Film Score Monthly
Screen Archives Entertainment 250 Golden and Silver Age Classics on CD from 1996-2013! Exclusive distribution by SCREEN ARCHIVES ENTERTAINMENT.
King Kong: The Deluxe Edition (2CD) Body Heat Friends of Eddie Coyle/Three Days of the Condor, The It's Alive Ben-Hur Nightwatch/Killer by Night Gremlins Space Children/The Colossus of New York, The Not With <i>My</i> Wife, You Don’t! Vol. 2—Original Soundtrack
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
LOG IN
Forgot Login?
Register
Search Archives
Film Score Friday
Latest Edition
Previous Edition
Archive Edition
The Aisle Seat
Latest Edition
Previous Edition
Archive Edition
View Mode
Regular | Headlines
All times are PT (Pacific Time), U.S.A.
Site Map
Visits since
February 5, 2001:
14916936
© 2018 Film Score Monthly.
All Rights Reserved.
Return to Articles
 
2011 RANKING: 19
AGE: 65
BIRTHPLACE: New York, New York
REPRESENTATION: Gorfaine/Schwartz
2 OSCAR NOMINATIONS
2 EMMYS
3 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE: Forrest Gump
ONGOING FILMMAKER RELATIONSHIPS: Robert Zemeckis
BACKGROUND: Berklee College of Music, pop arranger, TV composer (CHiPs)
FAN FAVORITES: Back to the Future, Predator
TYPECAST IN: Action adventure
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Marvel’s The Avengers--623 (U.S. gross in millions)
2. Forrest Gump--329
3. Night at the Museum--250
4. Cast Away--233
5. Back to the Future--208
6. The Mummy Returns--202
7. The Croods--187   
8. The Polar Express--183 
9. What Women Want--182
10. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian--177
 
In 2012 Silvestri had his biggest box-office hit to date -- and currently the #5 U.S. box-office hit of all time - with the franchise-combining Marvel’s The Avengers, but despite this career milestone, he seems to be content working with his favorite filmmakers -- at least, one in particular. His most pivotal partnership, with director Robert Zemeckis, recently entered its fourth decade, and after three consecutive motion-capture animated films, the pair returned to live action with a change-of-pace project, the R-rated drama Flight, for which Silvestri provided a sparse and effective score with a sound quite different from his more famous Zemeckis collaborations. They reteamed last year for their 15th feature together, the charming docudrama The Walk, and this time Silvestri and his warm score had room to make a more much more notable contribution to the action (though the well-reviewed film, which reportedly cost a shockingly low $35 million, only managed to gross ten mil in the U.S.). Silvestri also finished off the Night at the Museum trilogy, scored the sequel to the action comedy RED, and had an unexpected smash hit with The Croods, one of 2013’s Oscar nominees for Animated Feature. He won two Emmys for his work on the 2014 revival of TV’s Cosmos, and on the horizon he has a Robert Zemeckis World War II romantic thriller (with Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard) which just gained the title Five Seconds of Silence, and is likely to score the announced Croods sequel (UPDATE: it's just been announced that the Zemeckis/Pitt/Cotillard film will now be titled Allied).
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Allied 
 
 
2011 RANKING: 38
AGE: 44
BIRTHPLACE: Methuen, Massachusetts
REP: Kraft-Engel
1 EMMY NOMINATION
RELATIONSHIPS: Seth Gordon, Tim Story, Will Packer
BACKGROUND: USC, orchestrator/conductor, B-movie composer, video game composer, TV composer 
FAN FAVORITES: Agent Carter [TV]
TYPECAST IN: Comedies, Kevin Hart comedies, comedy sequels, Kevin Hart comedy sequels
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Alvin and the Chipmunks--217
2. Identity Thief--134  
3. Ride Along--134   
4. Horrible Bosses--117
5. Hop--108
6. Think Like a Man--91  
7. Ride Along 2-- 90 (as of 4/3/16)
8. Think Like a Man Too--65  
9. The Wedding Ringer--64 
10. Horrible Bosses 2--53  
 
