Tony Von Pervieux, musical supervisor of “Ted Lasso”: director of the week
As the Season 2 finale airs Friday (October 8), all that success has won Tony Von Pervious, the music supervisor of the show, the title of BillboardExecutive of the week. Von Pervieux, who acts as an independent music supervisor in addition to developing and managing artists, including Charlotte laurent and Leona naess through his company, TVPmusic, previously worked as Creative Director of ABC TV Studios, where he worked with Ted lasso co-creator Bill Laurent on Lawrence’s sitcom Cougar Town.
The University of Central Florida graduate will begin work on Season 3 of Ted lasso in 2022, as well as other Apple TV series Bad monkey. Here, he explains how music plays a big role in the show, his favorite timings so far, the process of removing timings in a growing budget, and the timing of his dreams for the series.
When you started working on Ted lasso, what kind of discussion was there about the role music would play?
There wasn’t a lot of discussion at the start. As with each new show, we are working on it in post [production]. The two things I knew before Season 1 was that we would be looking at British artists when it made sense and Jason was a huge fan of 80s hip-hop and 90s alt-pop songs. So that’s where a lot of these scripted references to pop culture songs come from and why we use a lot of great British bands like the Rolling Stones, Queen and the Sex Pistols.
What timing are you most proud of and what was your role in making it happen?
Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” in Season 2 Episode 10 was probably the most rewarding. Writer / Producer Joe kelly contacted me looking for a song for the funeral scene, one that Rebecca can sing in slow motion and a cappella. They wanted a pop song from the 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s that was the “least funeral” I could get and that could also attract some kind of call and response.
My friends Marty silverstone and Pierre Kurczaba to Primary Wave I sent in a few options and when I saw “Never Gonna Give You Up” I immediately removed this one from their pitch and added it to the very top of my playlist that I ‘send to producers. I pitched the idea of using the clip for “Rick Roll” to our audience as well and the producers found a very creative way at the end of the show to tie it all together. Rick’s manager and wife, Lene bausager, said it was the first time they saw the song used in [a] funeral scene, which for a song that has been licensed probably a thousand times, is a pretty cool answer.
How often is the song the audience hears already suggested in the script?
There are definitely songs written in the script by the writers / producers, especially when we have visual vocal performances that need to be erased first, like the season 1 karaoke episode or sometimes when Ted refers to songs. in dialogue that requires permission, like the “Under Pressure” Joke between Coach Lasso and the Doc in Season 2. There is a strong musical collaboration between me, [co-music supervisor] Christa miller, [co-creator/Coach Beard] Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly, Bill Lawrence, [producer] Kip Kroeger and publishers. But Jason is the ultimate decision maker.
A pivotal moment in Season 1 is when Rebecca sings “Let It Go”. Initially, Disney turned you down. How did you get them to say yes?
The reason was probably that without seeing the song in the scene, the uses of karaoke tend to be viewed in a slightly less favorable way for some rights holders, as if their song might be slaughtered. Or since this was an unknown and unreleased comedy at the time, there was no story on this show yet, so the initial response to me was a “good pass”. Because I got to see the scene and see how magical and heartfelt Rebecca’s performance was, I [went back to] Disney to ask [them] to consider reconsidering their decision by showing them the actual footage, as well as a passionate email from me on how this song relates to Rebecca’s story with her goddaughter and to show that this song isn’t is used only in the most touching and beautiful way. It worked. Jason was happy because he really wanted this song to be the right one.
Considering the success of the series, how much easier has it been to get permissions for Season 2? How much did your budget increase for the second season?
I can’t tell you how much we have in our budget for each episode, but we had a bump from season 1 to season 2 knowing after the first season how many songs we actually used. I will say that Season 2 was a little easier to get approvals, but each song clearance is a different case. Sometimes there are internal issues between the artist / writer, the label or the publisher that prevent me from being able to erase a song easily, so there were a few occasions where I had to go a little further away from my wheelhouse to try to get approval.
Which episode had the biggest musical budget?
The Christmas episode [in season 2] was an idiot. We had about 16 songs in this episode and Christmas music tends to be a bit more expensive because it’s cyclical. But the episode “Beard After Hours” was Goliath. We had about 21 [songs], most of them well known, so this episode definitely took the top spot using “wall to wall” music.
Was it difficult to get sync and master from the Stones? And how far in advance did you have to delete “She’s a Rainbow” since the song played a part in the script?
Alisa coleman at ABKCO represents both the publication and the recordings on The Stones catalog so that it is easier to go to one place. Because it was a scripted song, I deleted it before it was shot. As an Easter egg, we also went back in episode 203 and used it for another quick use of Higgins’ ringtone, before the big use in 205. The big challenge was in post production, because the producers wanted to use the song a lot more than we expected due to the length of the scene. The editors woven the song from the start of Roy Kent leaving his sports broadcast job throughout his trip to the stadium to accept the coaching job with the team, which then took us through the credits of end. It was over five minutes of use.
So there was some concern on my part that I would have to go back and seek approval for this revised use with all the stops and starts, additional modifications, as well as the time limit requested. In these situations, you know that the group or [their] representatives now have a large part in deciding whether or not to approve revisions. Luckily the use of the song was great and the edits worked like magic thanks to our music editor. Richard BrunIt’s a great job, so they allowed us to re-authorize it for full intended use, “as is”.
Following the use of “Hello” by Martin Solveig & Dragonette in the episode “Beard After Hours”, downloads jumped 11.017%. It was one of the many songs that generated a reaction. Why do you think the songs resonate so much with viewers?
Honestly, I never know which songs are going to get the peak. It’s hard to predict. In this episode with Beard, we used so much music and a lot of great songs, so it’s interesting to see which of these songs decides to raise their hand on the sales and streaming side. This episode was also unique to this season, so the fact that the biggest spike could have come from this one and was used in a club scene fascinates me. This song also has a soft spot in my heart as it was a song in a playlist I made in the hospital for the birth of my first child, Takeo, in 2012. I put the playlist in shuffle play and that was the song that was playing when he was born.
Which artist do you dream of?
Nirvana. We just have to find the right use for them and be prepared to spend the money. I was delighted to finally use Radiohead’s “Karma Police” in this final episode for the final scene with Ted. It gives me chills when I look at it, which for me is a sign of effective use.