Musicals aren’t just being found on Broadway, anymore. Many musicals are actually branching off into movies and TV Shows. And since the musicals have the word “music” in it, one would assume that music is very prominant throught the movie and TV show.
You would be right.
Movie-musicals are becoming very mainstream. In a poll done by AFI, Singing in the Rain ranked as the #1 movie-musical. However, this poll was done in 2006, so they missed some big ones, like the re-vamp of Hairspray and my personal favorite, Across the Universe. While my favorite isn’t included on this list, either, I think this guy has got a more rounded and developed list of the 25 greatest movie-musicals, even if he did leave out Moulin Rouge. The Wizard of Oz ranks #1 here, which is a pick I can agree with it. How many times have you found yourself singing about the yellow brick road whilst walking down the street? Personally, I find this happening to me a lot. But that’s another point entirely. This guy even included South Park on the list. How thoughtful.
According to Box Office Mojo, Grease is the highest ranking movie-musical at the box office since 1974. This makes perfect sense to me, considering everyone and their mothers and grandmothers and nieces and nephew and cousins have seen Grease. Maybe not at the box office, but still….Sandy and Danny have become a cultural icon and I’m pretty sure everyone, wether they like it or not, knows the words to at least one song from Grease. Don’t be ashamed to admit it. The songs are catchy.
Like this one for example: Summer Nights. Good luck getting this one out of your head for the rest of the day.
I also really, really love the Rent soundtrack. I think it’s perfect in every way possible and the transition from the stage to screen was flawless. In fact, I like the movie version is way better than the original stage version. This is my favorite scene from Rent. Spolier Alert: It’s the very last scene and it kinda makes me cry. Just a little. Maybe you shouldn’t watch it if you’ve never seen it before, but my god, it’s amazing.
In other news, many musicals are now in production to make it to the big screen. Les Miserables is currently in-development with many big-name Hollywood actors cast. Wicked is in talks, as well, though hopefully for all of our sanity, it never gets made into a movie. Either way, musicals are becoming a huge success in the film industry right now. Next time you go to the theaters, be prepared for spontaneous singing and dancing.
What’s your favorite musical-turned-movie? Which musical should Hollywood NEVER get their hands on?
I’ve always thought my soundtracks do pretty good, because they’re basically professional equivalents of a mix tape I’d make for you at home.
Let’s take a step back from talking about what music goes with what scene and start talking about the people who put it there.
Alexandra Patsavas is one of those people. She’s also pretty much my lady love. She has my dream job, she’s living my dream life and I want to be her. When people ask me that age old question “what do you want to do with your life?” I always respond with “…Become Alexandra Patsavas”.
Yeah, okay, moving on.
It’s not even like she’s the only one of her kind. In fact, there’s plenty of other Alex’s out there. For some reason though, she’s my favorite.
Alexandra, or APats (my affectionate and adorable name for her) is a music supervisor. A music supervisor is the person who picks soundtracks for movies and TV shows. Basically what happens is that they get a strict budget and then they go forth and pick appropriate songs for appropriate scenes. Most of the time, though, their quest for song perfection is interrupted by negotiating, legal issues, like copyright laws and licensing, and financial difficulties. About 30% of a music supervisor’s job is dealing with clearances and licensing. When a music supervisor decides that they want to create original music for a film, like a score, their job becomes even tougher because they literally have to oversee EVERYTHING.
How does one become a music supervisor, you ask? Well, apparently, it’s not that hard. Its kinda sorta recommended that you dabble a little in the business area, and you know, be up to date on your legal terms, and oh yeah, it’d probably be a good idea if you had an interest in music but none of that stuff is actually required, and since you can’t actually major in music supervision, it’s basically a free-for-all. In fact, in his book about careers in the music industry, David Baskerville puts it best, stating that “the field remains wide open to people with connections and the ability to get the job done”.
APats is a perfect example of this. She originally enrolled in the University of Illinois, but dropped out her junior year to pursue something other than what she was doing. I find it amazing that the most recognizable music supervisor on the planet didn’t even have a college education. She bounced around after college, working on tons of made-for-TV movies until she exploded onto the scene in 1999 with her work in Roswell, and her own music company, Chop Shop Music Supervision. From there, she went and gifted popular shows like Gossip Girl and The O.C. (a TV show with a huuuuuge audience of music fans that has recognized many indie and unsigned artists and brought them to public attention) with her music-picking talents. She’s also worked on Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and many others.
She turned Chop Shop Music Supervison into a record label, Chop Shop Records, and now she releases all of her TV and movie soundtracks off of her label. She also specializes in signing unlabeled bands and artist, mostly of the indie genre and bringing them into mainstream. Deathcab for Cutie was heavily referenced in The O.C. and most of their fan base today came from their days of being featured on the show.
Lately, APats has been associated with her work on the Twilight Saga. Yeah, I know. Those movies are basically a giant suckfest, but those soundtracks are flawless. (“My Love” with the proposal scene? Perfection.) I own every single one of the soundtracks. Don’t judge me. A girl can like the music and not like the movies, there’s no shame in that, right? Either way. The only thing that makes it somewhat bearable to watch yet another scene with talentless acting is her handpicked music choices. Sparkly vampires and shirtless werewolves would be NOWHERE without APats. They are magic, and you cannot fight me on this. Grown men have cried at her music choices because they are just so beautiful and heart wrenching. Whatever Kristen Stewart lacks in emotion, which is pretty much everything, Alexandra makes up for it in the background music. Girlfriends got a gift and without her, these ridiculous movies would have probably tanked.
…Okay, probably not, but they would be far more cringe worthy and pain enduing than they already are.
So who is Alexandra Patsavas? Well, she describes herself as a member of “the first MTV generation”, listens to everything from rock to opera, and pretty much plays her iPod as background music on national TV shows. Basically this woman is living my dream life, working my dream job, and fraternizing with people I only dream about. Alexandra Patsavas is as close to a music supervision god as one can get, and you and I will all bow down to her. Or at least I will, considering I’d do just about anything for an internship at Chop Shop Records. But seriously, it doesn’t matter. All that matter’s is that girlfriend is living the life.