Music Supervisor for Independent Films
Music plays a critical role in making independent film/TV. To make finding and licensing songs easy and supporting your vision as a producer or director, I can serve as your Music Supervisor.
What is a Music Supervisor?
A music supervisor is a qualified professional who combines music and visual media. They oversee all aspects of music related to a production as required.
In addition to my experience as a music supervisor and music creator for film and tv, I have degrees in music (Berklee College of Music in Boston) and in Business. Since 2005, I've lived in Nashville and built relationships in the music community here. These relationships with artists and songwriters of all genres is a critical network of talent to source music from for your film project.*
Roles of a Music Supervisor
There are several roles that I can manage for you as a music supervisor. In each of areas below, my goal is to make the music aspect of your film as easy as possible for you. Each of the following three roles can be very time consuming and take your focus away from the overall film.
1. Find or create custom songs based on scripts or scene descriptions
If you know what type of music you are looking for based on a scene (genre and sound-alike) I will find music to fit the specifications. For example, if you tell me you need a Christmas song that sounds like the early 1900's I can find that. If you say I need a song that sounds like Taylor Swift's "Love Story", you'll get it. If you want something that reminds you of "Home" by Phillip Phillips, I'll find it.
If you want a song to say exactly a certain thing to move the story along, I will create a custom song for you at a reasonable rate. For example, I worked with a playwright once who wanted a song that sounded like "We've Got No Place to Go" by Melissa Etheridge. But, the song had to be about a mortician (no joke) who was feeling overworked because of all the bodies piling up. I wrote it to his specifications, and he loved it!
As another example, I created a dance song for a club scene that was source music (music coming from the DJ). Of course, my voice isn't used on every song, if you need a male or female vocal with a specific sound that is completely do-able.
Please note I do not score films. For composing, I recommend working with Russ Whitelock.
For a full list of my TV/Film/Theatre placements click here to view my credits as an artist and/or songwriter.
2. Work within your budget and negotiate with music providers
I will work tirelessly to find the highest quality music possible within your budget. I do not place music in films for 'credit only' or free as music creators need to be compensated for their art. Typical music budgets for indie films vary wildly depending on several factors including how the music will be used (is it a short or long clip?) as well as the overall budget of the production.
3- Manage the Licensing and Music Credits
There are specific licenses that need to be created and signed by both parties (individuals and publishers) to ensure all songs are used legally and there are no lawsuits for use of the creative work. This is referred to as being 'cleared.' Information in these licenses will be used to create your end credits for music.
In addition, all the music cues have to be tracked and sent to ASCAP, SESAC and BMI (performing rights organizations) so songwriters are paid for streaming and/or TV airplay. I will work with the composer to ensure the cue sheets are properly submitted.
If you are interested in inquiring about my music supervision services and discussing your upcoming film project, please contact me here. I look forward to helping you with music!
*I do not work with pornographic or adult films and reserve the right to refuse a contract based on the content of the project.
What Filmmakers are Saying...
“Shantell is a very talented singer and songwriter who finds great songs for my films on a indie-friendly budget. I’ve also had her write custom songs for my films, and she can capture the right emotion for any scene with a rare storytelling and musical sensitivity.”
— Rob Diamond, Filmmaker