Spencer Proffer possesses a rare combination of finely tuned entertainment industry expertise and outstanding creative skill, making him one of the truly unique individuals in the industry. Spencer is a highly regarded music industry veteran with many years of experience as a music executive, record company president, record producer and arranger, songwriter and recording studio owner. He has also served as Supervising Music Producer on more than 90 motion pictures and television programs.
Morling Manor Music & Media, founded by Spencer, its CEO, has been recognized as an innovator on both the creative and business fronts. Spencer has never been afraid to take risks in order to succeed, and he brings that energy to the company. Throughout Spencer's career in the entertainment industry and Morling's eight years under his direction, his ability to think and act "outside the box" has resulted in numerous awards, nominations and accolades. Spencer and Morling continue to set new industry benchmarks with consistency. For example:
• Morling is a pioneer in the innovative new area of branded entertainment, in which entertainment vehicles are created for consumer marketers to connect their brands with their audiences in new ways. Morling is currently consulting companies (e.g., Mandalay Branded Entertainment, The Convex Group) in how to maximize the use of music in their branded entertainment initiatives.
• As a record producer, arranger and songwriter, Spencer has been awarded many gold and platinum records commemorating total sales in excess of 30 million records. He has composed more than 400 songs that have been commercially released, with more than 125 of them appearing in motion pictures and television shows throughout the world.
• Spencer served as Music Consultant on two television films based on the classic Eloise books: Eloise at the Plaza and Eloise at Christmastime. ABC aired the first film in April 2003 and will air the second later that year, during the holiday season.
• Hallmark Entertainment enlisted Morling to oversee and handle all music needs for its first long-form dramatic series, The Neverending Story. Spencer served as Supervising Music Producer and Morling is a co-publisher of the original music. Spencer co-wrote and produced both the front-title music and the end-title song for the project.
• Spencer was Co-Executive Producer and soundtrack architect on MTV's half-hour soap opera, Spyder Games, which aired twice daily. Spencer created platforms for Atlantic Records to expose their hottest developing artists in the storytelling of each episode, and the label released the soundtrack album with a major cross-promotional push.
• Spencer co-wrote and produced the theme song for the CBS television series That's Life, starring Heather Paige Kent, Paul Sorvino, Ellen Burstyn and Kevin Dillon.
• Spencer and Morling Executive Produced (with John Davis) Bobbie's Girl, a Showtime/Paramount production. Starring Bernadette Peters, Rachel Ward and Jonathan Silverman, this poignant and sweetly humorous story about a woman whose life is turned upside-down after she takes on the responsibility of raising her brother's child. Spencer also produced and directed the music for the film, which aired on Showtime in 2002.
• MTV Networks and Paramount Network Television enlisted Spencer and Morling to create the musical blueprint and negotiate the soundtrack distribution deal for Spring Break Lawyer, MTV's major-event Spring Break 2001 motion picture. It aired repeatedly on MTV, accompanied by a major Spring Break marketing blitz.
• In 2000, MTV Networks enlisted Spencer and Morling to handle the entire music component for MTV's first one-hour dramatic series, Live Through This. This highly acclaimed show debuted in August 2000. Spencer co-wrote 11 of the 13 original songs (including the show's theme song), and produced, arranged and mixed all 13 tracks. Furthermore, he negotiated and conceived a joint venture deal with Atlantic Records to market a soundtrack album from the show. Each weekly episode was scored with cutting-edge music from the independent world as well as from the Atlantic and Lava rosters, with key songs woven into the fabric of the story lines. Music by Stone Temple Pilots, Collective Soul and many of the labels' priority developing acts was featured. Spencer served as Music Consultant for the series.
• In 2000, Fireworks Entertainment Group enlisted Spencer to produce, arrange and compose the theme song for Queen of Swords, a syndicated series distributed internationally by Paramount. Spencer recorded the composition "Behind the Mask" with the legendary José Feliciano singing both English and Spanish vocal versions, and also arranged flamenco guitar concerto and ballad versions. "Behind the Mask" effectively sets the "Gipsy Kings meets Santana" musical tone of the show, and the song and its variations were featured in each of 22 episodes, which began airing in the United States and throughout the world in October 2000.
