Thomas Golubic, the music supervisor behind Breaking Bad, Six Feet Under, The Killing and The Walking Dead has an insider view of the world of music sync, and its not always pretty. “These are big corporations,” Golubis, interviewed by Music Week at AIM’s recent Sync Conference, says of music budgets. “Some of the companies you deal with are a bit more respectful of the role music has, some are less so. It was a bummer to us all the way through that Sony would not loosen the purse strings [for Breaking Bad]."
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Even when the show was successful, they still didn’t," he continued. But I have to recognise they’re a corporate culture and they operate within certain parameters. And to be honest, most studios are not filled with the bravest people. None of them are going to say: ‘It’s important for us to make music a bigger thing.’ They’re just going to say: ‘Here’s what you have, good luck.’"
“I think the honest truth of it is that music was in a way overvalued in the past,” says Golubis. “If you look at it from a purely economic level, the amount of money music was costing to licence and the amount of extra revenue generated as a result was probably not commensurate. It was a set of rules essentially established by different publishers and labels saying: ‘This is how much it should be.’ Now, the studios ultimately have the power, and they’re saying, screw that, you only have $20,000 to spend so... you’re going to have to shave everything down. We all have to readjust to the idea that the way this ecosystem is going to work has shifted - the Arctic just got colder.”