London-based music supervisors Resister have launched 515, an agency for female and gender minority composers.
Resister has recently worked on syncs for Barbie, The Batman and IKEA commercials.
According to a recent study, just 2.8% of music producers are female, a figure that drops to 0.7% for women of colour.
Between 2013-2022, only 7% of Hollywood films were scored by women. Non-binary composers have not been factored into major studies.
“We discovered, over the course of our careers, that the same handful of people were winning most of the work and that not enough gender-minority composers were even being pitched on projects,” said Resister founders Hollie Hutton and Hannah Charman. “We wanted to open more doors for the underrepresented sectors of the composition talent pool that’s out there, and create a platform to enable them to get a seat at the table.”
Despite the worrying industry-wide statistics, the Resister team noted that there has been increasing demand for female and gender minority composers in recent years.
“We’ve frequently been asked to scout them for film and TV projects, and would continue to support them throughout the process, acting as agents,” said head of 515, Emily Richardson. “So we ended up thinking, ‘why don’t we make this official?’”
There’s so much amazing untapped talent out there
While Resister will continue to operate with music supervision as its core focus, 515 has been created specifically for composers.
The agency is launching with a roster of experienced composers from around the world, including Adina Nelu, Charlotte Raven, Amy McKnight, Esther Joy Lane, Akiko Haruna and Adele Etheridge Woodson.
“We will provide guidance in their artistic development and support the advancement of their careers,” said Richardson.
“515 has been built on integrity. There’s so much amazing untapped talent out there. We really believe in what we’re doing and the potential to open filmmakers’ ears to a new world of composers, while also making a change in the industry.”
As they continue to grow their roster, 515 will provide a resource for directors looking to broaden their scope or seek out more authentic voices that are relevant to the narratives of their projects.
“I really do think that in 10 years’ time, the industry will look very different and I strongly believe that this starts at grassroots level,” added Richardson. “We need to be creating pipeline opportunities and encouraging people to take them. Those who are already here should be actively making the industry more inclusive, unlearning systemic biases, having equal representation at senior and board levels, and always having diversity front of mind.”