• In 2000, Spencer served not only as Supervising Music Producer, but also as Executive Producer of VH1’s first non-biographical feature, At Any Cost. The story is set in the modern music world, and is in the best traditions of both film noir and Shakespearean tragedy. The soundtrack album, featuring "Pinch Me," the hit single from Barenaked Ladies, a brand-new Eagle-Eye Cherry track and six original compositions/productions, was released by Reprise/Warner Bros. Records.
• In 2000, Spencer and Morling were asked by MTV to handle all musical aspects of the network’s second original movie—Jailbait! It was one of the highest-rated original cable movies in recent history (3.5). Morling is a partner with MTV and MCA Records on the original soundtrack album, of which Spencer is Supervising Producer. The music Spencer placed in the movie and on the soundtrack album includes performances from an array of today's most successful and prominent modern rock acts. Six of these artists have current records that have sold in excess of 3 million units each: Sugar Ray, blink-182, Bush, Smash Mouth, Creed and Rob Zombie. The film is an irreverent, no-holds-barred look at how differently modern teenagers and so-called adults approach sex and its consequences. The film was helmed by big-screen director Allan Moyle (Pump Up the Volume).
• In 1999, Spencer and Morling became co-producers of the four-time Tony-nominated hit Broadway musical It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues. Once again Spencer broke new ground on the recording front, producing the Original Cast Album in an unprecedented fashion: He added to the final recording guest artists who are true legends in the world of blues and gospel (B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Jonny Lang and gospel powerhouse Andrae Crouch). The Morling/MCA CD also leads the pack in that it is the first enhanced CD-ROM featuring an educational and entertaining narrative by Whoopi Goldberg and Taj Mahal. The narrative traces the history of the blues, and is punctuated by historical photos and sketches from the Library of Congress and Smithsonian Institute (which are also featured in the stage production). The show played to sold-out audiences at Lincoln Center and the Ambassador Theater on Broadway, followed by a smash two-month run at the prestigious Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. The show opened in its third New York incarnation in August 2000 to rave reviews, and recently broke house records during its month-long run at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The show has now begun a national tour of major U.S. cities, and will launch road companies in Japan, Australia, Germany and Great Britain in late 2001. The show is also being developed as a feature for the IMAX format.
• In 1999, Spencer, Morling and CBS created a landmark miniseries titled Shake, Rattle & Roll, which was broadcast prominently during the November “sweeps” ratings period and continues to air on VH1. Spencer served as Executive Producer, along with Mike Medavoy (chairman of Phoenix Pictures) and the project’s director and primary screenwriter, Mike Robe. Additionally, Spencer produced, arranged and mixed all the original recordings, which featured major musical personalities who not only lent their musical performances but also acted and performed in the miniseries as musical legends of the period. Participating were such stars as B.B. King, K-Ci & JoJo, Chanté Moore, Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge (of blink-182), Terence Trent D’Arby, Dicky Barrett (lead singer of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones), Dan Wilson (leader of Semisonic), country heartthrob Gary Allan and Broadway sensation Billy Porter (Smokey Joe’s Café). The New York Times called this project “…the most ambitious music-oriented miniseries to date…” The project also contained original songs written by such heavyweights as Bob Dylan, Carole King, Lamont Dozier, Leiber-Stoller and Graham Nash. The soundtrack album is on MCA Records.
• From 1996 to 1999, Spencer and his Morling staff produced the original music for HBO’s highly acclaimed, award-winning multicultural series Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child, and composed many of the songs. Major stars lent their vocal talents to these animated programs, including Marc Anthony, Jon Secada, Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, En Vogue, Salt-N-Pepa, Whoopi Goldberg, Cyndi Lauper, Ruth Brown, Rosie Perez, Sharon Stone, Calista Flockhart and Sinbad.
• In 1998, Spencer served as a Co-Executive Producer and Supervising Music Producer on Gods and Monsters, which garnered three Academy® Award and three Golden Globe® nominations, winning one Academy® Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (Bill Condon) and one Golden Globe® for Best Supporting Actress (Lynn Redgrave). The film’s lead actor, Sir Ian McKellen, also received numerous industry awards and nominations and much critical acclaim for his role in the film. Gods and Monsters won the National Board of Review’s highest honor as well as Independent Spirit® Awards for Best Picture of the year and for Best Actor (McKellen).
