In the ten years since the Guild of Music Supervisors was formed, the organization has come a long way. Granted, the job still involves low pay, long hours and little respect, but at least the craft has been validated with Grammy and Emmy categories introduced by the Recording Academy and the Television Academy, respectively. The GMS has its own presence during awards season, as it hosts its own annual awards ceremony on Feb. 6 at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles. (Quite the upgrade for an event that initially consisted of brunch and four trophies held on Grammy morning.)
In addition to celebrating excellence in sonic storytelling across 16 categories — from film and TV to games and advertising to trailers and emerging media — the organization will honor prolific composer and songwriter Burt Bacharach with the Icon Award. Bob Hunka, a veteran music executive and soundtrack pioneer for Sony Pictures Television who also ran publishing companies for Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris, will receive the Legacy Award.
Performers include best song nominees for both film (Regina Spektor, who wrote and performed an original, “One Little Soldier.” for “Bombshell”) and TV (Lola Marsh, who reinterpreted the tune made famous by Frank Sinatra, “Somethin’ Stupid,” for an episode of “Better Call Saul”). And according to Joel C. High, new president and a founding member of GMS, no one will be able to keep Bacharach away from his baby grand. “He wouldn’t accept unless he got to play piano,” he says.
Among this year’s presenters are singers Kristin Chenowith and Michael Bolton; James Corden bandleader Reggie Watts; “Bombshell”producer — and husband of The Bangles’ Susanah Hoffs — Jay Roach; and NFL player Spencer Paysinger.
These days it seems like everyone from show runners (Ryan Murphy) and presidents of production companies (Alexis Martin Woodall) to top managers (Maverick partner Adam Leber, who guides the careers of Miley Cyrus and Lil Nas X) are moonlighting as music supervisors, which will make for a high-profile crowd of nominees at the event. Just don’t expect to see the only married moguls who have won back-to-back Emmys for music supervision, Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino, who are better known as creators of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Since the GMS’s craft committee base their nominations on screen credits, only the show’s full-time music supervisor, Robin Urdang, is up for an award in the TV comedy or musical category.
One major goal for the guild’s next ten years? An Oscar category, which would go a long way to helping course-correct the Motion Picture Academy’s \diversity deficiency. “The diversity is a perfect example of what our community is — we have so many points of view,” says former GMS president Thomas Golubic. Adds his successor: “The membership of our Guild is close to gender parity and our current board is made up of six women and five men. Even though the balance in our very active membership base is something we can be proud of, we need to do more.”