We’re Going To The Catskills! – A discussion with two-time Emmy winner, Robin Urdang

By Vicky Bennett / GMS Administrator

On September 23rd, the 71st Emmy Awards took place with incredible talent across the whole board. There was an array of excellent nominees up for the Emmy award category, Outstanding Music Supervision, but as there could be only one winner we’d like to say a huge congratulations to Robin Urdang, Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino for winning this category with their work on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel!

Following this exciting win, we caught up with Robin Urdang who was happy to answer a few of our questions based around her work on the show.

VICKY: What drew you in, to working on the music for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?

ROBIN: I had a previous working relationship with Amy Sherman Palladino and Dan Palladino.  I worked with them on BUN HEADS (starring Sutton Foster – who ironically stars now in another show I music supervise “Younger”) and afterwards the Gilmore Girls Reboot.  I was driving home one day when Amy called and asked if I would come on board to a new show they were shooting in New York.  There was absolutely no way I would ever have turned it down….I loved the premise and think their projects speak for themselves.    

V: How did you feel that the music selected, played an integral part for the episode, We’re going to the Catskills!  

R: The music in “We’re Going To The Catskills”, was the music they would play at the resorts.  From CHICKEN FAT YOUTH FITNESS, which was a favourite for many summer camps and The Catskills, to the songs the band played during dinner or at the dance, all were authentic to the time and played a character that many can relate to.   Dan Palladino’s opening of the episode, was brilliant as he re-created the opening to,  To Kill A Mockingbird, which is why the music from To Kill a Mockingbird opens up the sequence. 

V: How is choosing a soundtrack for a tv show different from a film? Is there a difference in your process or does it just depend on time periods when trying to get clearance?  

R: There is a difference in the process between film and TV.  I have to exclude Maisel because each episode is like doing a movie, but in TV time, not film time (which is a much longer process).  It’s intense and the music is a huge part of each episode.  It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done or seen and every song whether recorded for the show or picked from Dan’s iPod or Amy’s or sent by me is meticulously chosen.  We often record intro’s or add additional instruments, or create our own recordings.  Most TV shows do not do this. 

When working on a film, compared to most of the TV shows that I work on, the placements of songs are used more for scenes than as transitional cues, and each song is as important as the next.  TV feels like you can get away with a lot more because it is not being shown on a big screen and the turn around time is so quick, that there is not always as much thought put into every single cue.  In some ways, it is a lot easier though, because once you create the sound of the show, finding songs for each episode becomes easier.  The hardest part is figuring out what the music should sound like, what mood are we creating for the series, etc. 

Once again, congratulations to Robin Urdang, Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino, and thank you, Robin, for taking the time out to chat with us! 

You can stream The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime.

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