MUSIC SUPERVISORS: Ugly baby? How DARE you, sir?

The big question is: Why do people get so upset when their song isn’t chosen? Very simple.

One: The songwriter think of this song as their baby, and nobody likes it when their baby is ignored. Being ignored implies ugly, and nobody thinks their baby is ugly and they’ll fight you if you say so.**

One logic: The songwriter may believe it’s their baby. It isn’t. It is product and inventory to those who are really in the business.

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Two: The songwriters are pinning all their hopes for financial solvency on getting that song placed. They’re already planning the mansion they’re gonna buy after the cars are paid off, the 401k is funded, and the kids’ college funds have been settled.

Two logic: The songwriters don’t know much about the business. If you think the economy is bad in the industry you work in, then you can be double-damn sure the music, movie, television, and other creative industries have been equally distressed. Money is tight, and one placement has never paid enough to live small, much less large.

Three: The songwriter has unrealistic notions of how quickly the business moves.

Three logic: Hurry up and wait is the byword in the business. Remember, these TV shows and movies are subject to the whims of management and investors, many of whom can pull funding, change broadcast schedules, and so forth. So, even if a song is chosen, it may never see the light of broadcast day (show is cancelled) or may be delayed for a year or more (schedule change).

Four: The songwriters are not really in the business.

Four logic: So the song is great and the network wants it, but it cannot be determined who really owns the song. So the music supervisor, at some point, has to confirm this song has the legal right to be monetized by the person(s) pitching. A music supervisor’s job requires more than just listening and picking. If you don’t understand that, you are wasting their time. Stop it!

** When I was in the hospital, preparing to give birth to my first child, my husband and I were walking the halls. A lady, who had been in my birthing class, wanted me to come look through the glass into the nursery and see her newborn son. We walked that way. When she points to her son, I gasped in horror, and turned to my husband. I grasped his shirt in my fists and I cried and wailed, “Oh, my God. Will our baby be that ugly? Please tell me our baby won’t be that ugly.” The woman came at me, screaming that her baby was beautiful. Her husband grabbed her and took her away. Mine took me away. Looking back, I realize now there was nothing wrong with the baby; he just looked like his daddy, and she loved the daddy, so she thought the baby was gorgeous…and my response was completely pregnant-hormone-crazy.

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