Artists Scoring Film: New Trends in Composing
What do Trent Reznor, Daft Punk, Linkin Park and The Chemical Brothers have in common? They are recording artists who have crossed over into the world of film composing. This panel will discuss why more filmmakers and studios are turning to musical acts to give their project a distinct original sound and the importance of diversifying as an artist. From collaborating with filmmakers vs. band mates, developing soundtracks and blending their unique sound into score, artists will give a first hand account of their experiences and their significance in the marketing of the film. Key players will be defined, what role they play in the scoring process, how to grab their attention and land the gig.
Mike Shinoda is a songwriter, performer, record producer and visual artist. He recently added composer to his list, collaborating with Joseph Trapanese on the action film, "The Raid." He is best known for his vocal and musical endeavors with two-time Grammy-Award winning, multi-platinum alternative band Linkin Park. The band has sold over 45 million albums to date, and recently completed their A Thousand Suns World Tour, which traveled through 5 continents, 30 countries and played in front of over a million fans. Mike oversees the band's online efforts, including linkinpark.com and Facebook.com/LinkinPark, which currently boasts over 36 million followers--the biggest band page on Facebook. Shinoda graduated with a B.F.A. in Illustration from Art Center College of Design in 1998, and received an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 2009. He has a hand in most artistic facets of Linkin Park’s artwork and imagery, including art for the band's albums, merchandise, web, and stage. In 2005, Shinoda and his bandmates founded Music For Relief, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing aid to victims of natural disasters and the prevention of such disasters. Since its inception, MFR has raised over 5 million dollars for multiple victims across 4 continents. The organization was recently recognized by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for their Download To Donate program to raise funds and awareness in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake.
“”My favorite music is the music I haven't yet heard. I don't hear the music I write: I write in order to hear the music I haven't yet heard."---John Cage
Money mark, aka, Mark Ramos-Nishita, studied music every day since the age of ten. That was the year his father bought him a Fender Rhodes electric piano, a Telecaster deluxe electric guitar, a microphone and a reel-to-reel tape recorder. Before Mark played a musical note he had taken apart his new toys and put them back together again, in effect, learning the ins and outs of the gear he would eventually call his friends. Knowing how instruments and gear worked was the key to his musical world. He would soon start to collect musical instruments and recording gear, learning how to play and to operate all of it, while simultaneously adding in a unique emotive quality from his Latino/Asian upbringing.
After a short time in college studying theater and music, Mark took a rare job offer as a set carpenter/piano accompanist for the Bella Lewitzky Modern Dance Troupe. He traveled the world with the company and began writing solo piano pieces in his spare time on the road.
He would eventually compose pieces for postmodern dance legend, choreographer Rudy Perez.
He studied with King Crimson's Robert Fripp via the crafty guitarists program and followed Fripps music monographs leading him to a life of disciplined music study. He explored instrument building, inventing musical instruments and doing heavy experimenting with feedback and noise, as well as studying classic song writing architecture.
Mark met the Beastie Boys during their migration to the West Coast and quickly became their right hand man. He helped them build a studio and presented them with instruments, gear and ideas.
Mark has performed, written and collaborated on every album since the 1992 ground-breaking "Check Your Head" and penned with them their break-thru comeback hit 'So Whatcha Want?'. He co-authored the grammy winning album “The Mix-Up".
Concurrently, Mark has been making solo albums since 1995. "Mark’s Keyboard Repair" was released in England on the Mo'Wax label and was received with high praise as a 30-song DIY lo-fi gem. The album has a very cinematic feel due to its mostly instrumental work. As a result, Mark became a critic’s favorite and has maintained this status.
1998 gave us the release "Push The Button" and again, Mark received critical praise. Simultaneously, Guy Ritchie used one of the MKR songs in his "Lock Stock and Two Barrels" and set off a successful era of sync licensing for film and TV for Mark’s compositions.
Mark started to show an interest in scoring and composing. He met Ted Demme while shooting the movie 'Blow'. Mark contributed score and source cues for the movie.
