'La La Land' Composer Justin Hurwitz Celebrates the "Great," "Long Process" Behind the Movie's Music

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Justin Hurwitz at the Music Supervisors Guild Awards

"There were so many moving parts that the challenge was to just keep everything in check and to keep my eye on a million things at the same time," music supervisor Steven Gizicki told THR. "I absolutely loved being part of this film and being part of the firm belief in the vision of what Damien [Chazelle] wanted to do, and going to work every day for the last two years and accomplishing that is amazing."

The seventh annual Guild of Music Supervisors Awards took place at The Theatre at the Ace Hotel Thursday evening in Los Angeles. It was a night commemorating the industry’s top music supervisors in film, television, games and advertising with more than 600 guests. Some of the nominees include Deadpool, La La Land and Girls.

President and music supervisor John Houlihan, most notable for his recent work in Deadpool, explained to The Hollywood Reporter why the Music Supervisors Guild was formed seven years ago.

“Forming a guild of music supervisors is really important because we needed an avenue to support our own industry," Houlihan said. "We are all competitors, but our job is so hard and niche, but we’re collaborators by nature. We collaborate to help the craft of music supervision [and] raise awareness of what we do.”

A big contender at the awards, La La Land, created a lot of discussion about the uniqueness of the film in a modern world. Composer Justin Hurwitz said working on the music for the film was a three-part process.

La La Land was a great experience. It was a very long process, but there is a three-part process being part of a musical. First, there was preproduction and figuring out all the songs we were going to use and laying out the music. Then there was production, where I was playing piano while that actors sang live on set, and generally keeping my eye on the other music elements. And finally, there was postproduction. That's when I scored the picture while they were editing, as well as revised the song arrangements to make sure everything was as good as it could be. The music supervisor held the music department together. There was so much to juggle, and [music supervisor] Steven Gizicki was so helpful with all of it,” said Hurwitz. "I had a great relationship with Steven. He knew where and how to help and offer his opinion. That I really valued. Tonight is so great for his recognition.”

Prior to the awards ceremony, Gizicki told THR why this film has become his most memorable work. “It feels like a fairy tale," he said. "As a music producer, it includes every single component of music that filters through me somehow. It’s overseeing the production and the mixing, working with the choreographer, working with the actors, getting ready to shoot, hiring the musician and casting the vocalists and being present for all the recordings.”

He added: "There were so many moving parts, that the challenge was to just keep everything in check and to keep my eye on a million things at the same time. I absolutely loved being part of this film and being part of the firm belief in the vision of what [writer-director] Damien [Chazelle] wanted to do, and going to work every day for the last two years and accomplishing that is amazing."

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