Music Supervisors On Finding Indie Music For Movies & TV Shows [Part 3]

Pretty-little-liarsThis is the third in a series of posts quoting music supervisors on how they find or discover music to license for movies and tv shows. Music Supervisors Explain How They Find Indie Music For Movies And TV [Part 1] drew on multiple sources while both Music Supervisors On How They Find Indie Music For Movies & TV [Part 2] and this post draw on interviews from LA-based Rollo & Grady's website. Future posts will focus on advertising and video games as well as services designed to help you reach music supervisors.

Rollo & Grady are an "online music publication and music supervision, licensing, and production company." You can find out more about submitting music to them on their Music Supervision page.

Music Supervisors on How They Find Indie Music

Fusion Music Supervision's Chris Mollere has supervised such tv shows as The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars and such movies as The Box and I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell.

R&G: What's the best way for an independent or unsigned artist to get on your radar?

"Hit me up, definitely. They can go through my website and just hit submissions. I check those all out. I don't necessarily email everybody back…Digital links have kind of overwhelmed me a little bit, so make sure to put in a link that doesn't expire. Sometimes it'll take me a month to get back and download from a link I've been sent…if I try to download from a link that expired after fourteen days and I've only gotten a chance to click through to it after three weeks, it's unlikely that I would write to the sender and request that they resend the link."

R&G: Do you use Dropbox, SoundCloud, YousendIt, or Box.net?

"Yousendit and Dropbox are fine. I like SoundCloud a lot, because of how you can see the Wavform. I've been getting into thumb drives lately, which remind me, 'Oh, I need to check out this music.'…"

"CDs are back. It's funny. As much as all of us tried to go totally digital, it's kind of impossible, because there's so much coming in; everybody's doing digital, and I don't know how to deal with all those links. Los Angeles traffic, as you know, is kind of good for CDs. It's good to just grab some CDs and throw them in my car and roll; I can listen while I drive."

"One thing all artists should do is to include metadata in their MP3 files, so that when I press Apple-I to check it out, I can see your phone number or email address. Gracenote your CDs, it makes it a lot easier to track artists down, especially because the track names don't always transfer. Sometimes you put a CD in and the tracks come up as 'Track 4', 'Track 1', 'Track 7', or whatever. How am I going to know where the hell that came from? That could lose a placement. It could be a perfect song, but I'm like, 'Shit, I don't know what this is.'"

[Note: I had a similar experience with an artist I was going to feature in a Hypebot post whose digital album had no identifying info. That got scratched when I couldn't find her publicist's email. Smaller stakes, same game.]

Firestarter Music's Andrea von Foerster, who was also quoted in Part 1 of this series, has supervised music for such tv series as Don't Trust the B—– in Apartment 23 and Run's House as well as the the movie 500 Days of Summer among other accomplishment [Updated].

I included these additional comments because they reveal other channels for contacting music supervisors as well as some important email guidelines.

R&G: What's the best way for an independent or unsigned artist to get on your radar?

"I go to a lot of music conferences and festivals…Every time I get invited to an event, I go because I want to meet people who pitch music on the label side, development side, agency side, management side, the artists themselves…When I'm at one of these events, already I'm in a good mood because I'm away even though I'm still trying to get my work done, which I am. I'm seeing new music and meeting new people. I love new people. I love new music. I love new places."

"So I'm already in a good mood and if you meet me at an event, you've got me in the best possible light. This is better than listening to you for the first time on my iTunes for a couple seconds maybe in the 14th hour of my day, when I'm kind of grumpy. It's really great when you can play a conference or a festival or something in your area that you've been invited to."

R&G: What's the best way for an artist to get your attention when they are emailing you regarding placing their music in one of your projects?

"I don't need an entire press kit. I don't need a bunch of pictures. What if I think you look kind of silly but I love your music? I really just want to know who has the publishing, who has the master, where are you from, and are there any samples…I don't need to know your story. If I want to know your story, I'll ask later once I like you."

"I get a thousand emails a day, if not more…It takes a lot to get my attention, to break the monotony of all the emails I get in a day. If it's just short and concise, maybe be funny somewhere in there, that's awesome, and I'll remember that, but I really sort of compartmentalize where people are from, so if I have an idea of where you are from, that helps me remember you."

R&G: If you receive a 1000 emails per day, I assume you don't like mp3 attachments clogging up your inbox. What's the best way to submit music to you?

"Never never never never never send an mp3 to somebody's inbox without asking them first. We all get a lot of emails and that many people sending you mp3s will just clog up your inbox. I like things that don't expire: ftp sites, box.net, Dropbox, Yousendit if you have an account and the link won't expire."

Rollo & Grady also interviewed heavyweights Scott Vener (Entourage) and Michelle Kuznetsky (Sons of Anarchy, Kill Bill: Vol. 1) though without much info on indie music discovery.


Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith maintains his business writing hub at Flux Research and blogs about dance at All World Dance. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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