Tag Archives: music supervision

Deb Oh joins Nylon Studios from Y&R

Music and sound boutique Nylon Studios, which has offices in NYC and Sydney, has added Deb Oh as senior producer. A classically trained musician, Oh has almost a decade of experience in the commercial music space, working as a music supervisor and producer on both the agency and studio sides.

She comes to Nylon from Y&R, where she spent two years working as a music producer for Dell, Xerox, Special Olympics, Activia and Optum, among others. Outside of the studio, Oh has continued to pursue music, regularly writing and performing with her band Deb Oh & The Cavaliers and serving as music supervisor for the iTunes podcast series, “Limetown.”

A lifelong musician, Oh grew up learning classical piano and singing at a very early age. She began writing and performing her own music in high school and kept up her musical endeavors while studying Political Science at NYU. Following graduation, she made the leap to follow her passion for music full time, landing as a client service coordinator at Headroom. She was then promoted to music supervisor. After five years with the audio shop, she made the leap to the agency side to broaden her skillset and glean perspective into the landscape of vendors, labels and publishers in the commercial music industry.


‘Demo Love’ and how to avoid its trap

By Jonathan Hecht

“Demo Love” can be a painful trap to fall into. It can happen to any kind of production, but it can easily be avoided.

What is demo love? Let’s say you’ve made a promotional video, and you put a piece of music on it. You’re refining your rough cut, and you keep using the same track. Repeat exposure to this singular musical option has drilled into your brain the belief that your video can’t exist without this song, but beware! You may feel like you’ve crossed the finish line, but if you move on to the final cut before confirming the song’s availability, you risk compromising the integrity of your creative vision.

Aside from your artistic attachment to the music, maybe you’ve editorially joined your imagery so completely to your “hero” track that if you don’t get it, you’ll need to detach mentally and materially. If you’re paying for freelancers or any hired guns, you stand to add time and money.

Demo love often originates innocently when a director scripts a song into the treatment or plays it on set. Or when an editor, working unsupervised, edits footage based on the direction they’ve received and uses a famous song (without thinking about what it would cost) in an effort to make a big or favorable impression.

What can you do to avoid the trap?
Start thinking about music as early as when you’re concepting. The musical inspiration doesn’t need to be perfect; it can be temp, but you want to have a blueprint for the music direction. Pro-tip: prepare a shortlist of options.

Bring a music supervisor in before the rough cut, and let him/her start putting vetted options on the table for you and your editor. Then together you can dial into the directions that cast the right tone for the work, and then mine those directions for the songs that connect the best with the characters and story. You can set yourself up for musical success through this discovery process.

Offer the music supervisor as much information as possible. They’ll need the budget, and it’s a good idea to give them treatments, visual/musical references and input from any and all sides, so they can be well informed about the parameters of the project.

Right now I’m working with a client who wants an iconic song for a branded film and smartly called me before they went to shoot. They said: “We want this specific song. It’s important to the concept. How much will the rights cost?” Because they did that, we were able to navigate toward their desired outcome together from day one. It was as simple as calling me and asking the question.

So, build music supervision into your process and your budget. Don’t risk getting creatively or literally stuck on any track you don’t know you can license. Have an idea of what you want, and seek help from someone who knows the ins and outs. Then you can refine your vision for the music together and unleash an expert on navigating the clearance process.

Jonathan Hecht is the founder of Venn Arts, a music supervision company. His experience comes from both the music and marketing industries with a portfolio that includes work for integrated broadcast/digital campaigns, branded content, VR/AR, feature-length and narrative films and more.

Tom Vale joins FirstCom Music focusing on TV, film licensing

FirstCom Music, a provider of music for film, broadcast and new media, has named Tom Vale as its film & TV licensing manager. Vale joins the FirstCom Music team Frog Music Licensing, a company he started in 2010 with the goal of connecting the singer-songwriter talent found in Austin, where he was based, with placement opportunities in TV, film, advertising and gaming worldwide.

Vale has facilitated music placements in an extensive line-up of television programs, including Nashville (ABC), Empire (Fox), Breaking Bad (AMC), The Walking Dead (AMC), The Good Wife (CBS), Ray Donovan (Showtime), Togetherness (HBO), The Following (Fox), Twisted (ABC), Californication (Showtime), Parenthood (NBC), Sons of Anarchy (FX), Lucifer (Fox), From Dusk Til Dawn (El Rey), Satisfaction (USA), Casual (Hulu), Private Practice (ABC), Hart of Dixie (CW), Royal Pains (USA), Degrassi Next Generation (Teen Nick), The Listener, Heartland, and in the films Everything Must Go, Hold Your Peace, The Expatriate, Snitch, The Loft and more. He’s also placed music on national ad campaigns for Goodyear Tires, Nabisco, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, PGA Golf and others.