In this same year, 2001, another Money Mark solo album entitled "Change Is Coming" was released, again, winning over critics and producing an award-winning ground-breaking music video (produced by Hello Logan) for the action song 'Information Contraband'.
In 2004, HBO's produced its first ever documentary prime time series, "Family Bond's", directed by Steve Santor. Mark scored the series as well played all of the instruments. Also in this year, Mark contributed original songs and score cues for "Along Came Polly", "Fun with Dick and Jane" and "Devil Wears Prada".
Director Aaron Rose chooses Mark to score a trilogy of feature length documentaries starting with "Beautiful Losers" and including "Become A Microscope" and the Levi's produced documentary and series of shorts entitled "Portraits of Braddock".
Mark is currently a member of several bands including Beastie Boys, The Omar Rodriguez Quintet, Banyan, Punkinheadz (with artist Raymond Pettibone), Michel Gondry and friends, Sprout Band (with Jack Johnson, Tommy Guerrero), Mexican Institute of Sound, Jradio with Merlo Podlweski, Lord Newborn and the Magic Skulls (with Shawn Lee), as well as his own touring band
Mark has done recording sessions with the Rolling Stones, Iggy Pop, Nile Rodgers, Yoko Ono, Carlos Santana, George Clinton, Lee Scratch Perry, and Jorge Ben. He has written and recorded with with contemporaries such Quest? Love, Beck, Dangermouse, Moby, Mixmaster Mike, The John Spencer Blues Explosion, The Automater and Prince Paul, Ozomatli, Perry Farrell, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Seu Jorge, Jack Johnson, The Mars Volta, and beyond.
Kier Lehman grew up in Los Angeles and was exposed to a wide variety of music from an early age by his father who is an audiophile and record collector. At the University Of Miami Kier earned a bachelors degree in music with a focus on producing music for media. Shortly after graduation Kier started working for music supervisor Jason Alexander at his firm Hit The Ground Running. During his time at HTGR, Kier worked on TV shows ranging from CBS’s CSI franchise and HBO’s Entourage to The Method Man & Redman show and Northshore for Fox, among many short lived shows and films. After working on hundreds of episodes of TV at HTGR, Kier went to work on his own as a freelance music supervisor where he continued to work on Entourage through the 5th season. Currently Kier is Director of Music Creative Affairs at Sony Pictures where he oversees film projects and works as an in-house music supervisor. Recent film projects include: The Raid, Ghost Rider 2, Sparkle, and 21 Jump Street.
Todd Bozung is a supervising music editor, composer, producer, songwriter and musician for feature film. With over 25 years experience in the music and film industry, Todd began his career as a song writer, focusing on songs and source music for film. He later expanded into producing, composing and music editing. Todd has been nominated for two Golden Reel Awards for the films Glitter and Burlesque. He continues his work on films such as Horrible Bosses, Think Like a Man and Battle of the Year.
Joseph Trapanese is a Los Angeles based composer, arranger, orchestrator and producer of music for film, television, multimedia, theater and concerts. He collaborated with Daft Punk on the critically-acclaimed soundtrack for Walt Disney Picture's "Tron: Legacy" for two years. M83's ambitious double LP "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming," (called "sumptuously arranged" by Pitchfork and named one of its top albums of 2011) includes Joseph's orchestrations on five original tracks.
Alongside Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park he co-composed the score for Sony Picture's action film "The Raid," winner of the Toronto Film Festival's Midnight Madness Award. Described as a martial-arts fusion of "Die Hard" and "Assault on Precinct 13," the fan favorite was shot in Indonesia and features the traditional Indonesian combat style of "silt." As Hollywood Reporter summarizes, "This movie is a whole mess of bone-crunching, face-pummeling, throat-slicing and fist-pounding awesomeness. The midnight screening had people cheering, wincing and shaking their heads in disbelief."
More of Joseph's work can be heard in Showtime's "Dexter," Universal Picture's "Fast Five," and Sony Picture Television's original web series "The Bannen Way," in addition to "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," "What Happens in Vegas," "Burn Notice," and "Traitor". Trapanese also remains active composing and producing music for concerts, recitals, off-Broadway plays, and other live performances.