By Ryan Sy
Alumnae of Wall High School have now been nominated for two prestigious awards in consecutive school years.
This summer, Jennifer Malone, Class of 1994, joined Suzy Hansen, who was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for her book “Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World,” when she was nominated for TV’s highest honor, the Emmy Award in the category of music supervision for the Donald Glover show “Atlanta.”
“When you are making a TV show, you are kind of in a bubble and you are just so in deep and it is so fast and you have no time to think about anything else and, when the show comes out, it is an amazing feeling but, to be nominated as well, it is surreal, it is unbelievable,” Malone said.
This marked just the second year that the Emmys recognized music supervision. Malone’s contributions make her a pioneer of the profession and the importance of the role is growing more and more each year.
Malone did not start her career as a music supervisor but began working with rock bands in Boston. She started her own company before becoming a music supervisor.
“I went to go see ‘Ironman,’ the credits rolled by and I saw music supervisor and I was like ‘huh, that’s a job? That’s what I want to do.’ So I moved out to LA not knowing anything about this business.”
Malone interned with Dave Jordan, who was the music supervisor for such Marvel Studios’ movies as “Avengers: Infinity War, “Black Panther,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Thor.” She had to compete with kids fresh out of college while she was starting her second career, trying to catch up to the students who, from the beginning, wanted to become music supervisors and had the upper hand in education.
“I networked with anyone I could and took meetings and coffees and lunches and went to this industry mixer and I was introduced to Dave and we hit it off,” Malone said. “I told him I wanted to intern for him and he was like ‘why did you want to intern, you were in music before?’ I told him you have to learn, start from the bottom and work your way up and he was like, ‘you start on Monday.’”
One of the challenges Malone overcame in the second season of “Atlanta” was for an episode titled “Teddy Perkins” that she needed to get a Stevie Wonder song cleared. The controversial nature of the episode made it necessary for Malone to bring Glover and Wonder together to talk. The artist ultimately allowed the use of his song, “Evil.”
“I respect the people I work with and I can’t rest,” Malone said. “You do a good job, they will invite you back. Keep working, keep hustling and do a great job and maintain relationships.”
Currently Malone is working on the music for “Creed II,” the sequel to “Creed,” which is a continuation of the famous Rocky movies. Also she is working on “The Resident” on Fox, “Step Up” on YouTube Red starting Naya Rivera, and “Are You the One?” on MTV, which is in its second season. She is continuing to create a bigger name for herself in Hollywood making an imprint on TV and film through her talents in music.
While “Atlanta” ultimately lost out for music supervision to this year’s Emmy darling “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Malone has cemented herself in her calling.
“This is what I wanted to do and I put the pieces of the puzzle together to do,” Malone said.
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