Marmoset presents Music Placement in Media

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For Portland Design Week, Marmoset opened its doors to the music and film community, delving into the world of music placement in media. An expert panel of music supervisors including Morgan Rhodes, Megan Barbour and Brooke Wentz, the discussion revolved around the epicenter of music supervision — from their favorite upcoming artists to common misconceptions about what their day to day looks like (no it’s not all just pitching one song then kicking back over beers with the film crew).

While getting music rights is imperative for any music supervisor working in the TV & film industry, the panel echoed a core music supervision responsibility they all share: it’s not merely about finding music that brings the visuals to life but searching for songs that punctuate the director’s overall message without interference.

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“My interest is always about serving the story,” says Morgan Rhodes, LA-based music supervisor. “I come from an indie film background, this is sort of how I got into the game; I don’t know what it took for that filmmaker to get to the point of having their film in festivals, so the last thing I want to do is throw my own agenda on it. Sometimes it’s a great song, but it might not be a great song for that moment. But if it is a great song while serving and carrying the moment, then that’s what I’m about.”

The topic of jumping through hoops of approval processes and music clearances inevitably come up, but there’s a larger pain point that each panel speaker has encountered too many times to count. Music supervisor, Brook Wentz echoes a passionate pea to the audience, specifically addressing the musical artists keen to explore the world of music licensing.

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“If you want us to use your music, the number one thing you need to have is contact information that you actually respond to,” says Wentz. “If you’re not reachable, you’re not going to get the gig.”

Music supervisors unarguably are at the forefront of music discovery, their roles so closely entwined with how quickly an emerging artist’s can enter the spotlight of recognition. Apart from the hurdles of negotiating with copyright holders for bigger named artists, there’s a resounding commitment for finding and helping artists catch a break. It’s something that aligns with Marmoset’s mission when helping clients license music for video (or creating original music) — it’s the consciousness effort to do right by artists first and foremost, before all else.

“One thing of the things I really like about indie artists is they get placement,” Rhodes says. “They understand that it is sort of the new A&R — sync is a way to get noticed. You can get discovered in the blink of an episode.”


Missed this special community education event? Head over to our Facebook page to watch the recorded steam (learn about a music supervisors tool belt and how they search for new music) — don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletters for future community events like this one and we’ll catch you next time!