Last year we did the SPOOKtacular BOO!sletter for the Halloween season but this year I got too scared and decided to hide inside and wait it out until we were safely in All Saints Day AKA Hallowmas. This is a day of quiet reflection where it's finally, once again illegal  to commit acts of ghoulery or to give your neighbor an unsanctioned fright. I cherish these times where I can safely go to my local Blockbuster Video without the clerk forcing me to rent Hubie Halloween, or go to the grocery store without Hubie Halloween playing over the PA, or visit with family without having to spend 2-3 hours doing a table read of Hubie Halloween where I have to play Rob Schneider. 


A big thank you to Max and Marisa for keeping the newslettering on track last month while I became a dad. This newsletter will, of course, always be my first child so I appreciate them baby-sitting. 


News, Recent Work, Trends/References, Q&A, whatnot, you know it, you love it, let's do this, #45! 





Meet Mindy Dinh and Chris Lavarias, the newest members of the SAS team! Mindy is helping us expand our music supervision department as a Coordinator while Chris will be joining our sales team as an Executive Producer. 


Mindy had this to say about joining up -

"Hi everyone, I’m Mindy! A year ago, I was a little baby aspiring music supervisor watching one of our very own SAS-ers, Caze, talk on a panel. From that point on, I was a SAS fan. To say that I’m now a part of the SAS crew is surreal. I’ve only just begun but, already, have learned and experienced so much of the music supervision world and I can’t wait to continue learning and sharing what I know with the brilliant-minded and wonderful people here, including YOU. Hope I’ll be able to connect or collaborate with you all down the road. Have fun reading the rest of this newsletter. It’s a good one!"


And Chris had this to say -

"In the words of my favorite Atlanta Duo, 'Hey Ya!'  As the new Executive Producer, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside the extremely talented crew at Score a Score.  To be armed with some of the best in our industry and an incredible catalog of tracks, I look forward to this new journey and eventually world domination with SAS. Here we go!"



Recent Work

The trailer for  Apple TV+'s new dark comedy miniseries, The Shrink Next Door, features a tense but quirky and fun cue from Joni Fuller's debut trailer album, A Beautiful Chaos. The punctuated call-and-response is a fitting accent to the collaboration betwen two comedic powerhouses - stars Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd. 


The mysterious and enigmatic Captain Plantain provided the intense and terrifying score to this promo for streaming channel Tubi. Every single movie featured in this spot would give me nightmares and the cue itself is so scary that I have to check under the bed every time I hear even one second of it.






Clark - Lambent Rag - Although he's primarily an electronic artist, musician Chris Clark's lively piano ditty feels organic, warm and human; somehow both whimsical and down-to-earth. The building, frenetic wall of sound that rises up around the keys and bass, along with the peppy, driving percussion, adds a bit of tension into an otherwise comfortable, introspective piece. 


Submit ideas inspired by this ref HERE with playlist name "#45 CCs"

Portugal. The Man - Feel It Still (Lido Remix) - I believe we've featured the original version of this song in a past newsletter but this is a very different, more dramatic take on the popular track. Stripping out the bulk of the traditional indie-rock instrumentation, this remix leans more on rhythmic, percussive elements and modern pop sounds to create something altogether fresh. 


Submit ideas inspired by this ref HERE with playlist name "#45 Revere Club"

Amber-Simone - Strawberry Kisses - This soulful, funky RnB track features Amber-Simone's signature contralto vocals over a bed of squishy synths and snappy percussion. It's moody but danceable with a retro feel and an infectious chorus. Though the voice is clearly the star of the show here, the instrumental works well on its own as well so please be sure to include both versions if you choose to submit. 




Submit ideas inspired by this ref HERE with playlist name "#45 Fruit Smooch"

Arcade Fire with Owen Pallett - Photograph - This beautiful piano piece written by Owen Pallett and Arcade Fire for the 2013 film, Her, feels hopeful but somber. The performance is human and imperfect with a tempo that gently pushes and pulls, though it remains lively and brisk (at least through the first half of the piece). Folks cooled a bit on solo piano pieces after the oversaturation at the start of the pandemic but the trend will almost certainly re-emerge.


Submit ideas inspired by this ref HERE with playlist name "#45 Him"





"How do you choose which songs to feature as references in briefs and the newsletter?"


There are three main criteria we use to evaluate potential reference tracks and we try to keep a healthy balance in each category. These are Genre, Certainty, and Demand


Genre is simple. Since we represent a lot of artists with different strengths, we're always looking to give everyone something to chew on. For example, if we've been sending a lot of orchestral references we might go out of our way to find a useful Rock reference. 


For Certainty, I'd say there are essentially 4 categories that a reference would fall into: Immediate, Reactive, Proactive, and Speculative - each representing how sure we are that we'll need a certain style and how soon. We, of course, don't ever want to waste anyone's time so we'll never send a reference that we're not very confident will be useful, however, as you'll see below some references are based on direct client feedback whereas others are based on our team keeping our ear to the ground for emerging trends.

  • Immediate: A reference we received from a client for a specific project that we're currently working on and have an immediate need for. 
  • Reactive: A reference we received from a client for a project that we're no longer working directly on (usually because of deadline restrictions) but we anticipate more requests like it in the near future.
  • Proactive: A reference we have not yet received from a client but is representative of some current trend in advertising that the SAS team has identified.
  • Speculative: This is a new song, album, or artist that is trending or heating up and while we haven't yet seen advertising jump on the trend, we're anticipating that our clients will be looking to do so shortly and we want to be prepared. 


And finally, Demand (Niche vs Popular) represents the number of requests we anticipate receiving compared to the number of tracks we currently have in our library. There can be a huge range to this! We may have thousands of songs in a very popular style but get so many requests that we always seem to need new, fresh and updated tracks that fit. In that case you can be sure that the type of track you're making will be pitched, but you'll be competing with a large pool of available music in that style. On the other hand, there are certain niche styles that we only get a few requests for in a year, but we've recognized that our current catalog can't service those requests very well. If you're uniquely qualified to nail that style, you could potentially clean up whenever the need for it arises as there won't be much competition from within our catalog.  


We try our best to remain transparent in what has motivated a certain brief or reference but if you ever have any questions please don't hesitate to reach out!




Where do you guys stand on people arriving to Halloween parties dressed as a character and then also acting like that character. Posing, using a voice, saying famous lines, things like that. Is that cool? Is that commitment in some way? Is Halloween about role-playing or costume work? I'd definitely prefer a really good costume and absolutely zero role-play over the alternative. A guy in a bad cowboy outfit from Party City saying "howdy" to me all night is my nightmare. 


Happy Scoring everybody!



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