“Some film people don’t know music theory ‘lingo,’ so they need to ask me to translate what they’re trying to say. This helps them to write a good description of what they need to send to various composers.”
Joseph also works in the CBS live broadcasting center. He reads scripts and picks music for a show that will air within a couple of hours. He processes cue sheets and sends them to CBS Operations, who send the cue sheets to the appropriate performance rights organizations, such as ASCAP and BMI, who will pay the owners of the music for the broadcast of that music.
Working as a Music Supervisor
To understand Joseph’s job, let’s take a moment to review some of the basic facts he learned in his Music Business program at school. When the producer of a film or television show wants to use music in his movie or TV show, the producer needs to get the right to use that music from the copyright owner of the music. The right to use the music for this purpose is called the “synchronization right,” or more often, the “synch right” for music that is synchronized with something visual like a film or video. If you are the composer of music that a film producer wants to use in his film, he must “clear” the right to use the music by getting your permission to “synchronize” your music with his film.
Joseph Miller clears music for producers, but he offers additional service, as well. When Joseph learns that a film is in production, he will read the script, decide what music might be useful, and call the film producer to “pitch” certain pieces of music that Joseph feels would be good for the film. This saves time for the producer, since Joseph helps to choose AND to clear the music.