1) LINDSAY, YOU RECENTLY HAVE BEEN DESCRIBED AS A FEMALE MUSIC SUPERVISOR THAT ‘WE NEED TO KNOW’! WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU BRING TO THE TABLE THAT MAKES YOU SOUGHT AFTER?
First of all, being described that way blows my mind completely. I wasn’t sure how I could be included in this group of females to know, so I did actually look into it and was told it was my personal journey that inspired the acknowledgement. I suppose I kind of started from the bottom in Nova Scotia and made a place for myself in a relatively short period of time through hard work and strategic decisions. I think others find me relatable in some way, perhaps proving it can happen to anyone if you just decide you want something and put the wheels in motion.
So, to answer your question, I think I bring a real connection to the table. After years of grass-roots experience in music business I believe I can speak to those aspiring to be musicians, industry professionals and music supervisors in a way that makes them feel that anything is possible, which is a state of mind I want to encourage in everyone I meet. I also think these direct and sincere connections to content creators, both in film and music, keeps existing and potential clients confident that I have their best interests in mind at all times; I want everyone to have their best face forward and do whatever I can to make sure they do, on their terms.
2) HOW DID YOU FIND YOURSELF INTO MUSIC SUPERVISION? A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK THAT IT’S A SECRETIVE WORLD, IS THAT REALLY THE CASE?
I made a clear decision to pursue the role. I had worked in music business in a number of roles for years, but I wanted to conquer something new and music supervision seemed lofty, exciting and niche. I don’t want the kind of life that comes easily, so I went after something elusive and interesting as a personal challenge. I would agree it is a pretty secretive world, which is actually one of the things that hooked me after I jumped in. Everyone wants to know secrets, and everyone likes how it feels when you finally find the answers – I think that’s just the human nature of discovery so I am ok with it. Keeping it mysterious protects the integrity of the role and those within it, but also keeps the industry surrounding it on their toes, ensuring the best quality art and business tactics are presented at all times. Once you crack some of the codes the world totally opens up, allowing mysteries to dissolve and opportunities for great personal and professional growth are created.
3) CAN YOU PLEASE TALK ABOUT YOUR INVOLVEMENT WITH THE GUILD OF MUSIC SUPERVISORS?
I became involved with the GMS when I first moved to Los Angeles, throwing my head first into the Los Angeles music supervision scene. There was a window of opportunity to volunteer and my enthusiasm and previous experience working with non-profit music organizations was relevant and well received by the GMS Board. This, over time, lead to a more formal position that allowed me to provide the same experience and flexibility to work with the team to help grow the annual awards show and expand the infrastructure of the organization. Being involved has provided me countless opportunities and introductions I would not have been otherwise afforded, and I will cherish that forever. All of the board and committee members are hard-working and extremely busy music supervisors that volunteer their precious time to strengthen the industry and grow music supervision as a craft. I think they should all be given big trophies for their tireless mission; it’s not easy, but they have made incredible waves in the business and they all do it with a smile and a sense of pride. I love them all.
4) A GOOD NUMBER OF FOLKS FROM OUR FORUM WOULD ASK YOU: HOW DO I GET MY SONGS INTO A FILM, OR, HOW DO I GET HIRED? WHAT DOES SOMEONE HAVE TO DO TO BE SPOTTED BY YOUR RADAR?
While I could go on and on about the intricacies of the art and the business, my honest answer is that, oftentimes, it’s all about who you know. There is so much great content out there it does take a lot to stand out in a crowd, and that can often happen easily after a personal connection is made. Attend strategic conferences, be brave and introduce yourself to everyone, target supervisors that work on projects you identify with instead of a blanket approach, align yourself with strong peers (both artists and reps), ask for help and advice from those you admire or trust, and always, always make the music that you really want to make. Music supervisors and buyers really need to defer to the creators for the purity of art we are looking for; it’s the passion and self-expression buried in a sting, theme, song or opus that brings out the fire in an artist that enchants the music supervisor, director, editor, audience or anyone else who lives within the music in that moment.
5) BEING A MUSIC SUPERVISOR OFTEN INVOLVES MANAGING EXPECTATIONS BECAUSE OF BUDGETS OR BECAUSE PRODUCERS BECOME TOO ATTACHED TO CERTAIN SONGS. HOW DO YOU HANDLE THESE TRICKY SITUATIONS?
Personality and expectation management is, in my opinion, the most important role of a music supervisor. It’s a delicate line to appreciate the artistic point of view of the director and/or producer while keeping the budget, timeline and feasibility of selections in check. Making sure they have a fairly strong understanding of how the business of music licensing and negotiation works keeps them involved and informed and can help when dealing with potential feelings of rejection over their unsuccessful choices. This, in turn, underlines the importance of the music supervisor when they inevitably get lost in the industry nuances they hired someone else (re: me) to worry about.
Having the music supervisor help decide what the music budget will be from the beginning can prevent a lot of head and heart aches since the supervisor can more easily forecast the costs of their musical dreams. I also think handling these discussions with a positive tone is a must, letting them know they have great ideas and that miracles do happen, just (unfortunately) not this particular miracle. If you have a great range of music on hand and a strong network of providers, you can often find something they like just as much or more. You would be surprised how often producers and directors feel more connected to a song they’ve never personally heard before, bursting with excitement to introduce it to a new audience through their production.