Several of Lennertz’ earliest big studio features were for kid-friendly, animal-themed projects -- Alvin and the Chipmunks, Marmaduke, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Hop -- but he has since moved onto more grown-up (if not necessarily more mature) films. Lennertz’ current niche is the comedy, particularly the comedies starring popular-standup-turned-rising-movie-star Kevin Hart (many produced by Will Packer and directed by Tim Story). While Lennertz has had an impressive run of hit comedies in the last few years, a look at the box-office list above shows a surprising trend for their sequels (scored by Lennertz as well, but one can hardly blame this trend on the composer) to show a startling drop in box-office, which doesn't bode well for the inevitable Identity Thief 2. The comedy niche is keeping him busy, including the just-released sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 {$36 million to date) and the brand new Melissa McCarthy vehicle, The Boss, but his work in television is giving him the chance to explore other genres, particularly in Marvel’s Agent Carter and the musical series Galavant, which features songs by Alan Menken (Lennertz was also one of the 322 actors and filmmakers invited to join the Academy in 2015).
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Baywatch, The Boss

18. HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS
 
2011 RANKING: 12
AGE: 54
BIRTHPLACE: England
REP: Gorfaine/Schwartz
1 GRAMMY NOMINATION
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE: The Martian
BACKGROUND: Child choir singer, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, orchestrator for Stanley Myers, Media Ventures
RELATIONSHIPS: Andrew Adamson, Ridley Scott
FAN FAVORITE: The Chronicles of Narnia
TYPECAST IN: Animation, action, fantasy-adventure
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Shrek 2--436
2. Shrek the Third--320
3. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe--291
4. Shrek--263
5. Shrek Forever After--238
6. The Martian--228   
7. X-Men Origins: Wolverine--179
8. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian--141
9. Enemy of the State--111
10. Spy Kids--111
 
Beginning with 1998’s Enemy of the State (where he shared scoring credit with Trevor Rabin),  Gregson-Williams was the composer-of-choice for blockbuster director Tony Scott, but the director unexpectedly took his own life in 2012, less than two years after the release of their final collaboration, Unstoppable. Gregson-Williams had worked with Tony’s brother Ridley on their underrated 2005 epic Kingdom of Heaven, and Harry and Ridley re-teamed last year for the blockbuster sci-fi drama The Martian, the first of the composer’s films to receive a Best Picture nomination. While the Shrek series seems to have finally ended, Gregson-Williams scored another film for original Shrek director Andrew Adamson, the little-seen Hugh Laurie drama Mr. Pip. He had one of his bigger recent hits with director Antoine Fuqua (early in his career he’d scored Fuqua’s first film, The Replacement Killers) on the feature version of the 80s TV cult classic The Equalizer, but his first project for director Michael Mann, the 2015 hacker thriller Blackhat, ended poorly for all concerned, as the film was a box-office disaster in the U.S and Gregson-Williams was unusually public about his dissatisfaction with Mann’s characteristic mix-and-match approach to the score (he ultimately shared the scoring credit with Atticus Ross, and among the many other pieces of music used were a cue from Gregson-Williams’ own Phone Booth and five from Ryan Amon’s Elysium). His other recent projects include such varied films as Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens, Aardman’s CG-animated feature Arthur Christmas, DisneyNature’s Monkey Kingdom, the female friendship comedy-tearjerker Miss You Already, and the entertaining but unnecessary remake of Total Recall. It’s been announced that he will reunite with Ridley for the prequel/sequel Alien: Covenant (he provided the memorable “Life” theme for Ridley’s Prometheus, otherwise scored by Marc Streitenfeld), and with actor-writer-director Ben Affleck for the ‘30s gangster drama Live by Night.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Alien: Covenant, Confirmation [TV], Live by Night

