or moment) without telling too much, however, is a delicate art, making writing to picture one of the trickiest tasks for any musician. How do musicians and music supervisors approach this process today, and how you can create a track that’s just right?

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  1. First of all, what makes a song “syncable” versus one that only has a home an album?
  2. How often do filmmakers go into the process knowing they want an original song, versus something needing to be created during production or post production?
  3. What is the thing artists/songwriters struggle with the most when writing a song to picture or for a specific moment? What element is the easiest to get wrong?
  4. Are there ways for artists to practice or prepare for the opportunity to write a song to picture?
  5. What is the biggest difference in the process of writing for film and television between today and ten years ago?



Amanda Krieg, Music Coordinator, Format Entertainment

Meta Information:

  • Event: Music
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Supervision/Music Placement
  • Track 2
  • Level:
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