New Staff Spotlight: A Q+A with Music Supervisor, Amanda Patterson

Welcoming Amanda Patterson to the Marmoset team.

With nearly a decade of work under her belt as a music producer, Amanda has learned every angle of the original music production process, working closely with both composers and clients, dissecting creative briefs and managing tight deadlines for projects with the likes of Geico, Toyota and Xbox.

It’s only natural that Amanda wound up at Marmoset after moving to Portland in 2016, following an epic RV adventure from her hometown in Virginia. Here, she has stepped into her new role as Music Supervisor, where she puts her extensive musical IQ and project management superpowers to work on the daily.

We chatted with Amanda in between searches to learn more about her gaggle of old lady animals, which records are her ride-or-die LPs, and how pizza gives her life. Be sure to say hi if you see her around the office!

Tell us about some of your past experience. When did you know you wanted to be a music supervisor? Why?

I’ve worked in music-centric advertising for nearly a decade, spending most of that time at Black Iris Music as a Senior Producer. When I relocated to Oregon this past summer, I was ready for a new job adventure. I’ve always been interested in music supervision and I wanted to continue my work in the creative community. Coming from producing, I understand both sides of it -- the client side and the music side, and I can be the translator speaking both languages.  

I knew it was time to cut my teeth on something different than original music, and the transition to supervision was the clear next step for me. It’s a dream to have the opportunity to work with music all day long. I couldn’t think of a better-suited role for me.

 What’s your favorite part of music supervision?

A song can breathe new life into a film. It's a new perspective. Music can take it to the next level. I'm a big believer that music can make or break a film. I’m probably the most annoying person to watch a movie with -- so many opinions.

Plus, I send around a massive amount of Guy Fieri gifs to my coworkers, so that’s really bringing it to the next level. 

Do you have a favorite moment of supervision in film or TV? What is it?

I’m a big lover of scores. There are films that I love simply because the supervision marries so well with the score, which I find really fascinating. Like I love Nick Cave and Warren Ellis -- anything that they do is incredibly cool and very interesting. I remember the first time I saw a movie and heard a score that caught me and I was just like “Whoa, it just completely stands out on its own but elevates the film.”

The brilliant Moonlight was a master-class of music on both levels -- score and music supervision. The feeling of the strings lent a really haunting quality to the film and helped develop the characters in an unspoken and emotional way. Moments like that, they’re just burned into your brain. It’s like a scent memory.  

What album has had the biggest influence on you and why?

I can’t pick one! I would have to say Mogwai, Rock Action and/or Built to Spill, Keep it Like a Secret. I’m very much a single-song person, I’m not a full album person always. That takes time. They grow on you. But these are the two albums I have to listen to, start to finish -- it’s more powerful as a whole than any one piece. And these two are like a touchstone -- on one listen, I feel like I’ve really zeroed in how I feel about it and what the album means. To now, five years later, I feel like they have a completely different meaning. It’s a rare record that grows with you.

On sad songs in general, I love them. A sunny day equals Jason Molina songs. Down-tempo heartbreakers soothe my spirit.

Favorite adventure you’ve been on so far?

Driving across the country from Richmond, Virginia all the way to Portland, Oregon in an RV last summer. It was the only way we could get our animal crew out west with us. We spent time in Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, and so many smaller secret spots. Definitely spent a few nights crashed out along the side of the road or in a gas station parking lot. Such is life. It was a ridiculous traveling circus with all of our animals in tow and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Outside of work, where can someone usually find you?

Probably in the kitchen with my partner, trying out a new recipe and drinking a really mediocre but satisfying glass of wine. I’m down for pizza 24/7 -- it's the perfect food. We have pizza wars where we each cook our own pizzas. I always win. He’ll disagree, but I definitely always win.

Posted on June 15, 2017 and filed under Marmoset.