We run through the latest and greatest in sync licensing and music supervision over the past fortnight, including the latest industry news, advice, and deals.
Film and TV
Merry Christmas ya filthy animal: Our top 10 Christmas movie songs (Synchblog)
It’s that time of year again. With only 9 days left till the big one, we feel it’s the perfect moment for the obligatory festive blog post. So, without further ado, here are our 10 favourite songs from Christmas movies.
How Mozart in the Jungle brought an obscure, avant-garde piece of classical music to Rikers Island (Flavorwire)
In August of this year, a group of 100 or so inmates from New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex gathered outside in the yard to hear a group of musicians perform selections of Messiaen’s compositions for an episode of the Amazon original series Mozart in the Jungle.
Listen to Assassin’s Creed movie’s epic soundtrack right now (Gamespot)
Composed by Jed Kurzel, the brother of director Justin Kurzel, the soundtrack includes 21 songs. The music was performed by the London Contemporary Orchestra and has a sweeping, intense feel to it.
Women composers look to even up the movie score (Variety)
As the movie business struggles with diversity and gender equality issues, there are signs of progress on the music front: At least four features being released between now and year’s end have been scored by women, and at least two are expected to be major awards contenders.
Universal Film Music President Mike Knobloch on licensing a staggering 60 songs for Sing (Billboard)
The animated feature starring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane and Scarlett Johansson, comes out Dec. 21, and includes “Faith,” Stevie Wonder’s first original song (featuring Ariana Grande) for a film in more than a dozen years.
Arrival disqualified from Oscar for Best Original Score because it’s ‘diluted’ by old music (The Verge)
The decision to disqualify Arrival was unanimous, due to the fact that it contains some borrowed music, including pieces of Max Richter’s “On the Nature of Daylight,” that are played at pivotal moments at the start and end of the film.
Brooks Arthur knew fame before Adam Sandler tapped him as music supervisor (Variety)
Best-known as the music supervisor for Adam Sandler’s comedy hits over the past two decades, Brooks Arthur’s latest project takes the Grammy winner back to the early days of his show business career, which began almost 60 years ago.
“Exit Music” is the song our generation deserves – From Westworld to Black Mirror,how Radiohead’s gloomiest song recaptured the zeitgeist (The Ringer)
It landed on 1997’s OK Computer, but “Exit Music (For a Film)” was originally written for Baz Luhrmann’s gonzo 1996 bacchanal Romeo + Juliet.
What it was like to compose the Rogue One score in four weeks (Time)
The day people hear Michael Giacchino’s Rogue One score, the Star Wars universe will expand. John Williams has scored every installment since 1977—until now. When the self-described “nerd composer” accepted the gig, he found himself with four and a half weeks to complete the score for the new standalone movie.
Alan Thicke’s 10 greatest television theme songs (The Hollywood Reporter)
While Alan Thicke was best known as a sitcom actor, he also was a successful theme song composer. As we remember Thicke’s legacy, here are 10 of his most memorable compositions.
The best Christmas movie soundtrack comes from an old classic (Bustle)
Meet Me In St. Louis is the best Christmas movie soundtrack for one very specific reason: “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” The song was written specifically for the film, making it one of the few Christmas classics that started as an original song for film.
Beep documentary traces history of video game music (Billboard)
“No longer just the ‘ugly stepchild’ of the games industry, Beep traces the history of game sound from the Victorian penny arcades through pinball and to today’s massive industry of soundtracks and live music.”
The 10 best video game soundtracks of 2016 (Classic FM)
What a thrilling and varied year It’s been for videogame scores, with two late entries – both Japanese – rising straight to the top of our end-of-year scorecard, and even more artistry and originality from composers faced with ever more intricate and unfathomable worlds to bring to life with their music.
“You Me and Gravity: The Music of Planet Coaster” Review (Higher Plain Music)
With a new era of fun ahead, its apt that Jim Guthrie and JJ Ispen bring together a nuanced sound to its joyous soundtrack. Taking the very best of euphoric indie pop rock and mixing it with the simplicity of catchy theme park zone tropes – its heaven to the ears.
Video game composers can make you smarter – Part 2 (Gamasutra)
Video game composer Winifred Phillips looks at ways in which music can enhance concentration and tactical decision-making for players engrossed in strategic gameplay.
Synchtank meets… Eddy Atlantis (Synchblog)
We catch up with London producer and songwriter Eddy Atlantis, signed to our client Imagem Music, to chat musical influences, new releases, and his experience with sync licensing so far.
A conversation with the Queen of Christmas, songwriter Elizabeth Chan (Synchblog)
We chat to Christmas songwriter Elizabeth Chan about her incredible journey in the industry, and following her dream to turn Christmas music into a successful career.
The Most Shazamed Ads of the Week: Nov. 29 – Dec. 5 | Dec. 6 – Dec. 12 (CLIO)
Every week, Clios.com, in partnership with Shazam, rounds up the most Shazamed ads of the previous week. These are the top spots from the last two weeks.
‘The Jingle King’ tracks decline of original music in advertising (NPR)
Steve Karmen wrote a number of famous jingles, including Budweiser’s “When You Say Bud”, and the New York State song, “I Love New York”. He chats to NPR about how the business of writing music for advertising has changed.
adbreakanthems’ Sync of the Week feature: December 5th – Heathrow Airport “Coming Home For Christmas” | December 12th – Boots – “The Gift Of Beauty” | December 19th – M&S “Christmas With Love From Mrs Claus” (adbreakanthems)
adbreakanthems showcases the artists, composers, music industry and advertising industry professionals involved in the best new syncs of the past three weeks.
It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas (Forbes)
Why are so many brands comfortable using the same classic songs simultaneously for advertising during the holidays? According to Paul Greco, Director of Music and Radio at J. Walter Thompson New York, “If your budget is challenged and you need a holiday song, there is only a handful that you can draw from.”
Anderson .Paak’s ‘Am I Wrong?’ leads top TV commercials chart for Nov (Billboard)
Anderson .Paak’s “Am I Wrong?” leads the November chart after its appearance in Google’s “Joy Ride by You, Phone by Google” ad. The song overtakes Fitz and the Tantrums’ “HandClap,” which held the No. 1 spot for three consecutive months (five overall this year).
BT Sport’s Jim Brackpool on running a broadcaster music department (Synchblog)
We chat to Jim Brackpool, Head of Music at our client BT Sport, about running a successful broadcaster music department, recent artist features, and taking home two Music Week Sync Awards.
Pitching or catching? The way synchs work in the real world (Cliff Goldmacher)
Attorney and music publisher Bob Donnelly discusses his experience of pitching for sync opportunities over his 40 year industry career.
Trends in music licensing (Resilient Music)
Richard Kirstein, founder of music consultancy Resilient Music, presents his findings from a recent survey on current trends in music licensing.
Tips and Tricks
Music supervisor John Melillo talks holiday syncs (Synchblog)
As the demand for sync licenses grows, it’s essential for musicians and catalogue owners to get strategic about pitching. Music supervisor John Melillo gives his top tips for scoring seasonal and holiday opportunities.
Dear brands: You’re using Christmas music all wrong. Here’s how to fix it (Co.Create)
Sonic branding expert Joel Beckerman gives his top five rules for using Christmas music effectively this holiday season, whether its music in stores or used for a campaign.