Guild for Music Supervisors in U.K., Europe Launches: 'The Sync Industry Is Very Unique'

Scott Kershaw
Iain Cooke

Iain Cooke, whose credits include films about Amy Winehouse and Oasis, has been chosen as the guild's first president.

A non-profit association dedicated to promoting the under-the-radar, but increasingly important role that music supervisors play within the entertainment industry has launched in London.

The UK & European Guild of Music Supervisors is headed by Iain Cooke, whose credits include Amy, the 2015 feature film documentary about Amy Winehouse, last year’s Oasis: Supersonic and the award-laden British TV serial The Night Manager, starring Tom Hiddlestone and Hugh Laurie.

Although independent from its North American equivalent, the Guild of Music Supervisors, the newly formed organization will work alongside its U.S. counterpart to support established and emerging music supervisors whose job involves overseeing all music related aspects of film, television, advertising or computer game projects. Typically working closely with a director, editor and composer throughout the prep, filming, scoring and mixing process, music supervisors responsibilities also extend to negotiating and securing all legal rights of the music.

"The guild has two primary purposes: one, raising the awareness and understanding of what the role of a music supervisor is. And two, to share ideas, best practice and topical issues which concern the industry at large," Cooke, who takes up the role of inaugural guild president, tells Billboard.

"Fundamentally, the guild is for anyone or any organization directly or indirectly related to sync. Whether that is managers, composers, artists, labels, publishers, sync agents, film and advert directors and producers, we feel that anyone working or involved in the sync community will benefit from being involved," he continues, eyeing a series of networking, masterclass, mentoring and advisory events for both emerging and established executives working in the industry.

Joining Cooke in the U.K.-based trade body -- which officially launches tomorrow night at London’s Metropolis Studios -- is Abi Leland, founder and vice president of Leland Music, Duncan Smith, senior music supervisor at Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe and Jacquie Perryman, co-chair, founder of Periscope Music & Media Ltd, who sit among the guild’s senior board members.

Advisory board members number Ian Neil, Sony Music director of film and TV, freelance music supervisor Nick Angel, Air-Edel Associates' Matt Biffa and HotHouse Music founder Karen Elliott, among others. Their collected credits include feature films Kingsman: The Secret ServiceLove ActuallyBridget Jones’s DiaryHarry Potter and the Goblet of FireWonder Woman and 2016 fantasy movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

For people wanting to join the guild, there are several membership options on offer, with full membership requiring applicants to have at least four years experience as a professional music supervisor.

"The sync industry is a very unique industry," says Cooke. "People are very collaborative, open and supportive and it is a genuine community. We hope to galvanize that and have a central arena where there can be ongoing dialogue and where people can develop genuine opportunities and relationships. We’ve got an important role to play in helping to develop and raise professional standards and we hope it will leave a crucial and lasting legacy for generations to come."