Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Meet the supervisors! Come on silly showcasefestivals.

What? I just saw this headline "Meet the supervisors!" from a showcase festival. Is this not over done yet? the past years I have tried to avoid this kind of panels or meetings, especially around placements where they industry now has slowed down quite much.

There are really two sorts of panels a modern showcase festival or conference should avoid.

1. Feedback on your demo.

You get a bunch of A&R people sitting and giving feedback on tracks. Many times I have taken a hit from Sweden and played it in those panels and they have told me the song is not a hit. I  guess i'm not that popular anymore in these things. You could do a better mastering etc. You can always improve a track. You can improve Billy Jean with Michael Jackson, but why it's good as it is. And it's not certain the improvement is making the track better.

And to be honest these A&R people don't know the answer either.

Still, this is one of the most popular things you can do at a conference. So many people go for it. Of course, you want them to say that your song is the best they ever heard and sign you on the spot. That is though kind of stupid. It never happens, and if it happens it was probably not good.

And today what is a demo? Today you almost have it fully produced when you show it to industry people. No a panel like this is just a show off for the artist and mangers that has lesser clue.

2. Meet supervisors.

Here I really should know. I have been that supervisor so many times. And every single time we talk backstage and agree that is such a slight chance that we find something. It's probably better instead sit outside a movie office and play on the street and hope that a director passes by and finds you.

The whole thing is really not about the music. It's about the right to the songs, how its' been cleared. Can you get the original steams etc.  And what's the odds that I find the perfect song that I'm looking for, like 1600 Gypsy music for that TV series I work on?
Not likely so here is the same as the demo panel. This is just a showoff. The artists and the managers have a high hope that this is what it should look like when you get discovered.'
Another problem is that many of these supervisors in the end usually just buy from sources tehy actually know. I wouldn't by a track from a random hip hop artist. Even if they say they cleared the song, they forgot that they just microlicenced the drumbeat and that sample that they other guy did actually come from an obscure 60:s record. Obscured or not I bet you if it goes on a commercial that the obscure managers or record label will call you. And that can ruin your whole career as a supervisor. I bet most of them wouldn't go that way, they mainly sit off the time.

The third is a bugger, not useless but..

The speed meetings, oh yes here is the same I had a fun conversation with a book on this. We were at a famous showcase festival and I know this booker for years. But we were paired together to have a speed meeting.

So when we meet he direct ask me:
- Can you get to my festival and sit in speed meetings?
- Like you do here, what do you get out of it?
- Nothing, of course, I would not book from here. But I get paid to sit here.
- Well, that would be the same for me. I won't book after a meeting, sure it's a good opener to a relationship, still, it's kind of fake.

We both agreed and he booked me to be at his festival at the speed meetings.

The problem is that you pairing people at the wrong level. Too small with too big and nothing happens. And usually, if you are good you don't need the speed meetings you have a network that presents good stuff to you anyway.

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