Music Supervisors Sound Off 2015


Heather Kreamer
Director of Music, Create Advertising
Contact: [email protected]

Company: Create Advertising is a full-service entertainment marketing agency that fulfills the creative needs of film, television, gaming and branding clients.

Credits: (Film Marketing Campaign & Trailers) The Amazing Spiderman, The Avengers, Captain America, The Campaign, Total Recall, American Reunion, Pitch Perfect, RIPD, Fantastic Four

Honors/Awards: Golden Trailer Awards, Telly Awards, Hollywood Reporter Key Art Awards

What is your specialty?
I find music for film trailers. I started in music marketing and evolved into supervision. I’ve been in the industry for 12 years and have been involved with film trailers for nine years. Often I’ll work on multiple projects––up to seven at a time

Do you work with a film’s music supervisor?
Hardly ever, because we generally get the project before they do––sometimes so early it’s just a storyboard. It can take a year or more to complete a trailer, and we may do various versions for different mediums and markets.

Since a trailer is a marketing tool, do you work with marketing departments?
All the time. We’ll get instructions and direction from a company’s marketing personnel. We work with them to refine what they want. That can take a while because there are so many people involved in decisions, from directors and editors, to producers and heads of marketing.

How do you find music?
I have my go-to contacts. I also use high-end libraries, especially for orchestral music. I know how they work, they know how I work and I know the composers and trust them. If artists are interested in trailer placements, I suggest they watch as many trailers as possible and get familiar with how music is used. They can research trailers online. (Note: try comingsoon.net and iTunes Movie Trailers.)

Would you consider an independent artist for placement?
I’m always looking for new songs. But, I get so many submissions and emails I can’t respond to them all. Independent artists should find a rep that has relationships with music supervisors like me. It takes time to build trust in this field, and most of us prefer dealing with people we know.

What kind of money is involved with movie trailer placements?
Trailer supervisors get to focus on the creative aspects, so we don’t do licensing deals. They’re done by the studio or production company. But, licensing fees are pretty decent, from $10,000 to $30,000. Commercial songs can pay $500,000 or more. The reason the fees are so large is because they’re part of an advertising budget and are “buy-outs.” That means performance royalties are waived and the deal is front-loaded.

What turns you off?
If someone keeps bugging me, by calling or emailing me relentlessly, I will not respond. It’s just obnoxious. Additionally, if you’re not professional I won’t deal with you. I once had a music library suggest a song that even I could tell was a “knock-off.” It wasn’t a sound-a-like, it was outright infringement. Consequently, I couldn’t trust them and no longer did business with them.

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