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So, What Does A Music Supervisor Do?

1010Have you ever considered a career as a Music Supervisor and wondered, 'exactly what does a Music Supervisor do?' Well simply put, a music supervisor is a person who combines music and visual media. 

The Guild of Music Supervisors defines it as -  'a qualified professional, who oversees all music related aspects of film, television, advertising, video games and other existing or emerging visual media platforms as required.'  However it differs in the musical theater industry, where as a music supervisor is often responsible for managing a team of music directors working on any number of musical productions.

This means to be a music supervisor,  you should have a wide knowledge of music, a passion for research and comprehensive expertise in music catalogs. And you should have experience in music licensing and negotiations. As a Music Supervisor you don't necessarily have to have a distinct career path or educational background.  Your education could range from a B.A. in the Fine Arts to a Business Degree or no higher education at all. However keep in mind that the majority of  your position would involve music negotiations, clearances, publishing or performing deals, and such, so having a legal background is an excellent qualification for the position. That doesn't mean you have to be a lawyer, but you should at least have experience in researching.

Believe it or not, musicians, producers, agents, and even managers that have experience with the music or film and television industries, have enough expertise to build a career as a Music Supervisor.  The most important factor is to have a familiarity with a broad range of music, popular styles and artists. You should also know the production and negotiating processes as well.

Your Job description as a Music Supervisor would require you to present recorded songs to directors or producers of  film, advertisement, television show, trailers, promos, video games, and other forms of visual media.   You would also act as a liaison between the creative and business processes. If  a song is approved, you would communicate with the rights' holders of that song seeking permission to license (creating master recording licenses and synchronization licenses),  and work out the financial details of the song's use. You'll usually find this incident happening more within media-based industries, including live events, television, film, advertising, theater, and video gaming.
Additionally, you could work within production companies, film studios, networks, music supervision companies, or do freelance work.

Okay so how much money can you make as a Music Supervisor, you might ask?  Salaries for Music Supervisors can range from $35,000 per year working for a music supervision firm, and upwards of $250,000 for a freelance supervisor per feature film.  You would also have the opportunity to continue receiving payments from soundtrack royalties.  If you work freelance on a regular bases, it could be more profitable. 

Consider that if as a music supervisors you work "in house", i.e., advertising agency, entertainment company, music department of an agency, or production company, you will earn a salary based upon their ranking and earnings. Although working in a company offers more security, the pay and is much lower. Whatever decision you make in terms of employment, be sure to always work out a contract and make sure to  include your expectations, what your responsibilities will be, and your salary or payment,  before you begin any project.  

Good Luck and much success...

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