Jeff Beal

Composer adds color to 'Pollock'

Given writer-director Ed Harris’ subdued, yet emotionally raw approach to the subject of abstract expressionist icon Jackson Pollock in last year’s award-winning biopic “Pollock,” the film was arguably one of the most difficult challenge any composer faced last year.

So when Jeff Beal rose to the task with a hypnotic combination of minimalist rhythmic drive, Americana ambiance, and introspective writing for strings, percussion and piano, Hollywood observers alternated between high praise and curiosity about this 38-year-old Northern Californian.

A graduate of the prestigious Eastman School of Music, Beal’s early ’90s career as an award-winning jazz trumpeter quickly shifted to composer of chamber and symphonic works (a bass concerto for John Patittuci, a piece for the Turtle Island String Quartet and orchestra) and a move to L.A. to pursue film work.

After the rigors of “Pollock,” he has completed the music for the Gary Sinise golf movie “A Gentleman’s Game” and TNT’s “Door to Door” (with William H. Macy as an Oregon door-to-door salesman who has cerebral palsy) and is about to score the cable film “Joe and Max,” about boxers Joe Louis and Max Schmeling.

After struggling on low-budget projects, Beal says, “Working on ‘Pollock’ really recharged my batteries and restored my faith in filmmaking as an artistic pursuit. It’s like playing in a band: You’re only as good as the musicians you play with. If I have a goal, it’s to get a chance to collaborate with people who make me better at what I do.”

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More News from Variety