Insights From A Music Supe

GHOSTWRITER MUSIC—the leading production, publishing and sound design company—and their Director of A&R, Macy Thompson, recently conducted an interview with notable music supervisor, Laura Katz, the founder of L.A.-based music supervision company SUPE TROOP, where she specializes in music supervision services for all types of media. Katz’s notable music supervision film credits include The GreyThat Awkward MomentStuck in LoveChappaquiddick, and Big Time Adolescence. In the following interview, Katz gives insights into what a top-drawer music supervisor is seeking in 2022.

1. What would you tell aspiring music supervisors that are just starting out? I was very early on given the advice to take a film, tv episode, or trailer, etc. and pick completely different songs for it that you think would work equally well or better than what was used and then practice finding who the rights-holders are. Obviously, one can't actually go through the clearance process for this kind of exercise, but even what one can do is very good practice, both creatively and research-wise, so I always recommend that now, as well.

2. There is amazing talent out there, but there is also so much to sift through. Where do you find new talent?  What could artists be doing to reach music supervisors? I always say to work with a pitch company that is trusted by music supervisors. While we would love to all be listening to every submission, there just literally aren't enough hours in the day. As such, if you partner with a good pitch company, they'll be sending in your music when it's appropriate and when the music supervisor needs it, which is the best chance of getting your song actually licensed! Of course, I'm always keeping my ears open for great music for future use but that doesn't usually come from cold emails. On top of that, we always recommend the obvious - make sure your files are tagged properly - and we have guidelines for that on our website!

3. Can you name a time that a specific piece of music in a show really inspired you as a music supervisor? I just absolutely loved the songs in Beginners. Top to bottom the songs were so perfect at enhancing the overall tone of the film. They were a character in their own right, but also just fit in so naturally in that world.

4. Why were you drawn to music supervision specifically? I've always loved both music and movies and when both can be combined and the sum is greater than its parts, it's magic! 

5. How does your musical taste influence artists you choose for a spot? The director's taste is always the most important factor, but, of course, I try to place music I actually enjoy, too!  –Macy Thompson

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