The music supervisor meets with the director to identify where songs might augment and underscore the emotion of the scenes, as well as to identify the source music that is needed, such as songs coming from a car radio or a jukebox. Then his or her job is to find songs that express the director’s vision—while being certain those songs can be licensed—and are within the production’s music budget.
Most music supervisors compile enormous amounts of music from artists, writers, and music publishers. They review the songs in their catalog that they believe might work for the current project, and they put the word out to music publishers, writers and artists with whom they have established relationships. After narrowing down the options, they present the director with multiple choices for each place that music is needed. So … the music supervisor is essentially the gatekeeper who you’ll have to get past in order for the director to consider your work.