What made you want to be a composer?

Composers talk up favorite film scores, more

MARC BARIL
Favorite film score: Jon Brion’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” stands out for me. Interesting instrumentation in an original and stylized score that fits the film perfectly.
When you decided to become a film/TV composer: I haven’t decided yet. For now, I want to stay in games as I believe the budgets and opportunities to record live orchestra is greater with that medium.

ERIC V. HACHIKIAN
Favorite film score: RZA’s score to “Kill Bill.” Despite it not being all “original” score, I think he really hit on something in terms of bringing the orchestral and electronic worlds together for a true contemporary score.
When you decided to become a film/TV composer: I started writing music at age 10 and really started taking it seriously when I was 13. It wasn’t until I was about 21 that I really let myself become immersed in the film world and dove head in working on as many projects as I could get my hands on. At 22, it became my primary source of income.

JAEBON HWANG
Favorite film score: “Once Upon A Time in America” by Ennio Morricone. I like the deep, emotional main theme and its variations on different kinds of music sound so fabulous.
When you decided to become a film/TV composer: After graduating from college, where I studied classical music composition. I liked to write classical music as well, but then I didn’t think that I couldn’t enjoy this for my life. I want to write music which everybody can hear and enjoy.

JEFF KRYKA
Favorite film score: A tie between “E.T.: the Extraterrestrial” (John Williams) and “Psycho” (Bernard Herrmann). The music is operatic in its scope and is probably the single most important factor in making either film work. The scores work really well on their own, too.
When you decided to become a film/TV composer: I became aware of film music when I saw “Jurassic Park” when I was 10 years old. I made the decision to go to college to study music composition and film scoring while I was in high school. By that time I’d already written works for piano, chamber ensembles and orchestra, so I had a pretty good leg-up.

ADAM LANGSTON
Favorite film score: Howard Shore’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. I discover more each time I listen to it and the use of themes is so coherent over the entire trilogy, it feels like it was scored as one long movie. Nothing else sounds quite like it.
When you decided to become a film/TV composer: Two films made me want to be a film composer: The first was “The Terminator,” which I saw when I was too young to watch it, but the theme by Brad Fiedel was so simple and memorable that I could play it on the piano afterward. A couple of years later, “Jurassic Park” came out and John Williams’ score made me fall in love with film music and want to be a film composer.

PATRICK MURRAY
Favorite film score: “Hook” (John Williams). That score is about as perfect as it gets for me. It is fun and magical and full of color. It is also extremely emotional and really nails the feeling of being alone and isolated, contrasted with the elation of finally finding your true place and true identity. I have listened to it, watched it, studied it and analyzed it over and over again. The deeper I dig into it, the better it gets.
When you decided to become a film/TV composer: Even when I was 11 years old and first began to study music, I remember really being drawn to movie music. I thought that would be just the coolest job ever, but it seemed so far-fetched and completely unrealistic to actually pursue it.
I have spent most of my career as a trumpet player (but) somewhere along the way, film music, and orchestral music in general, started nagging at me. I applied [to the workshop] several times over the last five years and was not accepted. Each time was a disappointment, but at some level, I also knew that it was because I wasn’t ready yet. Now I feel that I am ready and, as luck would have it, here I am.

SASCHA PERES
Favorite film score: “Poltergeist” (J. Goldsmith). The film brought me to film music.
When you decided to become a film/TV composer: At the age of 15, I started hearing music (not voices) in my head whilst watching everyday life.

LUKE RICHARDS
Favorite film score: “Jurassic Park” by John Williams. It was the first score from a film that I actually went out and bought on CD. Not only does it have fantastic themes, but the entire score is so beautifully orchestrated. Every cue holds such intricate detail that provides a rewarding listening experience each time. The orchestral writing for the action scenes in the film is the best I’ve ever heard.
When you decided to become a film/TV composer: During my A levels at Tonbridge School (I was 16 at the time). I had a great composition teacher, Lionel Steuart Fothringham, who really believed in me and helped me get my orchestral writing up to scratch. I was coming from a slightly different side of music, mainly playing guitar and piano, and he introduced me to the fun that could be had with a full orchestra at my disposal.

TILMAN RITTER
Favorite film score: Ennio Morricone’s “Once Upon A Time in the West.” It was the first movie that made me aware of the incredible power of music in films. I always loved the way the harmonica we see in the picture is integrated in the score and how the different characters are captured by the musical themes.
When you decided to become a film/TV composer: I started composing when I was about 12 and decided to become a film composer when I was about 20. I didn’t want to be a purely “modern classical” composer because I always liked to write in different styles. I always had a great love for films and figured that writing for the movies would be great possibility to work in a variety of styles.

AUSTIN WINTORY
Favorite film score? Insane question. Jerry Goldsmith’s “Under Fire”? I’ll have a different answer next week, but we’ll say this for now.
When you decided to become a film/TV composer: When I was 10 and first heard, thanks to my childhood piano teacher, LPs of Jerry Goldsmith’s scores to “Patton,” “The Boys from Brazil,” “Papillion” and “A Patch of Blue.” In literally one instant, I was transformed and have sought nothing else in my life since. The only other thing I sought in life was a pretty girl in my high school freshman English class, who’s now my wife.

GERRIT WUNDER
Favorite film score: Three scores out of the 20 I like most: Elliot Goldenthal’s “Interview with a Vampire” because of its interesting, extraordinary orchestration. All of John Williams’ “Star Wars” scores, especially “Return of the Jedi” because it shows his extraordinary compositional skills combined with breathtaking, highly colored orchestration. And Jerry Goldsmith’s “The Omen,” because of its great themes and its intelligent variations.
When you decided to become a film/TV composer: At the age of 14 while exploring Ennio Morricone’s scores, especially “The Mission.”

ANNA RICE
Favorite film score: There are scenes I will always drop everything I’m doing to watch at any given moment. The opening titles to “Forrest Gump” and the same from “Saving Private Ryan,” anything from “Schindler’s List,” “The Shawshank Redemption” and absolutely any Pixar animation cue to date.
When you decided to beco
me a film/TV composer:
From about the age of 12, when I first really understood the difference between the career and practice of a screen composer and that of a concert composer. Death, rather than retirement, would be my preferred reason to stop — that’s how much I love it.

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