The perfect brief: how to describe the music you need

Providing an accurate description of the music you need can help a lot pitching the right song. A good brief will encourage your contacts to submit only the tracks that respond to your requests, and not all kind of stuff they have in catalogue, from black metal to country music.

Music providers might need:

Music genre: sometimes genres overlap and the differences between them are not so neat, but this is not a good reason for an unprecise use of the definitions. Then, be sure that the word you are using fits the type of song that you are looking for. Also, don’t invent definitions. If the name of the genres don’t fit the idea you have in mind, don’t mix them, like “afro-funk-beat”, just add more information regarding mood and instruments.

Instruments: instruments can help if you don’t have an exact idea of the music genre. To tell if you want a vocal or instrumental track it is also important.

Mood: provide the sensation you would like the music to evoke. Focus on the track, not on the scene. For example, a lullaby in a horror movie can cause a creepy feeling, but to get what you want you would have to write “chilldish mood” better than “creepy mood”.

Tempo: you can give information regarding the tempo both by writing descriptions (slow, fast, mid-tempo etc) or providing the bpm.

Style: describe what kind of scene you are working on. A love scene, a chase, a ball, an epic battle. This will help your providers to imagine the music in association with the images.

Synopsis: you can also help providing a short abstract of the scene, indicating how the song will be used (background music, sung by actors etc.).

Sound like: it is very useful to provide an example, a song that you heard and that could work very well with the scene.

Deadline: often it happens to have a last minute request. It is important to specify how much time people have to submit music, in order to collect all material before the day the production need it.

Budget: tell how much money you can spend for the track, so that your providers are already prepared to exclude too expensive ones. Otherwise  you might risk to find the perfect song and then discover that you can’t afford it.



Music in tv shows: how to find it

A placement on a tv show always means visibility to musicians. This visibility, somehow, lasts also after the show has been aired. In fact someone keeps track of all music placements in tv programme.

Heard on tv has a huge database of songs featured in tv shows and movies. It can be browsed by “artist”, “tv shows”, “movies”. In association with each song you will also find the links to purchase and stream the track.

TuneFind aims to collect information regarding music featured  in movies and in all episodes of the most popular tv series. It is based on a community, which is asked to add information. The website is very well structured but the database is not complete yet. Each series has a page, containing  all information about the project, including the name of the music supervisor.

Tv Show Music is a very essential but also complete website, containing information on music included in the most popular tv series. Each song is associated with the description of the scenes that includes it.






How to discover which songs are in commercials

Sometimes, with songs in commercials it is love at first sight. Sometimes we hardly remember what the ad is about, but we can’t get the tune out of our head. Now, in Shazam’s  and YouTube’s era, we are immediately able to find out what the song is called and who it is by. Anyway, in case you don’t always have your smartphone with you, here’s some tool you can use to discover music in commercials:

-Website has a nice column called What’s the song . It helps to discover some of the best placement in nowadays commercials.The author select some video ads which feature a catchy soundtrack, then gives information about the title of the songs, the artists or band and their bios and discography. It is a nice way to keep yourself updated on new releases and music placements at the same time.

-What song is in that commercial is a website which is entirely dedicated to find music in commercials, trailers and other kind of video advertising. It contains thousands of posts, giving information about tracks featured in commercials. It is also possible to send requests on songs you want to know about.
-Popism aims to show how elements in popular culture are connected between one another. So, it also talks about the link between advertising and music. It gives information about songs playing in commercials, tv shows and movies




Best events for music supervisors

For a music supervisor it is crucial to connect with other professionals and to get updated about the last news in the entertainment industry. Specialized events are certainly a good occasion.

Here’s the ones you would not want to miss:

Sync Summit NY and Sync Summit Hollywood : Those events are aimed to allow music supervisor, rightholders and service providers to connect. The agenda includes lectures about the creative and the economic aspects of syncs, showcases and awards. They are organized by the music rights service company Sync Exchange. Sync Summit New York takes place in june, while Sync Summit Hollywood is in december.

AIM Sync Licensing Conference : This annual one-day masterclass takes place in London in February and it is entirely dedicated to music licensing. It includes discussion panels with sync experts working in TV, movies, commercials. It is organized by AIM (Association of Independent Music). For music supervisor it is a good opportunity to get visibility and meet rightholders.

Guild of Music Supervisors Awards : It is very prestigious to win an Award during this event, and also to be nominated. There are different categories for the Awards, such as  Independent Films, Studio Films, Trailers, Reality and Live Television, Television, Tv Long Form, Studio Television and Games.

 Music + Sound Awards : This is a global award dedicated to music and sound for creative media. It has two sections: International Awards (taking place in Cannes) and Uk Awards. It is not only open to music supervisors but also to everyone who is involved in the production of visual media. Categories of the Awards are: Tv Advertising, Cinema Advertising, Non-Broadcast or Viral Advertising, Trailers and Promos, Titles and Branding, Film Soundtracks, Tv Soundtracks, Gaming.