The Art of the Sync Deal: Sync Exchange Podcast 14 with Entertainment Lawyer Sindee Levin

This is a must-listen, wide-ranging conversation with top music and entertainment lawyer and sync rights expert Sindee Levin. Her company, Sindee Levin Music works to bring music to TV, Film, advertising and interactive projects. In this episode we discuss best practices in terms of rights clearance, deal points and how working with people who understand rights can make the difference between success and failure in sync.

Sindee Levin Bio:

Sindee Levin is an entertainment lawyer and music publishing administrator and the head of Sindee Levin Music with more than a quarter-century of experience with rights management in music and film, for both domestic and international markets.

Ms. Levin began at Wyman, Bautzer, Rothman, Kuchel & Sibert, a law firm that represented MGM/UA and other major studios. She developed a specialty of working with both music and film through her experience in La Bamba, Rainman, and Bright Lights, Big City. La Bamba director Taylor Hackford became a principal at New Visions Pictures, when he asked Ms.Levin to serve as Vice President of Business Affairs, where she handled agreements related to music and film rights acquisition, negotiating and drafting agreements for these rights.

After a few years at New Visions, Ms. Levin went on to establish both Sindee Levin Music and The Law Offices of Sindee Levin. Sindee Levin Music began administering the musical copyrights of independent music publishers and film and television companies. Ms. Levin’s extensive experience with uncovering hidden royalties has put Sindee Levin Music at the forefront of collecting royalties for her clients. Ms. Levin has also served as an expert witness, a consultant to numerous entertainment estates and assisted bankruptcy trustees to evaluate music catalogs. Her broad knowledge of the workings of the music publishing industry, both domestic and foreign, have helped clients both increase their cash flow and fully realize the value of their musical assets.

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Pitching Perfect: Sync Exchange Podcast 13 – A chat with Music Supervisor Sarah Webster

Sarah Webster, Music Supervisor

Music Supervisor SARAH WEBSTER was born in England, raised in Vancouver BC and currently resides in Los Angeles. She has worked on over sixty films and television series since 2003. Most notably  Pitch Perfect 1 & 2. Each soundtrack won Top Soundtrack Award at the American Music Awards. (2013 & 2015). The Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy for Top Soundtrack Album of 2015 as well as a Billboard Music Award.

Pitch Perfect 2 is the highest grossing musical comedy of all time.

It was her love of the underground dance music culture that was thriving on the West Coast in the early 1990’s that got Sarah her start in the music business. Somewhere between the Winter Music Conference and MIDEM, licensing house music for a software development company in Vancouver led to a job in business development for an independent record label group in New York City. 

Sarah’s focus shifted to visual media when she was hired to oversee the film music department for Canada’s leading & largest music management & booking agency, soon after becoming VP of Music Supervision for S.L. Feldman & Associates.

During her years as an Executive, Sarah oversaw all aspects of music supervision for dozens of projects, from television documentaries to big budget feature films. All the while, acting as agent to numerous award winning score composers. She has supervised countless episodes & seasons of television series that have been broadcast in countries all over the World. 

In 2009 Sarah left the corporate environment to start her own company, Saraswati Music Supervision. Her credits include Academy Award & Palme d’Or nominated projects, from film festival winners to major box office successes. 

Early musical influences include her Father’s passion for pop music, her Mod older brother’s British Invasion & New Wave albums, and her Mother’s love of opera.

Annotation of podcast:

00:00:28 – It all started with The Outsiders and Stevie Wonder in Grade 8…

00:01:18 – Getting professional: from a love of house music to game music

00:02:17 – A Move to NYC in 2002 to work with Naked Music  (Founded by one my favs BLUE SIX!!!, ed.)

00:02:37 – Back to Vancouver and some smart self-promotion leads to first music supervision gig and so on and so on… 

00:05:14 – Getting down to the business of music supervision

00:05:51 – Going indie: Sync and… yoga

00:07:44 – Pitch Perfect: off to LA and supervising the 80+ songs for the first Pitch Perfect movie

oo:o9:25 – Building a music supervision business 

00:10:03 – The Process of Music Supervision

00:10:48 – Managing and transitioning temp tracks with an eye to final use 

00:11:58 – The art of going after licenses (i.e., everything) for a project – and making sure you have a Plan B

