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WSA Film Music Days - Music Supervisors: Gatekeepers or Opportunity Makers?

Edition 2023

Music supervisors oversee all musical elements of an audiovisual production. In close collaboration with directors and producers, they determine what kind of score and/or soundtrack completes the film, series or video game and consequently engage composers. So, how do they find a balance between choosing for familiar faces or taking a risk and engaging young new voices?

In collaboration with UK & European Guild of Music Supervisors


Milena Fessmann

Milena Fessmann is full-time dj and has worked for various radio stations. In 1989, she founded CINESONG, which offers music supervising for cinema and TV feature films, as well as for theatre and contemporary art. She is moderator of several national events and panels such as the Cartoon Movie Award and Reeperbahn-Festival. Milena Fessmann teaches music supervising and copyright clearing at film schools such as DFFB Berlin and is board member of the World Soundtrack Academy. She founded a film production company called Sugar Town Filmproduction in 2011. She is co-producer of When Hitler stole Pink Rabbit (Caroline Link) and Girl made of Dust (Hiam Abbass).

Tracy McKnight

Tracy McKnight is Vice President, Creative, Film, TV & Visual Media at Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI). Prior joining BMI in 2023, she spent more than two decades as a renowned music supervisor with over 170 film and TV credits to date. Most recently, she oversaw secured music assets for projects including award-winning films such as Sean Penn’s Flag Day and The World to Come. Previously, Tracy McKnight was the head of film music at Lionsgate, overseeing projects like The Hunger Games. She has collaborated with Mychael Danna, Harry Gregson-Williams, James Newton Howard and Rachel Portman, among many other composers.

Rupert Hollier

Rupert is an accomplished Creative Director and co-founder of the music supervision agency Redfive. He started his career in music publishing in 1998, later freelancing on global advertising campaigns for brands like Marks & Spencer and Nike. In 2009, he joined Imagem (now Concord) as Head of Film Exploitation, representing catalogues and artists. Rupert also founded Metropolis Music Publishing and Music Supervision. He's worked on acclaimed films such as The Wife, The Trip, Living, Mothering Sunday, Worth, and the upcoming Guy Ritchie film Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. He is also a co-founder and Vice President member of The UK & European Guild of Music Supervisors.

Mounir Hathout

As a Music Supervisor at sound production agency Sonhouse , Mounir mixes and matches artists and musicians with directors and producers. From selecting and choosing existing music, to managing the creation of tailored-made scores: he believes in a personal approach by working closely together with the project teams, translating wishes and needs into notes and goosebumps. He is also member of the Guild of Music Supervisors (USA) and the UK & European Guild of Music Supervisors (GMS). As a deejay, Mounir is all about creating the right atmosphere for his audience. Again, mixing and matching vibe with music-and not the other way around-is what makes him a versatile and flexible pancake turner with a love for hip-hop and RnB. Mounir is best known for Belgian productions such as 1985, De Dag, Undercover, Zillion and Roomies. And for international productions such as War of the Worlds, Floodland and In The Land of Saints and Sinners.

Tommy Pearson - Moderator

Broadcaster, producer, director and musician, Tommy Pearson has been a familiar figure in the UK music world for over 25 years. After an early career as a percussionist and composer, he became one of the busiest voices on BBC Radio. He has produced and hosted concerts around the world and worked with most of the UK’s major orchestras. As onstage host, Tommy Pearson has presented the RPO’s Film Music Gala at the Royal Albert Hall for 15 years, and countless talks and events on film music, including the current Conversations with Screen Composers for BAFTA. He is proud of his long association with the World Soundtrack Awards as host of the awards show.