The Job Of A Music Supervisor Essay

The Job Of A Music Supervisor Essay

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The job of a music supervisor is an incredibly difficult and important task that is often overlooked or not given proper funding. Seeing as music plays such an essential role in the mood and substance of visual media, the job of acquiring the music should be put at the forefront of a production, and yet, it is normally left to post-production, when money is thin. Music supervisors provide an important balance of maintaining the creative vision of the filmmaker and adhering to the usually low budget, a feat that is deserving of a higher rank of importance.
Music supervision is a relatively new career that reaches across many different aspects of both film and music industries. Some of the many responsibilities of a music supervisor include “assessing filmmakers’ musical requirements, finding suitable options, negotiating clearances and licences, and placing pre-existing music in films” (Dubowsky, 28). As can be seen, the music supervisor has a lot of factors to consider when working on a film, tv show, or advertisement. In terms of filmmaking, it’s very common for a director to have a certain song in mind for a specific scene (Alvarado, 1). This is why it’s important for a music supervisor to be involved in the earlier processes of production, before a director grows too attached to a song that may be too expensive to obtain. However, as can be seen from an article by The Guardian, music is left to post-production, and only accounts for 2% of total budget, even in a blockbuster film like Spider-Man 2 (Thomas, 1). If the acquiring of music is left to post-production, like it normally is, a huge strain is put on the music supervisor to please the director and use what little money is left. And the budget is normally very small, see...

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...nal reaction that the film wants to show. This process is an incredibly creative one that is vital to the quality of a film or television show.
If the music is normally so important to the filmmaker and contributes to the quality of the media in such a strong way, why is it given such a low budget and delegated to post-production? This question is so baffling because it’s obvious that the music supervisor undergoes many challenges in order to fulfill the many tasks that he or she faces. From dealing with the directors wants, to choosing music themselves based on their own creative input, to dealing with small budgets to obtain this music, this job is a very demanding one. For such a challenging and difficult job that embodies the problems when creativity and commerce coincide, the music supervisor deserves much more respect and placement in the filmmaking process.

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