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SXSW Music 2013

Live Music Supervision Session: Anatomy of a Scene

Selecting the perfect song to soundtrack a moment in a film, TV show or ad goes much farther than simply making a mixtape of pitched potentials. The winning track is at the center of a complex Venn diagram reflecting the overlap of resources, creative concerns and budget. Watch a live music supervision session unfold as 4 film/TV music panelists discuss their process for culling, pitching or creating songs for a single identical scene. Three participants (licensing rep, publisher & artist) will each present a video demo to a studio music exec - their top song pick edited to the same film clip. The artist will present a song written specifically for the project and discuss the process of writing to picture. Material will be reviewed in real time, providing commentary on what song hits the mark the most and why. Attendees will witness firsthand how different songs work (or don’t work) in a select scene and the complex vetting process associated with landing a film, TV or ad placement.

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  1. How do music supes, music execs & film/TV reps select and hone song options for licensing opportunities? We will address how music supervisors and execs determine which companies/connections to consult regarding song submissions, in addition to how they compile their own selects. The licensing rep and music publisher participants will discuss how they synthesize input from the supe/studio to tackle the task of sifting through and selecting appropriate material or writers from their own rosters.
  2. What information is given to the film/TV rep, songwriter or artist to properly craft their submissions? The film executive participant (the“buyer”) will outline what information and/or physical materials are passed on to artists and pitch persons, regarding the synopsis, budget, style and creative directives of the project. The remaining panelists (“sellers”) will discuss any questions they may ask or materials they may request, that are specific to their needs or business objectives.
  3. When making decisions on a placement, what factors OTHER than creative fit are considered? Every potential resource – music supe, label, artist manager, pitch person, music publisher, etc. – brings a different set of capabilities and objectives to the table. We will discuss points of concern from each panelist’s perspective, including the role of budget, style/genre, timeline, the delicate involvement of personalities and politics and every supe’s worst nightmare – the concept of “temp love.”
  4. How do artists and “sellers” create and find synch opportunities? Learn how you (the Artist) can benefit from your own research and grassroots efforts, as well as what members of your team – label, publisher, synch rep, manager, etc. – should be doing to help promote your work and foster film/TV opportunities. Panelists will discuss the process of ferreting out potential placements, working directly with artists, music supes and studios and the ways in which masters and compositions are pitched.
  5. What makes a song “synchable” and how can I (the Artist) better write material with a focus on film/TV? Just because you have a great song about vampires doesn’t mean it should be in the next Twilight. Learn what will keep your song off the cutting room floor, as our panelists delve into what makes a song film & TV ready. Discussion will address subject matter, lyrics, instrumentation, the pitfalls of being too “on the nose” and the types of songs always requested, but the hardest to find.



Rebecca Rienks, Music Supervisor, E! Entertainment/NBCUniversal

Meta Information:

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