This year, Music Supervisors finally received recognition at the Television Academy: For the first time in history, a category for “Music Supervision” is included at the Emmy Awards and the nominees were honoured earlier this week.

The nominees in the category Music Supervision are:

In a recent Podcast, Deadline spoke with music supervisor Thomas Golubic (Six Feet Under, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) about the important role music supervisors play in the making of a film and about his work on Better Call Saul in particular.

Listen to Deadline’s Crew Call Podcast below:

Read also:  Better Call Saul score by Dave Porter released

As Thomas Golubic mentions, Michael A. Levine and Ricky Minor were mainly responsible for the Television Academy even considering to include music supervisors as members of their music branch. Here are some other general key takeaways from the podcast:

  • “It’s hard to make a living as a music supervisor no matter how successful you might seem to be.”
  • “We’re among the earliest people hired on. Sometimes we’re even hired before cinematographers are brought on.”
  • “For television, we’re usually brought on board when the writer’s room is just developing their framework for the new season. We will come in hear what plans they have for the characters, get a sense for the arcs of the different stories, and put together mixtapes that we’ll present to them to hopefully help influence some of the writing, some of the directing, some of the editing and the general dialogue about how music can be used as a story telling device in that particular season.”
  • “The ultimate decisions are being made by the show runners.”
  • “The more sophisticated the project is, the more clearly defined the use of music is.”
  • “We had almost no overlap with the sound of Breaking Bad in Better Call Saul. We were starting from scratch.”
  • “One of the edicts of the show [Better Call Saul] that Vincent [Gilligan] and Peter [Gould] have really build for us is: ‘Not only do we want to find something that speaks to character, speaks to scene but something that surprises us.’ So sometimes it can be counter-intuitive or it has a special magic of its own.”
  • “We don’t want to have anything presented to us that we can’t get later on because of a clearance problem or a copyright violation or something else that’s of issue. So we have to pre-vet everything ahead of time which is very labour intensive.”
  • “Sometimes we’re spotting an episode on a Tuesday and the next Wednesday we’re mixing it.”
  • “Unfortunately the economics of music supervision makes it impossible to survive on one series alone. In fact, I would say that there is almost no music supervisor who makes a proper living doing music supervision. It is a struggle for almost everybody, especially in television.”
  • “We shouldn’t have to work all through the year to break even and that’s essentially what we do.”
  • “For people who love what I do and love my work, having a Netflix account is like the best film school you could ever ask for.”

Posted by Peter F. Ebbinghaus

Based in Berlin, Germany. Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief. Music Producer at Eon Sounds Productions. Founder of Composers for Relief. Keeps Moving.

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