After having worked as music supervisor on more than 35 films, including Velvet Goldmine, School of Rock, and Wes Anderson's Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and the soon-to-be-released The Life Aquatic, Randall Poster is launching a new commercials music company. In a joint venture with production house Moxie Pictures, the new company, called Search Party, which officially launches mid-month, will specialize in original music production, creative song licensing and customized musical content for branded entertainment. Poster hopes to bring a more cinematic approach to the commercial world, by working with creatives and directors in the same holistic and organic way that he approaches a film, and identifying and collaborating with the artists that will allow a cinematic moment to translate itself emotionally to an audience. "I've always seen a project not as the director's movie, but as our movie," Poster says. "I really get involved with the movie early in the process. With Wes, it's usually before he finishes the script. So I really like to be involved in all of the elements of filmmaking as much as possible. As far as the process, that's how I feel that it best serves the movies." While commercials and film obviously have their differences, Poster says, "The similarity is you're trying to find the music that lifts it to another level and gives it that magical quality. In a commercial, you might not have as much time, but there's more instinct involved in finding that moment." In addition to having worked with artists R.E.M., Beck, Nico, David Bowie and Folk Implosion, Poster's commercial credits include a pair of spots-one mellow acoustic, one disco-boogie-for Coke, among others.
Stephanie Diaz-Matos, a former music producer for Ogilvy & Mather/N.Y. who has worked as a program director for MTV's AMP and as A&R director at Sire/London records, will run the company out of its New York office. Most recently, she worked with Jermaine Dupri, Swizz Beatz and the Neptunes on remixes of original tunes for Sprite, and maintains a huge Rolodex of musical acts and contacts. "I also have been known to take the numbers of the street musicians who play in the subway," she says, "although I haven't been able to make much out of that-yet." Also joining Search Party is former senior A&R director at Columbia and Geffen Records Jim Dunbar, who has worked with Poster for more than 10 years. Between the three, musical influences range from punk to electronic music, and Poster, who says that working on multiple projects keeps him fresh(besides The Life Aquatic, he is also working with Martin Scorsese on The Aviator and Shawn Levy on The Pink Panther) has a safe full of his "gems," favorite songs awaiting the perfect cinematic moment.
As for the name? "I sort of had a vision of a St. Bernard with a cask around its neck," says Poster. "I thought about how sometimes I feel like I'm a music missionary and so at a certain point I feel like Search Party will save the musical day,"he says. "I just don't want to let anyone else have all the fun. I see the commercial business as a real vehicle for rock and roll. I want to bring the music to the people no matter how it has to get there."