00:14:45 – Positioning yourself for success in pitching music

00:15:29 – Sourcing music – who I go to for and how I find music

00:18:02 – Clearance best practices

00:18:46 – Insights from projects: Pitch Perfect, Stone of Destiny

00:20:40 – The evolution of music in projects

00:22:35 – Managing all the cooks in the kitchen

00:24:43 – beyond the creative points of the job

00:26:40 – Budgets, perception and reality

00:28:10 – What licensors should ask

00:31:50 – More pointers for licensors


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Sync Exchange Podcast 12 – A chat with multi-platinum, Grammy winning producer and songwriter Rob Fusari

Songwriter/Producer Rob Fusari


This podcast features truly compelling conversation with the multi-platinum, Grammy award winning producer, songwriter, music executive and artist Rob Fusari.

For those of you that may know know who Rob is, and what he’s done in music… shame on you.

Not only did he discover, collaborate with and develop Lady GaGa (including co-writes on “Again Again,” Beautiful, Dirty, Rich,” “Brown Eyes,” “Disco Heaven,” “Paparazzi” and “Vanity,” in his own right, he’s one of the most significant people in today’s music industry, and has composed and/or produced countless Billboard hits, including:

No No No” – Destiny’s Child

Bootylicious” – Destiny’s Child

Love That Man” – Whitney Houston

In This Skin” – Jessica Simpson

Train on the Track” – Kelly Rowland

Wild Wild West” – Will Smith

Shadow” – SM Town

And many, many more.

In his discussion with Sync Exchange Podcast host Mark Frieser, Fusari discusses how he began his musical journey as an eight year-old child prodigy playing Carnegie Hall to writing some of pop’s biggest hits, developing his producer shops, his discovery of and work with Lady Gaga, his current projects (The World of Cary Nokey) and the importance of sync to an artist’s career and creative outlook.

Below are some main points of the conversation:

0:00 – 5:30 – The evolution of a child prodigy to a songwriter.

5:30 – Connie Francis and Rob’s first collaborator, Irwin Levine

8:00 – Coming into his own as a music producer.

10:20 – Co-writing and producing pop’s hottest acts

22:15 – 9/11 and a change in direction.

25:10 – Meeting Stephanie Germanotta

27:10: Rob’s “Bowie” moment when Gaga sat down to play

29:04: A Partnership is born… and looking for a sound

30:57 – The Eureka Moment – A Sound is Born

31:22 – The toast of the labels and one of the the worst decisions of LA Reid‘s career

32:15 – Gaga in limbo – a star without a label

33:17 – One last call to Vince Herbert

33:40 – Jimmy Iovine says “I guess if everyone wants to do it, I’ll do it.”

34:45 – Akon goes Gaga for Gaga

35:00 – Jimmy Pushes the Button on Gaga

37:41 – Success is Opportunity meets Preparation

39:02 – Fallout

41:00 – New Chapter, New Artist (himself)

50:33 – Sync and how to approach music supervisors and projects from an artist’s perspective

56:00 – Visualizing your music in picture versus creating music for picture

58:50 – Why Sync is important to artists

1:00:00 – Breaking through sync

1:06:00 – Putting music first

1:12:00 – The Music Supervisor POV and their evolving role in the industry

1:18:35 – Current Projects – ABC and more

(Note:  The sound quality of this podcast leaves something to be desired due to an error with our recording software.  We made the decision to to keep the original podcast and do our best to fix it in post rather than re-record as we felt the quality of the content would be adversely affected. We hope you enjoy the podcast nonetheless and apologize in advance)
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Sync Exchange Podcast 11 – Times Music COO, Mandar Thakur

D.I.Y. – THE GLOBAL STATE OF MUSIC INDEPENDENTS (Presented By Fontana Distribution)

This podcast features a really compelling conversation with the COO of Times Music, Mandar Thakur about the South Asian market, the Indian Music market and of course, sync’s role in the entertainment market in general.

Also, we cover a lot of ground on how music is consumed in India, the usage of mobile entertainment, Times Music’s evolution as a company, its presence in the national and international markets, and of course Bollywood and Bollywood-based music.

Mandar is one of India’s leading music executives and one of the finest minds we’ve ever met in the fields of music, marketing and technology.  We hope you enjoy the podcast.

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Sync Exchange Podcast 10 – Jon Gosier, Audigent: The Value of Music

Jon Gosier, Founder Audigent

In this conversation, we sit down for an in-depth interview with Jon Gosier, the Co-Founder of Audigent, a company in the measurement space that gives brands, ad agencies, entertainers (and the people that work with them) to better understand their markets, and to maximize the potential to better connect, engage and monetize relationships with audiences and fans.

