×

Toy stories driven by electronics

Billion-Dollar Composer: Steve Jablonsky

Just as “Transformers” and “Desperate Housewives” illustrate different musical sides of the same composer, so do “Gears of War 2” and “Sims 3” in the videogame world.

“Musically, I try to treat the game as I would a film,” says Steve Jablonsky. “A game like ‘Gears of War’ has a very in-depth storyline. The main difference is in the technical delivery; you have to think a little differently. They’ll say, ‘we need exactly 90 seconds of medium-paced action music, using this theme, and it needs to be able to loop back to the beginning seamlessly.’ ”

According to Epic Games’ Cliff Bleszinski, lead designer for “Gears of War,” the idea was to “really give you the ultimate kind of 4th of July, summer-blockbuster, explosions-monsters-setpiece type of experience. We had to get a guy who could compose that kind of bombastic, emotional score.”

In the aftermath of his 2007 “Transformers” success, Jablonsky was that guy for “Gears 2,” released in 2008. It’s a war score, replete with heroic fanfares and elegiac moments for the dead, all realized with large orchestra and choir recorded at San Francisco’s Skywalker Sound.

For “The Sims 3,” however, Electronic Arts’ worldwide exec for music Steve Schnur felt that “very few composers could nail the playfulness, intelligence, fun and quirkiness of the Sims franchise.” But, having fallen in love with Jablonsky’s oddball “Desperate Housewives” music, he hired the composer for “Sims 3” and its multiple iterations since.

The “Sims” music is cheerful and infectious, although Schnur points out that “it can be devilish at times too.” Jablonsky has scored more than a dozen games in the past five years, including EA’s “Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars” and Ubisoft’s “Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands.”

Billion-Dollar Composer: Steve Jablonsky
Talents beyond the bay | Sound design mixes it up with ‘kick-ass rock’ | Finding darkness at comedy’s core | Vidgames tap film’s eclectic palette | Toy stories driven by electronics

More Film

  • Beware of Children

    First Trailer Released for Venice Days Entry 'Beware of Children' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given exclusive access to the first trailer for Dag Johan Haugeruds’ politically and socially charged drama “Beware of Children,” which premieres as part of the Venice Film Festival’s Venice Days section. The pic, which is being sold at Venice by Picture Tree Intl., features the dramatic aftermath of a tragic incident in [...]

  • The Tower animated film about Palestinians

    ‘The Tower’ Animation Wins Japan's Skip City Festival

    “The Tower,” Mats Grorud’s animation about the plight of the Palestinians, as viewed through the eyes of an 11-year-old girl in Beirut, won the grand prize in the international competition at the 16th edition of Skip City International D-Cinema Festival. The film also scooped the section’s audience award. The Skip City festival, which launched in [...]

  • For web story

    Transgender Immigrant Pic 'Lingua Franca,' Thriller 'Only Beasts' to Bow at Venice Days

    New York-based Filipina filmmaker Isabel Sandoval’s “Lingua Franca,” about a transgender immigrant, is among 11 competition entries, all world premieres, that will launch from the Venice Film Festival’s independently run Venice Days section. The only U.S. entry set to compete in the section modeled on Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, “Lingua Franca” is Sandoval’s third work. It [...]

  • Female-Led and LGBTQ Narratives Win Big

    Female-Led and LGBTQ Narratives Win Big At Durban FilmMart Awards

    DURBAN–Female-driven narratives and daring portraits of queer culture around the continent were the big winners at this year’s Durban FilmMart (DFM), the industry program of the Durban Intl. Film Festival, which handed out awards at a ceremony Monday night at the Southern Sun Maharani Hotel. Among the prize-winners were the story of a Zimbabwean woman [...]

  • Oscar Nominations Reactions Phyllis Nagy

    Screenwriter Phyllis Nagy Runs for Writers Guild Presidency, Citing Agency Stalemate

    Oscar-nominated screenwriter Phyllis Nagy is challenging Writers Guild of America West’s incumbent president David Goodman, citing his handling of the bitter stalemate between the WGA and Hollywood agents. Nagy announced her candidacy online Monday night, a day before the deadline for filing. She made the announcement  in a private online group as part of Writers for [...]

  • Klaudia-Reynicke

    Locarno: Summerside Picks Up ‘Love Me Tender’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Rome-based Summerside Intl. has acquired international sales rights to Klaudia Reynicke’s “Love Me Tender.” The second feature from Peru-born and Switzerland-based filmmaker will receive its world premiere at the Locarno Festival in its Filmmakers of the Present competition, which focuses on first and second features. Summerside Intl. is the world sales agent, excluding and Lichtenstein [...]

  • Elsie Fisher and Bo Burnham2019 Writers

    Writers Guild Announces 2020 Awards Show Date

    The 72nd Annual Writers Guild Awards will take place in coinciding ceremonies in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton and the Edison Ballroom in New York on Feb. 1, the Writers Guild of America announced. The WGA will begin voting in November and will reveal this year’s TV nominees Dec. 5 and film Jan. 6. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content