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SXSW Music 2013

Inside the Music Supervisors' Brain: Case Studies

A unique look into the process of how music supervisors make decisions related to music placements in film and television.

Each of the three music supervisors will be paired with an artist, and together present a short piece at the panel that they have worked on beforehand, synched to picture.

Each supervisor/artist pair will discuss the process of how the music came about: what musical direction was given to the artist, how the process worked back and forth, why certain musical decisions were made, and how effective the final musical piece is in enhancing the picture. We will also look at previous projects from the supervisors, and let them explain how they came to different musical choices in their work.

The audience will leave with a sense of what priorities the music supervisor has to balance when placing music in film & TV, as well as the challenges that artists and composers must adapt to when working in this high-paced, quick turnaround environment.

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  1. How do music supervisors interact with composers? We will get a chance to hear the back-and-forth between three pairs of supervisors/composers, and get a real sense of what steps each go through in order to see a film or television show to completion. We'll hear about what marching orders are given to composers and artists that write for film and television, and how they interpret them.
  2. Where does music fit into the overall film/TV production timeline? Find out what happens before any production gets to the point of addressing music. Though this varies greatly from production to production, the audience will get an idea of where music fits in to the overall scheme.
  3. How do artists compose for existing picture? Find out from three different artists/composers how they translate what they see into music. Each artist will explain how they took the supervisor's direction and began to write, and what their thought process was throughout the writing and recording of their compositions.
  4. What makes a great synch? We'll examine past projects the music supervisors have worked on, and allow them to explain why they think the final musical choice for each was the best for that project.
  5. What priorities do music supervisors have to balance when selecting music for picture? Whether it's licensing catalogue, or working with a composer to create new music, supervisors have to balance issues such as producer/director directives and budget constraints in order to see projects through. The supervisors will give examples of how this plays out in real life, and the audience will get a sense of how they address these challenges.



Jon Bartlett, President, MEGAPHONO / Kelp Records

Meta Information:

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