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Trailer Music Supervisor (Frozen, The Hobbit) Shares Tips

Mob Scene’s Director of Music Toddrick Spalding (who has worked on trailers for some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters including Frozen, X-Men: Apocalypse, The Hobbit, Captain America, American Sniper and others) stole minds and hearts at NARIP’s recent Trailer Music Supervisor Pitch Session in Los Angeles, imparting pointed and sound advice to participants about what makes music more place-able in trailers. He gave detailed notes on all tracks presented to him, enabling many participants the opportunity to re-work tracks to his precise needs. Here are a few take-aways from our session:

• Make amazing music. If you do this, I will hear about it.
• Budget range for trailers is “massive” according to Toddrick, anywhere
from $2000 to $1M for superstars.
• Can’t use live recordings in trailers.
• Do NOT send .wavs (these do not hold metadata). Submit hi-res AIFs or
MP3s instead.
• Have stems available to send only if requested.
• To compete in the trailer world, listen to tons of trailers until you
understand the format and structure of music they use.
• Don’t “try” to write trailer music. Instead, artist and composers
should find their own unique voice, and then wrap this around trailer
• Simpler is better. Select the most interesting sounds and magnify them.

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