4 items from 2017
“It was the best joke of the series,” Simien told IndieWire on a recent panel at the Atx Television Festival. “It was a play on the ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ song. Because there’s a character [on the show] that thinks he can fly. Guys, it was hilarious.”
The song, however, came with a hefty pricetag. But “on top of that, R. Kelly was like, ‘also, no,'” Simien said. He added, clearly joking, “It was the worst day of my life!”
Clearing music for TV and music may be one of the most time-consuming and frustrating aspects of production. Music supervisors have to balance the desire of showrunners who might have an idea for a song – even if the track might not actually fit – with songwriters who may turn the show down. Or perhaps the copyright holder can’t be found. And even if all of that is cleared, a song may be too expensive for the production.
Read More: TV Academy Adds Music Supervisor, Reality Casting Emmy Categories; Restructures Interactive Awards
“It’s not just picking music, it’s the clearance process, it’s all the paperwork,” said Liza Richardson, who has served as a music supervisor on shows such as “Friday Night Lights,” “The Leftovers” and “Hawaii Five-0.” “It’s dealing with the budget. It’s all of the personalities.”
Added Maggie Phillips, whose credits include “Fargo,” “Legion” and FX’s upcoming “Snowfall”: “It’s studios, it’s managing expectations. Having to talk to a certain rights owner for an hour once a week so that they will give us their song for a certain price.”
Music supervision, in other words, is a craft. And that’s why it’s finally being honored with its own category at this year’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards. Series episodes and specials will compete in the brand new Outstanding Music Supervision category, which honors “exceptional creative contributions to a program through the use of music including the narrative impact of lyric-based songs, both original or pre-existing, the use of instrumental source music, and on-camera musical performances.”
It’s been a long time coming. Music supervisors, led by Guild of Music Supervisors president John Houlihan, have spent years lobbying the Television Academy to create the category. They were first admitted into the organization in 2015, which was the beginning step. Then last fall, the Guild pitched its case for an Emmy category to the TV Academy’s board of governors.
“The central argument was that music supervision is a creative endeavor that significantly contributes to Television storytelling but, up until that point, they were not eligible for any award,” said TV Academy music governor Michael Levine. “The criteria – which emphasize creative as opposed to administrative contributions – were shaped by input from music supervisors, other music peer group members, governors from other peer groups, awards committee members, and the experience of Television Academy staff.”
The recognition is also heartening for a group that has to juggle multiple shows and projects at once in order to make a living. “We’re not exclusive to shows and we don’t get paid the way exclusive people get paid,” Phillips noted. “We’re paid per episode. And there’s no union that represents music supervisors. The pay is a little low, so we have to do multiple projects. It’s hard. I love it though and it’s what I do.”
Up next: Why the Rolling Stones didn’t want their drug song in a show about drugs
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- Michael Schneider
Emmy Awards category growth continues apace.
For the first time this September, music supervision will be rewarded with an Emmy.
Rules for the new category, the sixth for music, defines it as “exceptional creative contributions to a program through the use of music, including the narrative impact of lyric-based songs, both original and pre-existing, the use of instrumental source music, and on-camera musical performances.”
Music supervisors have been lobbying for this honor for more than five years. They were finally allowed to join the TV Academy in 2015 and, three months ago, they were granted their own category.
“The job of music supervision has evolved, from what was once primarily an administrative task to becoming a creative and artistic one,” says Michael A. Levine, one of the Academy’s two music governors and a longtime advocate for the new category.
“The music supervision field has been overlooked for a long time,” adds »
- Jon Burlingame
17 February 2017 10:50 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
The seventh annual Guild of Music Supervisors Awards took place at The Theatre at the Ace Hotel Thursday evening in Los Angeles. It was a night commemorating the industry’s top music supervisors in film, television, games and advertising with more than 600 guests. Some of the nominees include Deadpool, La La Land and Girls.
“Forming a guild of music supervisors is really important because we needed an avenue to support »
- Fatema Etemadi
CBS’ highly anticipated Training Day makes its debut this week in the coveted Thursday night 10pm slot. One of the main questions critics and fans are asking is how the show will be different from the 2001 Denzel Washington film which won him an Oscar. There are a few similarities between the two projects, the series picks up 15 years after the events of the feature film with new characters (and the same theme). Bill Paxton (Big Love) plays the morally ambiguous veteran detective (Washington’s role) while newcomer Justin Cornwell is the young idealistic cop assigned as his trainee (Hawke’s role).
Here, Det. Kyle Craig (Cornwell) joins the Special Investigation Section (Sis) on an undercover mission from deputy chief Joy Lockhart (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) to spy on Det. Frank Rourke (Paxton) and report back on his unorthodox tactics. »
- Amie Cranswick
4 items from 2017
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