Following on from the hectic week at Midem, it was a quick turnaround for me to head off to Los Angeles two days later for the annual Sync Mission. Now in its 13th year, the LA Sync Mission is hosted jointly by the BPI, Music Publishers Association and Department for International Trade (DIT) and they always do a stellar job of organising the week’s activities. This year certainly did not disappoint! It sees around 50 UK delegates embark upon Hollywood ranging from labels, publishers, managers and composers for a week immersed into the world of sync.
To make the most out of my time stateside, I arrived in LA the week before the Sync Mission was due to begin. This gave me the opportunity to schedule meetings with music supervisors and saw me travelling all around the city to catch up with the likes of Lionsgate and Inaudible Productions, as well as supervisors that have worked on the likes of Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Despicable Me and The Bold Type.
Meeting the Supervisors
It was a return to the iconic Capitol Records tower the following week to mark the beginning of the sync mission. Here, we were treated to three and a half days of panels with the who’s who of the music supervision world. This included those working on all of the buzz shows right now like Dear White People, Claws, Atlanta and This is Us. Not forgetting appearances from games developers like EA and Activision/Blizzard, advertising agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi and supervisors from major film franchises.
Following the panels came two days of site visits. This is an opportunity to experience first hand how the music department’s work in various types of media. I chose to head along to TBWA/Chiat/Day, an advertising agency whose clients include Apple, Gatorade, Airbnb and Twitter. Anh-Tu and her team gave me a real insight into how their music selection process works, which is quite different to that of film and television. Not to mention they have the coolest offices including a basketball court for when you just need to get away from your computer!
The final day began with a visit to Disney/ABC’s Freeform network, which is the new name for what was known as ABC Family. Tricia and her colleagues were very welcoming hosts, providing us with every kind of bagel you could think of for breakfast. They gave us a rundown of all of their forthcoming shows along with the exact kind of music they’re looking for – so for us publishers it really was like hitting the jackpot!
Networking at LA Sync Mission
Outside of the panels and visits, the Sync Mission is all about the networking. There are plenty of opportunities to do this both with your fellow UK delegates and with music supervisors at the events throughout the week. This year included the pub quiz, although my team only came third (boo!), the infamous garden party at the Consulate-General’s house and the first ever official garden party afterparty (that’s a mouthful, hey!) sponsored by the lovely Guild of Music Supervisors.
The week wound to a close with a British showcase at the legendary Hotel Café featuring Charlie Cunningham, Akala and Ten Fé. The only thing left to do was reflect upon a successful Sync Mission enjoying the stunning views of LA from Mama Shelter’s rooftop bar.