• In 1997 and 1998, Spencer acted as Music Consultant for the hit ABC television series Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, and was the Supervising Producer of the soundtrack album on Geffen Records. The album has been certified gold, and is well on its way to platinum. It features top-selling teen acts Backstreet Boys (who also appeared on the show), N*Sync, Britney Spears, Spice Girls, Sugar Ray, Ben Folds Five and the show’s star, Melissa Joan Hart, singing the Blondie classic “One Way Or Another.”
• In 1997, Spencer received a Cable Ace® Nomination for Best Original Composition Written for a Motion Picture for "Keys to the World," from the film Twilight of the Golds, (starring Faye Dunaway, Brendan Fraser and Garry Marshall). Spencer also produced and arranged the song.
• In 1997, “Change the World,” performed by Eric Clapton and produced by Babyface (from the hit John Travolta film Phenomenon), won the Grammy® for Song Of The Year. Spencer served as Music Consultant on that film.
• In 1997, Spencer took the progressive and widely acclaimed step of working with the creators of the live phenomenon Stomp to score the motion picture Riot, starring Mario Van Peebles and Cicely Tyson.
• In 1996, Spencer created a new symphonic operetta with Brian May (of Queen) that incorporated a "Bohemian Rhapsody" sensibility and utilized some of the top operatic talent in the world.
• In 1996, for the New Line theatrical motion picture The Adventures of Pinocchio (starring Martin Landau), Spencer produced and arranged tracks featuring the incomparable Stevie Wonder and a symphony orchestra. Their collaboration yielded a 1997 Grammy© nomination for Best Pop Instrumental.
• In 1994, Spencer executive produced a documentary biopic on the life and music of The Band founder Robbie Robertson, which received two 1995 Primetime Emmy© nominations.
• In 1983, Spencer produced the biggest selling debut rock album to reach #1 in America, Metal Health by Quiet Riot (8 million units), which also spawned the first video on MTV to bring an album cover to life.
• In 1978, Spencer pioneered Laserium shows, integrating rock music with computer-animated laser choreography, of Billy Thorpe's #1 rock album in America, Children of the Sun, which Spencer also produced and CO-wrote
• In 1977 Spencer formed the Pasha Music Organization to produce multidimensional recording artists and performers.
• In 1975, Spencer produced Tina Turner's groundbreaking rock album, Acid Queen, when she appeared in Tommy.
Spencer and Morling have a long-term worldwide arrangement with Sony Music Publishing wherein Proffer acts as a consultant to Sony in film and television music. Sony administers all of Morling's music copyright holdings throughout the world and provides Morling and its business partners access to their prestigious catalogue, administrative machinery and writers.
It is noteworthy that Proffer has had great success working as a hands-on creative force in a wide range of musical styles ranging from multiple genres of rock, pop and R&B/urban to country and jazz. In each instance, he has collaborated with some of the most prominent and well-respected artists of the particular genre (see separate Artist listing).
Proffer has acted as Supervising Music Producer and produced music for films featuring such stars such as John Travolta, Sylvester Stallone, Tom Cruise, Sir Ian McKellen, Sidney Poitier, Michael Caine, Wesley Snipes, Kevin Bacon, Jeff Bridges, Martin Landau, Nigel Hawthorne, Kyra Sedgwick, Chris Rock, Helen Mirren, Forest Whitaker, Jon Voight, Laura Dern, Mario Van Peebles, Robert Townsend, Louis Gossett Jr., André Braugher, Sissy Spacek and Raul Julia, among many others (see separate Filmography).
Spencer and his Morling staff only supervise the music for many of the original Showtime/Viacom features, but are also in charge of handling all creative and business affairs pertaining to the music appearing in the films. Morling performs these same music services for many of the top independent film/production companies and independent producers in the industry.
Frequently, when Spencer and Morling become involved in a project, Spencer is able to architect and implement strategic alliances between the project's production and financing entities and major worldwide record companies and their high-profile artists. In this capacity, Proffer and his staff act as the creative, marketing and promotion liaison between the film or media company and the respective record company.
Spencer Proffer is a graduate of Loyola University School of Law (with honors), and UCLA. When he was 23, he was the youngest individual to pass the California State Bar Exam. Spencer has taught numerous music entertainment courses at UCLA and USC, and is frequently asked to chair panels and to speak at industry forums.