How Women in Sync are Redefining the Entertainment Industry 1111 words · 6 minute read

At last, the professionals responsible for some of the most memorable moments in TV, film, and advertising will be celebrated with their own annual event — the Women in Sync Awards.

Women in sync have created timeless moments in entertainment history by pairing tearful breakups with sad lullabies and underdog come-ups with strong anthems. This week, at the inaugural Women in Sync Awards, they will finally be recognized for their excellent work in the fields of music, visual media, interactive media, advertising, and brands.

We know accolades alone won’t fix the gender issues our industry faces — i.e., the fact that only 3% of Creative Directors are women — but it’s certainly a solid start to a long road ahead.

Redefining A Patriarchal Industry

While you can argue the Women in Sync are simply great music supervisors who just happen to be women, their contributions to females in music must be noted. With every credit they earn, and every bomb-ass soundtrack they produce, they shatter another crack in the glass ceiling that has perennially plagued creative industries.

As non-profit organization Minds Behind the Music explored during a recent event, “Breaking the Glass Ceiling: A Conversation with Women Executives in the Music Industry,” there are many challenges women in music face; however, as Executive Director Anastasia Wright says, “the opportunity is there for any woman to make her mark.”

“I don’t let the industry define me, I define who I am in the industry,” said Leota Blacknor, VP of Urban Marketing & Label Acquisitions at Caroline Records, during the event.

The women in sync have not only denied the industry from defining who they are — they help redefine the industry with every song they sync.

History of Women in Sync

There have been many torch bearing women in the world of music in media who have revolutionized the film, TV, advertising, and video game industries with music. Their song choices texturize these stories with female voices in a very unique way, help pave the way for the next gen of music supes, and inspire curious young moviegoers across the world to pursue the art of music supervision themselves.

“It was ‘Stay Gold’ by Stevie Wonder playing over the end credits of The Outsiders, which I first saw in the Spring of eighth grade, that made me want to be a music supervisor. But it was the early work of Liz Gallacher that inspired me when I started out in 2003,” explained Sarah Webster, owner of Saraswati Music Supervision and credited in over 50 films and TV series.

Since 1996, Liz Gallacher has established herself as one of the most experienced and creatively diverse music supes in the biz. One of our favorite moments in Liz’s career was from 14 years ago for her work on Resident Evil, which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance for Liz’s use of “My Plague (New Abuse Mix)” by Slipknot.

‘Cuz nothing says f$&k your gender norms like action horror and heavy metal.

Other notable women in sync include…

  • Barbara Miller, who won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition for a Drama Series four times for her work on The Guiding Light.
  • Maggie Rodford, who has produced, coordinated, and supervised the music for many high-profile films’ scores, including Anna Karenina, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Atonement, and more.
  • Sue Jacobs, who is known for creating magical opportunities from budget and time restrictions where other supes might see only problems, and has supervised notable projects including Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, and Mozart in the Jungle.

We celebrate these supervisors not only because of their divine music choices, but because they ignite real change in our industry and actively inspire growth in other emerging creatives.

“Finding young unknown talents and giving them a format to be heard is incredibly gratifying to me,” Sue said in a recent interview with music consultant Katie Staub. “I love working on independent films for the opportunities they provide. I love finding and guiding talent, and I enjoy the challenge of encouraging a director to give them a chance.”

The 21st Century Trailblazers

In every profession, there are idols paving the way for the next generation — in the Wild West of music supervision, that pioneer is Alexandra Patsavas.

As founder and lead music supervisor of Chop Shop Music Supervision, Alexandra has earned a reputation for premier song selection in shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Mad Men, The O.C., Gossip Girl, and more. Often described as a champion for independent artists, Alexandra has contributed to the development of artists like Death Cab for Cutie, The Killers, Ingrid Michaelson, and Sia.

Gossip Girl featuring Sia “I’m in Here” Season 4, Episode 2

During this first annual Women in Sync Awards, Alexandra will be honored for her outstanding contributions to music and visual media with the first Sound and Vision Award by Women in Music (WIM) and Sync Summit.

If we watched every film and TV show ever, we doubt we’d discover a music supervisor more worthy of such a distinction than Alexandra — five stars to you, Ms. Patsavas!

“It is truly an honor for Women in Music to recognize the amazing achievements and contributions of Alexandra Patsavas in the realm of music supervision,” said WIM President Jessica Sobhraj in an April 2016 press release. “She is one of the world’s most successful, creative, and prolific music supervisors, and her work has not only elevated the art of music supervision, but has impacted the overall position of women in the business of music.”

In addition to Alexandra, several other leading ladies in the world of music in media will be recognized, among them some of our dear friends, colleagues, and clients:

We’re so excited for the upcoming Women in Sync Awards, and for the public recognition of the amazing people whose creativity and drive truly helps make some of the most memorable moments in entertainment.

On behalf of binge-watchers and ad-lovers everywhere, we thank you wonderful women in sync for all you do, because breakups and comeups wouldn’t be half as heartfelt without your musical touch.

Update:

Congratulations to Music Dealer Samantha Parvin on her victory for “Best Original Music in an Ad”! We’re super proud of you and your work on “Taste The Feeling.”