As we know, in response to Sony Pictures Entertainment's planned 2014 release of The Interview, a hacker group calling themselves the "Guardians of Peace" leaked thousands and thousands of their internal emails. When we found out that all of them were now searchable on WikiLeaks, we did what any self-respecting music journos would do and combed through them for any information relevant to our interests.
Not to be confused with Sony Music (an entirely different entity), Sony Pictures is based in Culver City, CA and is, of course, a movie company first and foremost. While we did find chatter between Music and Pictures in some circumstances, it was limited when it came to conversations about dance music. At this point you're probably asking yourself why we're so adamant about making this distinction, and it's because what we found wasn't great. Nobody at Sony Pictures has ever sent an email about Diplo, techno, or even trop house (we searched for THUMP too, but found nada).
However, it's immediately clear that higher-ups at Sony do recognize dance music's relevance with a younger audience.
Numerous employees within Sony Pictures expressed interest in using EDM to appeal to millennials on several occasions. On November 7, 2013, a creative strategist named Nick Shore from Sony-affiliated youth marketing organization Astronauts Wanted pitched then-company chairperson Amy Pascal on giving an upcoming Spiderman movie an "EDM angle" to appeal to a younger crowd.
- EDM (electronic dance music) is the defining music for Millennials. Wondering if there's an EDM angle somewhere with Spidey? His movements are beautiful, would be awesome with a killer DJ behind it
(Humble bragging and Snapchat were also suggested devices.)
An unidentified Sony employee responded with "LOVE THIS."
Two months later, Shore gave a seminar and Q&A series at Sony Pictures designed to "give [them] insight into how Millenials [sic] think, what they care about, what trends they latch onto, and how movies, television, and the online space fit into their lives."
Around the same time, Sony Pictures was also considering a movie slated for a summer 2015 release called "I'm In Love With The DJ." In the movie, three women in their twenties get side-tracked on a business trip to Barcelona and end up in Ibiza. Hilarity predictably ensues. After seeing the script, Sony Pictures exec Jonathan Kadin allegedly remarked that it "could be a hit for female millenials." Further reading of his comments revealed that the script may be closer to real-life dance experience than is acceptably depicted on screen:
Script and characters need work (there may be one too many cunnilingus set pieces and way too much cocaine, among other shortcomings) but it is laugh out loud funny
While our investigation uncovered very little actual knowledge about dance music at Sony Pictures, credit has to be given to them for the respect they show to the industry. We found no instance in these emails of a suggestion to incorporate electronic music into a film being declined because someone didn't like or didn't understand it. Using DJs as a tool to attract younger viewers is undeniably capitalism at its most shallow, but at the same time what movement better connects with our generation?
It should also be pointed out that Pascal wanted another "Get Lucky" to happen.
Ziad Ramley is on Twitter