This week I continue my conversation with hit producer, composer and music supervisor Doug DeAngelis. In part 2 of our interview we focus on working as a music director and supervisor for award shows such as The Billboard Music Awards and Teen Choice Awards. We also talk about what it takes to be a music supervisor for t.v. shows, the relationship a supervisor should have with an artist as well as the importance of knowing the music editor for a series. Plus, practical steps you can take to get into this line of work in the music industry.
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*I do music supervision and music direction at the same time for award shows.
*How did you get into working on award shows? I did talent performance shows and along the way I got called to work on a sci-fi award show for Spike T.V. then she started calling me to do Teen Choice Awards and shows like that and people get to know you and start calling you for others.
*It takes about 2 months to put an award show.
*A “Dub Stage” is where you mix a t.v. show.
*Don Mischer Productions does award shows.
*I am either editing library music or writing music for the award shows.
*Label and management decide what music they want played when their artists come on stage for award shows and I have to work with them to put that together.
*Award shows are giant marketing events for artists, films, shows, etc.
*When actors or models come on stage to be presenters, I have to figure out what their brand is and create music that fits who they are. Then their managers have to approve it most of the time.
*The stress in award shows comes when they don’t tell you who the artists or presenters are until about a week before the show. So you’re doing stuff blind and chasing a lot of rumors and sometimes do work for no reason.
*You’re going to do a lot of work for nothing, but that’s part of the job.
*I do pop culture award shows, not academy awards, etc.
*You only get about 48 hours to turn a song for t.v. shows.
*I rarely have time as a music supervisor to reach out and ask licensing agents for songs to put in a show. I have reached out directly to artists and had them send me music that I needed right at that moment.
*A music supervisor’s sentiment for putting an artist’s music in a show should be “thank you,” not “you’re welcome, I just got you exposure on social media.” That is devaluing you as an artist.
*We have devalued music for the past 25 years.
*Music supervisors should appreciate the artists and thank them for making the show successful.
*Music supervisors should always be respectful of the musician’s art making their show better.
*I would love to see the business of music stop accepting less all the time and try to be innovative and get back to more with innovation.
*I moved to Nashville with the goal of saying “how can we break the mold entirely and start over again with a new model that will actually generate real revenue for artists and not just take whatever we’ve left them by giving away things all the time.”
*I have a company called Black Sleeve Media to create a new medium for music that can be experiential like the video gaming world where people will find value in and spend money on.
*We’ve built technology for mobile devices that can play back multiple multi-tracks all at one time to gamify the experience of music and tie it all to different social experiences and communication experiences and festivals, and tie to brands, etc. and make it so you’re actually participating in music. It’s all virtual currency based so you’re not buying music but unlocking features and things they can do with music that will pay the artist the same way that the sale of CD would pay.
*It’s mostly on mobile platforms working with artists and festivals to connect with the users.
*Advice for getting into this world?
*Do a lot of different things. They all have their own life and they all tie together so be free in not saying I only do one thing.
*Someone taught me a technical skill to match my mental skill so I could express myself.
*If you want to get into music supervision, there is a tremendous amount of value in technical skills. In being able to present your ideas to directors and producers they you hear them in your mind.
*Learn how to edit music. Learn how to marry that music to Quicktime so you can take a show and put the scenes and music together edited the way you want.
*The difference between being able to present yourself and your creative ideas as a music supervisor to picture, edited the way you hear them so it’s artistically doing what you’re hearing in your head, compared to just telling people your a music supervisor is huge.
*Show them you have a clever, creative style.
*You can’t show style without being able to present yourself.
*Music supervision is a very hard world to get into now.
*Learn how to program and do everything. It’s a job.
*You don’t have to do it all at once, just get on the path. It’s a long journey.
*It’s your presentation.
*How do you approach a production company to show them a demo reel so you can become a music supervisor or composer?
*You can get an agent like CAA or First Artist Management. There are multiple talent agents you can look up.
*If you can show them something, they’ll watch it. You are competing against a bunch of people who have nothing to show for themselves.
*Make something to show for yourself.
*You don’t have to be signed with an agent to be a music supervisor, but it sure helps.
*What is a talent agent going to do for you? If you’re new, they will connect you with indie films and small projects that nobody on the roster wants to do because it pays a smaller amount. They can offer that to you and if you follow through with it and do it well it will lead to bigger things, but you will only get the job is you SHOW them you can do the job, not tell them you can do the job.
*Telling people you can do this job doesn’t help you. Showing them you can do this job helps you.
*You can research “music supervision agency” or “composer agency.”
*Music editors are critical because they are the pass-through in between the composer and the music supervisor and the show.
*Music editors are critical people to get to know and send music to and work with.
*Music editors are your first line people to get music to as an independent artist because they have to add temp music to picture. Give them music and ask them just to temp with it. It will most likely get replaced but it means that your music is getting shown to directors and you might be able to get a copy back and use it as a demo reel.
*You’re just trying to show people what you can do to start and it will come from there.
*Nobody is getting music in front of directors and producers more than a music editor with their own music because they have the knife and a picture with no music that needs temp music.
*The music editor is the one who shapes the sound of t.v. show pilot more than anyone.
*Music editing companies hire music editors. They don’t need an agent.
*This is all one big job. Learn how to dive in and edit your music.
*Pick 10 different shows and try the same song in all different environments and you’ll find out where it works best. That will teach you a lot about your music.
*Comedy is the hardest to thing to put music to. If you can do that well you can jump to the front of the line because it is a very niche thing in Hollywood.
*Don’t try to be something. Be you and try you in a lot of different things.
*Learn what you’re good at by applying it to all different things.
Doug DeAngelis is a composer/producer/musical director and music supervisor. He began his professional career at age 18 at SyncroSound Recording Studio in Boston while attending Berklee College of Music for music synthesis.
At age nineteen, he recorded the Nine Inch Nails hit “Head Like A Hole” with Trent Reznor and world-renowned producer Flood. In 1989, DeAngelis left Boston on a world tour with the Detroit Techno crossover dance artist Inner City. After the tour, he moved to New York City where he amassed over 300 album & remix credits including 31 #1 Billboard Chart singles. Album credits include New Order, Michael Jackson, Queen Latifa, Chaka Khan, Love and Rockets, Alicia Keys, and No Doubt.
Doug’s career then shifted to Los Angeles where his music was embraced by Hollywood producer Michael Mann as the score for his CBS crime drama series Robbery Homicide Division. His music has since appeared in over 100 television shows including CSI, Baby Daddy, The Evidence, The Nine Lives Of Chloe King, Bones, Alias, Cold Case, CSI Miami, ER, as well as dozens of reality television programs. He has written main title themes for Chelsea Lately, CNN Heroes, E! True Hollywood Stories Investigates, The NASCAR franchise, and co-written the main title songs to the film Blades Of Glory starring Will Ferrell, and The American Country Awards.
Recently, Doug won a BMI Music Award for his underscore to the FOX series ‘Lie To Me’, and composed the score for an Academy Award nominated feature documentary film entitled ‘The Garden’.
Outside of the studio, Doug is the Conference Chair and Co-Founder of A3E, The Advanced Audio & Applications Exchange. A3E is a leading industry resource dedicated to the future of new music technologies. A3E is an educational partner to NAMM, The National Association Of Music Merchants.