Tell me the story of how you began in the music supervision world ...
Prior to establishing Venn Arts, I held creative licensing and brand partnership positions at Sony Music, EMI Records and Red Light Management. It was while working at Tribal Brands, the former music agency for Verizon Wireless, that I realized that I had developed the taste, relationships, and entrepreneurial urge to go out of my own. I recognized that as the demand for content continued to grow online and in other visual media, the need for people with my expertise to source and license music, was only going to expand.
How would you describe Venn Arts?
It is my independent music supervision practice that I founded in 2014. We help creative teams unite their visual content with memorable songs.
Take a minute to imagine the folks and projects that bring the best out in you and ignite your most creative brain - now talk to me about it ...
At this time I do a great deal of advertising and branded content. I love documentary filmmaking, and especially enjoy projects like the ones I’ve done for Jaybird and Red Bull that exist at the intersection of these two areas.
In general, I would say that I want to work on purpose-driven projects that do good and tell stories with artistic depth. I want to collaborate with people who share an excitement for new thinking and outside influences. I love that I get to exchange ideas and build relationships through my involvement with the Guild Of Music Supervisors and Shukat Foundation, and continue to support favorite cultural events - Kicking + Screening and NYFEST.
Talk to me about specific knowledge points, where you feel we need to learn and open our minds?
I’ve noticed that there’s a loss of artistic integrity rooted in the information available thanks to digital media. Artists are responding to what sells, which is creating homogeneity in popular tracks that essentially recycle things that have already succeeded in the mainstream. There are too many songs deliberately designed to work within a 30 or 60 second commercial format, composed for licensing instead of art. When working with creative teams who want something unexpected, these almost algorithm-generated pieces of music are a disappointment and source of frustration. Artists who are prioritizing short-term revenue opportunities are compromising their chance at long-term relevance and any artistic legacy.
There is a rich and special relationship between art, commerce, and the culture in which we live.
We promote music for art’s sake and collaborate with partners who are similarly dedicated to creating work that highlights and drives this belief.
We are passionate about elevating the feeling, style, and message of our client’s productions.
I would love to see more financial resources made available to filmmakers whose work has merit within a cultural or social framework, specifically to fund the music in their project - affording a soundtrack that would not otherwise have been possible for micro budget films. If I was in a position to fund these grants, I would. Otherwise, I hope to bring that ambition to Sonos Listen Better or other companies investing in social impact initiatives.
A selection of Jonathan's clients and creative work.
Droga5. In-house music supervisor for ads and promo campaigns including Google, ESPN and CoverGirl.
Red Bull Media House. Feature films division. Music supervision. Upcoming documentary - Any One Of Us.
Camp4 Collective. Music supervision. RUN WILD, a global film series, presented by Jaybird.
Carmichael Lynch. Music supervision. Subaru branding campaigns.
Within. Chris Milk’s VR/AR studio - Consulting for original content production.