“I launched Frog ML after working as an assistant to music supervisor Thomas Golubic at SuperMusicVision (Six Feet Under) and after many years working in the music library and studios at LA’s KCRW and as a music journalist for Alarm, Under the Radar, Sentimentalist and others,” says Vale. “Now, my music career has brought me to one of the top production music houses in the industry.”

Oscar-winner Lon Bender joins Formosa Group

West Hollywood – Academy Award-winning supervising sound editor and sound designer Lon Bender has joined Formosa Group (www.formosagroup.com), a sound post company working with film and interactive clients.

“I am delighted to join my friends and some of the motion picture sound industry’s most respected veterans at Formosa Group,” said Bender, one of the founders of Soundelux, where he worked for more than 30 years. “It was a difficult decision to leave the company I founded and built over three decades, and the friends working there, but the community which is Formosa is a great support to my creative endeavors.”

Bender won an Oscar, BAFTA and two MPSE Golden Reel Awards for the Sound Effects Editing for Braveheart (shared with Formosa Group’s Per Hallberg). He won Golden Reel Awards for The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Pochahontas. Bender was also nominated for an Oscar for Drive and Blood Diamond, and a BAFTA for Shrek and The Last of the Mohicans.

He won a scientific and technical award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the Advanced Data Encoding System. He has received a total of 26 Golden Reel Award nominations spanning 23 films over the past three decades.

His credits include more than 125 movies. He was supervising sound editor and/or sound designer on films including August: Osage County, The Hunger Games, Drive, Shrek, Prince of Egypt, Mulan, Pochahontas, Braveheart, Legends of the Fall, Glory, Bull Durham, The Princess Bride, Stand By Me, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

HiFi Project launches in NYC

New York– HiFi Project partners creative director Paul Robb and executive producers Birgit Roberts and Jack Bradley, with over 20 years in the commercial music industry — have expanded their boutique Santa Monica shop into a bicoastal company with a brand-new studio in New York City.

“We started in Los Angeles because that was where we were at the time,” says Robb. “That was where we wanted to sink our roots. But we’ve always had our eyes on other large markets. It is important to us, however, that we grow in a way that fully supports the long-term health of the company. More importantly, in a way that lends itself to garnering the highest quality talent available. We had a plan. We wanted to grow smartly, not just quickly. By adding East Coast partner Jack Bradley, and then pausing to set up a second shop in Minneapolis, we feel we now have the momentum necessary to take on the advertising mecca of Manhattan.”

HiFi’s (www.hifiproject.com) set out to hire  a team to handle all facets of production in New York City. The found executive producer Andrea Minze. Previously the head of creative/music supervisor at Tonic Music in London, following a seven-year stint as agency creative at GSD&M, Minze has worked on projects with recording artists like Alabama Shakes, Johnny Jewel, SBTRKT, and The Rolling Stones, on the one hand; and notable brands like BMW, AT&T, Nike, Dior, Axe, Dell, Kohler, Bacardi, and VW on the other.

“Jack and I were both agency producers before jumping into the music world,” explains Roberts. “Our similar backgrounds, our common understanding of how commercial production works, was the first thing that drew us to Andrea. When you look at what she has accomplished as a music supervisor and producer, and you speak to her about her belief in music, building relationships and how it all has the power to push us beyond the status quo; there is no question she is the perfect fit to help lead this team.”

The other half of their “dream team” is composer and multi-instrumentalist Robert Di Pietro. DP, as he is probably better known, has shared the stage and recorded with big name artists like Norah Jones, Josh Rouse, Jesse Harris, Elysian Fields, Ursa Minor, and Vanessa Carlton, among many others. He has performed on Letterman, Leno, Conan, The Today Show and Live From Abbey Road. He made an appearance in Seth MacFarlane’s Ted and helped score Matthew Barney’s cult classic Cremaster 4. He has composed music on national campaigns for Best Buy, Mazda, Chevy, Tropicana, Wendy’s, Macy’s, and many others.

“Robert is the whole package,” notes Roberts. “He knows music like the back of his hand, he understands the crossover of art and commerce, and is a total joy to be around. He plays everything with expert precision, and focuses all of himself on the craft of sonic storytelling. He has a strong footing in the New York music scene, too, hailing from Williamsburg and continually playing out with some of the city’s best. We feel incredibly lucky to have him bringing all of that to our table, daily.”

“I’m someone who has always been inspired by doing a lot of different things at once,” says DP. “Being part of HiFi has already given me the opportunity to work on a series of great projects that have challenged me. I feel very fortunate to call this — creating just the right music for just the right story — my job.”

Hitting the ground running, Hi Fi New York’s music can already be heard on campaigns for Saatchi, JWT, Digitas, Havas, McGarryBowen, McCann and more.