Read Music Supervisor Madonna Wade-Reed’s Interview in THE SCORE
Soundtrack’s Madonna Wade-Reed was interviewed by the Society of Composers and Lyricist’s award-winning publication, THE SCORE, about her process as well as the changing landscape of music in film and television. The interview was published in the periodical’s Winter 2017 issue.
iMDB – Madonna Wade-Reed
Madonna Wade-Reed Talks Music Supervisor
Score: Can you explain the explosion in the amount of Music Supervisors in the last ten years? More programming (original cable, Amazon, network)?
Madonna: I’m sure there are a number of reasons, but the one that stands out the most to me is that the means with which to get your hands on new music and a larger variety of music has changed and expanded drastically. The internet was a game changer. Anyone and everyone can post their music and anyone and everyone can consume it. I think this lulls people into believing that knowing about many kinds of music qualifies them for the role of a supervisor. Obviously, there’s more to it than that, but it has certainly allowed people to adopt the title without having the full skill set needed.
Score: Are there more shows that are relying on needle drop without a composer attached to them?
Madonna: I think if a show has foregone using a composer that it’s probably more because of a financial restraint and not because they think they don’t need one. I do think more and more, shows are realizing that needle drops are just as important as score in creating a cohesive musical identity for a project.
Score: How do you work with the composer and filmmaker?
Madonna: I can be anything from a translator, a helper to a peacekeeper. More often than not, I’m there to help make sure a filmmaker’s musical vision is expressed and translated to a composer before a single note is written. I have to make sure that what I’m doing is going to work with what the composer is doing and that all together it’s what the filmmaker envisioned. I’m there to help guide the ship so that when all is said and done everyone involved is happy with the end result.
Score: How are you finding the songs you use: Soundcloud, libraries, direct submissions? Do you take submissions from songwriters and if so, how do you like to receive them? What is your favorite kind of submission?
Madonna: For starters, I’m on the receiving end of a tremendous amount of submissions from labels, publishers and many, many music pitching companies. I also love to talk to people and fellow supervisors about what they’re listening to because I don’t presume to know everything. I also like to go down music rabbit holes on Spotify, YouTube and lots of other sites.
Score: How important is metadata?
Madonna: Vital. If someone hasn’t figured out how important this is then they’re really not ready to send out their music and get into the business of placing their material. No supervisor has the spare time, or the desire, to manually enter your metadata for you because you didn’t bother to do it yourself. If you can’t be found, you can’t be licensed.
Score: What is the difference between music supervision for television, cable and film?
Madonna: Nothing. Sure, there are logistical differences, but at the end of the day the role is the same – to help tell a story.