This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

Composing for TV - Get Started and Build a Career

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Are you a songwriter, composer or all around musician? You may have music beds or tracks you worked on that could be perfect for television. Meet some of the major players in this world and find out how you can break into this market where the composing & performance fees you earn can be substantial.



MODERATOR Cindy Badell-Slaughter Co-Owner Heavy Hitters Music

Cindy Badell-Slaughter is the President of Heavy Hitters Music Group, and a 25 year music industry veteran. Prior to taking the reins at Heavy Hitters she was the West Coast Director of Music Operations for CBS Broadcasting Inc. For 10 years she helped manage the day to day music clearance, licensing and general music operations for many award winning shows such as Touched by An Angel, CSI, CSI NY, CSI Miami, Survivor and countless other series, reality shows and movies.

Today, Cindy, along with her husband, Bill Slaughter, own Heavy Hitters Music, an Emmy award-winning collection of over 9,000 songs and master recordings whose primary purpose is to provide hit-quality, Indie artist and source music to the film, TV and advertising communities. They also provide the Film and TV industry with superior music clearance, licensing and music administration services.

Matt Kierscht Music Supervisor/Composer Quiet On The Set Inc

Matt Kierscht has worked in TV and Film music for nearly 20 years. He has currently finished work on the feature film “That’s What I Am” starring Academy Award Nominee Ed Harris, Amy Madigan and Molly Parker. Prior to creating his own music services company, he was a Music Executive at Warner Bros. Television. There he was responsible for supervising all areas of music on multiple television series, specials and long-form programming. During his tenure, he received multiple awards for Outstanding Achievement and Performance. He has also held positions at Columbia/Tri-Star, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Merv Griffin Enterprises and Warner Bros. Records. Some of the highlighted productions are eighteen seasons of America’s Next Top Model (The CW), Beauty and the Geek (The CW), Last Comic Standing (NBC), The Drew Carey Show (ABC), The West Wing (NBC), Veronica’s Closet (NBC) and The Fugitive (CBS).

He has worked with several famous musical artists, including Roger Daltrey, DMX, Missy Elliott, Biz Markie, David Crosby, Eric Benet, Busta Rhymes, Beth Hart, Dave Koz and Macy Gray.

As Executive Producer for Dreamworks, he had an album that went to #3 on Billboard’s Top Soundtracks Chart. He has also been awarded with the RIAA Nettwerk America/Capitol Records reward for 500,000 copies sold of Coldplay’s Parachutes.

Since 2005 he has been an instructor at Columbia College’s Semester in L.A. He has also lectured at the USC School of Music, California Copyright Conference, The Hollywood Reporter Billboard Film & TV Music Conference, The ASCAP Expo, Association of Independent Music Publishers, American Film Institute, California Independent Film Festival, Western Canadian Music Awards, the DIY Convention and various music related conferences throughout North America.

Gary Ford VP, Global Music Svcs Discovery Communications

Gary has worked at various positions in the Music Business since the late 70s with stints at Warner-Chappell Music in Los Angeles (9 Years) and ASCAP in NYC (12 years) as well as artist & composer management. He is currently based in Silver Spring, MD and now heads the Global Music Services Department for Discovery Communications LLC where he started in 2006. In addition to overseeing Discovery’s production music library, he also manages all of Discovery’s music publishing business and also works with network production executives to find suitable music for Discovery series and specials. Among the many series & specials that Gary has been involved with are “Whale Wars”, “Rebuilding Ground Zero”, “Sons of Guns” & “Long Island Medium”

Norman Arnold Creative Dir, Music Warner Bros Telepictures

A 15 year veteran in the Los Angeles music business, Norman Arnold is a music executive at Warner Bros. Telepictures, where he serves as Creative Director of Music. In this role he is responsible for overseeing the production and execution of all original music for Telepictures properties, including Anderson Cooper, Ellen DeGeneres, Lopez Tonight, TMZ, and Extra. Current responsibilities include hiring composers and songwriters, creating show themes and underscore, and supervising song placement.

Prior to his position at Telepictures, Norman worked as a composer and Creative Director of Music at AMI Music Group. There, his clients included MTV, Miramax, Lionsgate Films, the Walt Disney Company, CBS Television, 20th Century Fox, Saatchi &Saatchi, Y&R and the Leo Burnett Agency.

David Vanacore Pres Vanacore Music Group

Over 100 million people hear his music every week watching their favorite programs. Dubbed by television music industry insiders as “The King of Reality," David Vanacore is the composer behind such acclaimed series as Survivor, The Apprentice, Big Brother, American Chopper, Dirty Jobs, Hell’s Kitchen, Mobbed, Wipeout, Whale Wars, and hundreds more.

David began his musical journey studying piano at the age of seven. For years he worked as a studio session pianist/keyboardist and toured with Cher among other well-known artists. While continuing to refine his chops as a studio musician David studied composition, orchestration and conducting at Cal State University and the Dick Grove School of Music. A chance meeting with famed television composer Mike Post led to an offer as his studio keyboard player, which introduced him to the world of music for television.

David's diligence in working closely with producers and directors to understand their vision has earned him top honors among Film & TV composers, winning ASCAP's prestigious Most Performed Themes and Most Performed Underscore awards every year since 2005.

Now president of Vanacore Music, David continues to provide music for major network and cable shows in collaboration with a diversely talented network of composers and producers at his full-service, state-of-the-art music production facility in Los Angeles.

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