We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Garibaldi and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Katie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started Owl At The Moon Creative because I wanted to empower myself to do what I love, and also offer services to other creatives who are doing what they love. When I branched into music supervision and filmmaking, I was coming from a long background in music as a recording and touring singer/songwriter. Through success with my music videos at international film festivals, I became more active in the film side of creation. I studied the ins and outs of music supervision and filmmaking and networked with filmmakers, seeking opportunities to assist them with their music plans and sync licensing for their films.

As we all know, 2020 was a challenging time for everyone, and a lot of productions were stalled, so I found it difficult to secure a position or find steady work as a supervisor. I knew I could do a good job if I was just given the chance, but where was the chance? Finally, I reminded myself that when I’d been successful with anything in the past, it’s always been when I stopped waiting for an opportunity and instead, created my own. So my thought process was, I need films to get more music supervision experience so why not create my own film? As soon as I decided to make a film, the next day I woke up and had a powerful idea for a story and started writing a script. The script became my short film, This and That, which we shot in 2021 and just finished post-production on. I’m now starting to research and submit it to film festivals for a premiere.

It’s amazing how the universe works because I really believe that when you take the first step, the next step will appear. Right after I wrote and directed my first film, music supervision opportunities started showing up. Filmmakers connected with me who were in need of music, music libraries reached out, and I met lots of new film composers to collaborate with. I actually had to put my film on hold for a few months because I was busy working on supervising other films. I love supervising, and I’m also really excited to now get back to my film and step out as a filmmaker as well.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Music supervision involves licensing music as well as uncovering the vision of a filmmaker and communicating that to composers to manifest their objective. I have experience clearing songs for sync and can provide that service, but I think what sets me apart is that my passion really lies in the management of custom scoring. I love having “spotting sessions” where I meet with the filmmaker to go scene by scene and discuss what their music vision is for each part of the film. We go over in detail what emotions they want the music to express. Then I’ll come up with an overall plan for the music. This may involve licensing some pieces, as well as working with composers to custom score music. I love fitting the pieces together, and with experience both as a songwriter/musician and as a filmmaker, I can communicate with all sides of the collaboration process to ensure the client’s expectations are met and hopefully exceeded. Music is typically one of the last steps of the post-production process. Filmmakers can feel overwhelmed, rushed, and sometimes lost completely in what to do for the music. I really enjoy helping them through the process and taking any weight off their shoulders so they can have an easy and fun experience finishing their film, knowing all the legalities of music licensing and the back and forth communication with composers is taken care of.

Navigating a career path in the entertainment industry is far from easy. Most challenges can be summarized by jobs with little to no pay that require a ton of long hours of work in exchange. There’s quite an imbalance of compensation for craft. Also, we live in an industry where a lot of people try to tell you how things are “supposed” to be done. I’ve learned that if you want an opportunity to do something and it’s not coming to you, stop waiting for it and create it yourself with what you can from where you are. It’s easy to get stuck in a mindset of, “I want to do this,” while continuing to make excuses not to. I’d like people to recognize me as someone who just goes for it, and hopefully that gives them courage to go after the things they want to do too.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, realistically I’d be the worst host ever because I’d be busy working and would just have to tell my friend, “You’re on your own! Have fun!” But work/life balance is important, isn’t it? I mostly work from home and out of JFMusic Studio in Simi Valley, where I’m able to sit in on the post sound and production process with filmmakers and composers. Simi is a pretty low-key area, but there are some wonderful hidden gems (much like the studio)! My favorite restaurant ever is Thai House, which is in Simi. When I’m working out of the studio, you’ll find me having lunch there several times a week. The food is outstanding, the owner and staff are lovely, and prices are just right. So I’d probably take my friend there every day to eat. After eating, I’d bring my friend to a crystal shop called Healing Oak Crystals, which is also walking distance from the studio, and where I pop in regularly. I like to see if any crystals catch my attention that I may need to bring home with me. They also offer tarot readings and sound healing sessions, which I love. For mornings, I’d bring my friend to my favorite cafe for coffee and a croissant at Chocolatine, a sweet French cafe that serves the best coffee! We’d also visit the Thousand Oaks Grant R. Brimhall Library, which may not sound too exciting, but for book worms like me, trust me, it is! Many libraries have monthly sale events, but Thousand Oaks has a huge section of books on sale all the time. I love stopping in there to browse the book shop and grab a couple new books on occasion. The Simi Valley Library also has a regular book sale section. I’d probably take my friend on hikes some mornings, specifically to Paradise Falls in Thousand Oaks. In the evenings, I’d bring my friend out to see live music, maybe at The Baked Potato in Studio City or the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills. Alternatively, I’d see if there are any films showing that are scored by composers I know and go support that. And I’d love to take my friend to any film festivals happening, where we could see new movies, meet creative people, and eat popcorn and Sour Patch Kids all night. I like to live on the wild side.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to Joseph Metcalfe, film composer/conductor and founder of music library Sum Of All Music, who has opened up many opportunities for me as a music supervisor and has been incredibly encouraging and supportive of my journey. Joe invited me in to Sum Of All Music about a year ago, where I connected with an amazing group of composers. I’ve music supervised three films to date with SOAM where I worked directly with the filmmakers and paired up composers to collaborate on custom pieces to score their films. It’s been a fantastic experience. Sum Of All Music also released the soundtrack of The King’s Daughter (starring Kaya Scodelario and Pierce Brosnan) earlier this year, a major motion picture featuring Joe’s score. I supervised the release of the soundtrack, which also includes pieces of music that didn’t make it into the final cut of the film. It was such a great project to be a part of and I’m grateful. Whether I’m working on projects with the SOAM group or work under my own company Owl At The Moon, Joe’s belief in me has made a huge positive impact on my path forward in music supervision and beyond. I could never thank him enough.

Website: http://www.owlatmoon.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/katiegaribaldi

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katiegaribaldi

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/katiegaribaldi

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/katiegaribaldimusic

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/katiegaribaldi

Image Credits
Evan Morton, David Cameli, Marisa Hood, Evan Morton, Joseph Metcalfe

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