If this year’s Award Season had a chorus section, it would have been the heralded sounds of Hollywood’s unsung heroes as they strolled down the red carpet during the 10th annual Guild of Music Supervisors Awards on February 6, a calendar date strategically scheduled right in between Grammy week and the Academy Awards ceremony. On this Thursday evening, the entertainment industry’s most talented music supervisors gathered at The Wiltern to celebrate the brilliant contributions made towards some of the world’s most successful films and television shows of the past year.
I walked into The Wiltern thinking that I was going to be a spectator on an intense night where the nominees wore their competitive nature on their sleeves. But instead, I was taken back by the “Team Spirit” that all of the music supervisors shared amongst each other. They hugged, kissed and mingled with one another in the lobby as if they had all won an award—regardless of an official outcome. And in many aspects, they had. That’s because this was their award show. A live event created just for Music Supervisors! An award show that has blossomed from a small niche right smack in the middle of the Grammy Awards and “Oscar Week” to a mainstay that has propelled some of their names to the forefront of the entertainment industry. The music from critically acclaimed films like “Joker” and groundbreaking television programs such as “Euphoria” have practically become synonymous with the names of Music Supervisors like Anny Colvin and Jen Malone. Don’t believe me? Just ask the drones of recording artists and sync agents who were dying to have their songs featured on these hit shows this past year.
Not to take anything away from all of the “moral victories” and joyful greetings that were being feverishly exchanged during the lovefest in The Wiltern lobby, but I did a little winning of my own this night (clears throat). That’s right. Because I spoke with Alex Winter right after he presented the Best Supervisor for a Documentary Film award to Tracy McNight (for Halston). Our encounter was very brief. I cautiously approached the British actor, not fully knowing if he wanted to be bothered or not. And then, I referenced his Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventures film by giving him the ole “Air Guitar” salute. As soon as he smiled and laughed…I knew that he had let his guard down for a couple of seconds. So at that point, I fired off a few of questions and got him to open up about his post-acting career as a Music Supervisor. It turns out he is working on a documentary film for HBO about a legendary musician named Frank Zappa. Bill…oops…I mean…Alex Winter wasn’t the only actor there to support the music supervisors on this fine evening. I also spotted Kristin Chenoweth just moments before she took the stage….jokingly sang up a scale (with elegance and precision) and handed out one of the first awards of the evening. This awesome display of vocal talent kicked off thrilling award show dominated by the presence of female Music Supervisors--as women took home 11 of the 16 awards that were earned, respectively. It’s trailblazing accomplishments such as this that have helped generate more opportunities for women like Jen Malone with premium television networks. “There are so many amazing music supervisors who have been doing this craft,” said the Music Supervisor of Euphoria (on HBO). “Julia Michels was my first mentor and her work with Julianne Jordan is extraordinary. Mary Ramos, Alex Patsavas, Season Kent, Sue Jacobs – there are so many incredible female music supervisors in the game that I am lucky to know!” This ceremony marked the second year in a row that women earned at least 10 of the 16 Music Supervisors Awards that were presented to the nominees.
This year’s winners from the Guild of Music Supervisor Awards are listed as follows:
1) Best Music Supervision for Film Budgeted Over $25 Million
Mary Ramos – Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
2) Best Music Supervision for Film Budgeted Under $25 Million
Kier Lehman - Queen & Slim
3) Best Music Supervision for Film Budgeted Under $10 Million
Meghan Currier, Randall Poster – Waves
4) Best Music Supervision for Film Budgeted Under $5 Million
Terri D’Ambrosio - The Last Black Man In San Francisco
5) Best Song Written and/or Recorded for a Film
Evyen Klean (Music Supervisor) - One Little Soldier from Bombshell By Regina Spektor
6) Best Music Supervision - Television Drama
Adam Leber, Jen Malone - Euphoria - Season 1
7) Best Music Supervision - Television Comedy or Musical
Robin Urdang - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - Season 2
8) Best Music Supervision - Reality Television
Jill Meyers - Songland - Season 1
9) Best Music Supervision - Television Movie ***TIE*** (2 WINNERS)
Howard Paar – Native Son *WINNER* Joe Rudge, Chris Swanson - The Dirt
10) Best Song Written and/or Recorded for Television
“Something Stupid” from Better Call Saul
11) Best Music Supervision for a Documentary
Tracy McKnight – Halston
12) Best Music Supervision in a Docuseries
Rudy Chung, Jonathan Christiansen - Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men
13) Best Music Supervision in a Trailer
Anny Colvin (Jax) - Joker Teaser
14) Best Music Supervision in Advertising (Sync)
David Taylor, Scott McDaniel, Jonathan Wellbelove - Apple iPhone “Color Flood”
15) Best Music Supervision in Advertising (Original Music)
David Taylor, Scott McDaniel, Jonathan Wellbelove - Apple Watch “Hokey Pokey”
16) Best Music Supervision in a Video Game
Cybele Pettus, Raphaella Lima - FIFA 20
Over one thousand people attended the Guild of Music Supervisors Awards this year. In addition to witnessing a showcase of the world’s best Music Supervisors, the spectators were also treated to live music by Regina Spektor, Emmylou Harris and Lola Marsh. One of my favorite moments of the award show came when legendary crooner Michael Bolton playfully sang a line from “When A Man Loves A Women” just before he presented Anny Colvin with the Best Music Supervision in a Trailer Award.
Ten years ago, The Guild of Music Supervisors Awards began as a simple Sunday brunch on the morning of the Grammy Awards. Since then, this event has grown in popularity on a global scale and it has become increasingly influential during Award Season. One of the major reasons for this growth is the foundation that has been laid down by the show’s founders and producers of the past and present. “Robin Kaye (the former Vice President of The Guild of Music Supervisors) and I jumped in to work with then-President Maureen Crowe because each of us had experience in live production and wanted to help,” said Joel C. High (the current Executive Producer of The Guild of Music Supervisors Awards). “We, along with show producer Angelia Bibbs-Sanders were looking to do an event that would showcase music supervisors and their involvement in music in the telling of stories…We originally held our event on Grammy morning to better align ourselves with our peers in the music world, but as we grew, we realized that our place was exactly ‘Smack in the middle’ between music and visual media. So it was fitting that our (Award Show) should be the bridge between the Grammys and the Oscars.”
In just one decade The Guild of Music Supervisors Awards has risen to the status of one of the entertainment industry’s “can’t miss” annual events. This year’s Award show marked yet another notch under the belt of Keir Lehman. As his momentous wave of success now includes accolades for his involvement with Insecure (from HBO), Music Supervisor credits for Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse and a brand spanking new award from this year’s ceremony.
I found it awe-inspiring to witness a legendary music producer like Burt Bacharach receive the Icon Award on the same night that Bob Hunka accepted the Legacy Award. It was also just as exciting to see so many female Music Supervisors like Tracy McKnight on the brink of achieving a legendary status of their own. I look forward to seeing what the Guild of Music Supervisors has in store for their award show next year.