Jon and host Mark Frieser discuss the value of music in business from a general standpoint, how music acts as an influencer on the decisions that fans and audiences make to engage with brands and artists, as well as how all parties involved can maximize the value of music in advertising and the value of a musician’s brand.

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Sync Exchange Podcast 9 – Music Supervisor/KCRW Host Gary Calamar

This is a wide-ranging conversation with Music Supervisor Gary Calamar, who’s also a DJ on KCRW FM, a musician and President of GO Music.

In this podcast, Gary discusses with host Mark Frieser the development of his career in the industry, the work of a music supervisor, and how he works with labels, artists and publishers to find and place excellent music to tell some of the most compelling stories in TV and Film, including in shows like “Six Feet Under,” “True Blood” and “Man In The High Castle”.

Check out the annotations below for the high points of the conversation and and relevant links.

1:10 Discussing his use of Sia’s “Breathe Me” in “Six Feet Under”

1:51 – Gary’s beginnings as a music supervisor – starting with his love of music

3:12 – Gary the artist – his song “Looking For A Job”

4:20 – Gary’s Mimosa Music Series –

4:32 – Iggy Pop and Gary Collaborate on “Let’s Boot And Rally” for “True Blood”

5:23 – How does one become a music supervisor, anyway? Here’s how Gary did.

 – Working with G. Marq Roswell

 > > Wild At Heart

 > > Slums of Beverly Hills

 > > Varsity Blues

 – Partnering with Music Supervisor Thomas Golubic on “Six Feet Under”

8:40 – More on Gary’s Process

11:32 – The importance of collaboration

13:00 – Past and Current Projects

True Blood – working with:

 > > Elvis Costello and Lucinda Williams

 > > Eric Burdon with Jenny Lewis

 Man In The High Castle – “Sukiyaki” – used in Season 1, episode 2 starting at 33:01

To watch go to:

Good Girls Revolt

Mr Mercedes (in production)

17:00 The Right Music for the right job

Dexter and Latin Music

19:34 – Wrapup – Resources to connect with Music Supervisor Projects

 > > IMDB

 > > The Guild Of Music Supervisors

 > > SyncSummit Events




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Sync Podcast #8 – Starting Five Media

This Sync Exchange Podcast features a conversation with Harris Sterling and Ray Andersen, the founders of Starting Five Media.  Starting Five Media is a company that works with companies like Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes to create custom music for use by ad agencies, TV, Film and other media.

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Sync Exchange Podcast # 7: Veritonic CEO, Scott Simonelli

This podcast features an interview with Scott Simonelli, the CEO of one of the more exciting companies in music technology, Veritonic.  The company has built a system which allows ad firms, brands and anyone else using music for messaging to test how well the music helps sell, promote, engage or envoke emotion from a campaign, brand or product.

It’s truly amazing in terms of its accuracy and provides a great tool to the advertiser and agency in their quest to better quantify the effectiveness of music.

In this discussion, Scott and Mark talk about how Scott, a composer as well as a tech exec formed the company, why he did, and how its work has brought practical benefits to its clients.  It’s an essential listen.

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Sync Exchange Podcast # 6: Mick Lloyd, SVP, Licensing, Entertainment One

In this Podcast, Sync Exchange Founder and host Mark Frieser interviews Mick Lloyd, the SVP of Entertainment One.

Entertainment One has an extensive musical library through its label, TV and film divisons that include extensive catalogues from almost every genre as well as some of the world’s most iconic Hip-Hop from their administration of the repertoire of Death Row Records and The New No Limit.

One of their recent syncs: California Love – CHiPS

In this podcast, Mick shares decades of experience as a musicians, as a licensor and a music executive on best practices in the industry, his team’s focus on sync licensing basics like cooperation with ad agencies, brands and storytelling music supervisors to help them secure the best possible music for every project, and how music rights owners can ensure they do their best when pitching music to projects.

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SYNC EXCHANGE PODCAST #5: One-On-One with Music Supervisor Dawn Sutter Madell

In this episode we speak to top music supervisor Dawn Sutter Madell.  We talk about her projects in advertising, film and TV, and how she brings music to the messaging and brand activation of iconic brands like Audi.  It’s a must listen for anyone wanting to know how music gets into ads.

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