In any new movie production process, who selects the music supervisor or composer of their new film?

Is it the Director, the Producer(s) or a joint decision between them both?

If the Movie director and the Producer (s) are the same, this question doesn't arise as he/she is the sole decision maker for selecting the Music scorer for their new film production.

  • 2
    I suspect the answer is 'it depends'. The director is responsible for the overall artistic side of a movie, and the producers, the business or money side. However I'm sure some producers are more hands on than others.
    – iandotkelly
    Oct 9, 2020 at 3:09

1 Answer 1


As mentioned in the comments, it depends. Different movies have different amounts of artistic authority granted to the director. For any big name director working on a big budget film, the director usually makes the choice with oversight and final approval by the producers.

For a big budget but lesser known director, the producers are more likely to exert control, potentially going as far as to decide who the composer will be whether the director likes it or not. If it’s a big break for a relatively unknown director, they are more likely to go along with whatever the producers want so they don’t get kicked off the film.

On the other end of the spectrum, an independent film by an auteur with small budget, there is usually a closer relationship between all the principles of the film, so the producer(s) and director may be of like mind when it comes to music, and/or they might personally know someone who they want to handle the music for the film.

And let’s not forget the occasional example (John Carpenter) where the director is the composer!

  • Thanks Todd. What was the Movie name where John Carpenter was the Movie director as well as the Music director? Or was it the Movie name was John Carpenter but the Movie director & Music director were the same, in that case the name of Movie & Music director? Or was it the Movie name, Movie director & Music director all the same? Oct 9, 2020 at 11:54
  • @PrasahantAkerkar A cursory glance at his IMDB page suggests he directed and composed the music for several movies (in addition to writing and co-producing some of them). Most notably Halloween (a classic with a famous theme), Escape From New York, The Thing, Christine, Big Trouble In Little China, They Live, Prince of Darkness, and In The Mouth Of Madness. He is truly a prolific and successful auteur, even though not all his movies were hits and he has been outshone by other 80s directors. Big Trouble In Little China is one of my favorite films of all time. Oct 9, 2020 at 14:09
  • 1
    Clint Eastwood does his own soundtracks these days too.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 10, 2020 at 9:17

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