17. JOHN POWELL
 
2011 RANKING: 5
AGE: 52
BIRTHPLACE: London, England
REP: Kraft-Engel
1 OSCAR NOMINATION
1 GRAMMY NOMINATION
RELATIONSHIPS: Blue Sky, Paul Greengrass 
BACKGROUND: Trinity College of Music, advertising music, Media Ventures
FAN FAVORITES: How to Train Your Dragon
TYPECAST IN: Action, animation
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Shrek--263
2. X-Men: The Last Stand--234
3. Hancock--227
4. The Bourne Ultimatum--227
5. How to Train Your Dragon--217 
6. Kung Fu Panda--215
7. The Lorax--213  
8. Happy Feet--197
9. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs--196
10. Ice Age: The Meltdown--195
 
After an impressive run of hits including three films each in the Bourne and Ice Age franchises, Powell seemed to deliberately step away from film scoring, even missing films from regular collaborators like Doug Liman (Christophe Beck scored Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow) and Paul Greengrass (Henry Jackman did the multi-nominated Captain Phillips). He scored sequels to two of his animated hits in 2014, and the Oscar-nominated How to Train Your Dragon 2 was a much more worthy follow-up than Rio 2, but the latter did give him the opportunity to co-write some new songs, including the film’s highlight “Poisonous Love,” performed by Kristin Chenoweth. Last year he unexpectedly (though not at the last moment) replaced director Joe Wright’s regular composer Dario Marianelli on the lavish but ill-fated Pan, while it’s just been announced that the fifth in the Ice Age series will be scored by John Debney, the first in the franchise since the David Newman-scored original that won’t feature a Powell score -- Powell had announced in 2014 that he'd be taking some time from film composing to focus on concert music, and he missed the recent premiere of his new oratorio to be with his ailing wife, who died the night of its performance, on March 6, 2016. 
 
2011 RANKING: 20
AGE: 49
BIRTHPLACE: Fornero, Italy
REP: Kraft-Engel
2 OSCAR NOMINATIONS
2 EMMY NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE: The Hurt Locker
RELATIONSHIPS: Tommy Lee Jones, Jonathan Levine, John Moore, Alex Proyas 
BACKGROUND: Yale School of Music, USC (under Jerry Goldsmith)
FAN FAVORITE: I, Robot
TYPECAST IN: Horror, action, sequels
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. World War Z--202  
2. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines--150
3. I, Robot--144
4. Live Free or Die Hard--134
5. The Wolverine--132  
6. Scream--103
7. Scream 2--101
8. Scream 3--89
9. Blade 2--81
10. Knowing--79

Marco Beltrami has not had a major Oscar contender since 2009’s Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker, but he has remained almost disconcertingly prolific in more box-office friendly genres. He’s had only two box-office smashes since the last column in this series, both released in the summer of 2013 -- the blockbuster zombie apocalypse World War Z (which also featured some distractingly tracked in music by Muse) and the underrated X-Men spinoff The Wolverine), but amongst all the largely forgettable films are some striking scores. His most critically acclaimed recent work was for actor-director Tommy Lee Jones’ moving Western drama The Homesman, and he’s worked satisfyingly in a large-scale symphonic vein for the effects-laden fantasy flops Seventh Son and Gods of Egypt.  He took rare ventures into character-oriented drama for The Sessions and Trouble with the Curve, and even scored a zombie romantic comedy with Warm Bodies (a shared credit with long-time collaborator Buck Sanders). He reunited with both director John Moore and the Die Hard franchise for the series’ lowpoint, A Good Day to Die Hard, and worked in a similar action-adventure vein for such films as Hitman: Agent 47, the Sean Penn vehicle The Gunman (whose confusing music credits relegate Beltrami’s contribution to late in the final title crawl) and the underrated No Escape. He took several ventures into horror including the well-made but entirely unnecessary remake of Carrie, and the hit Woman in Black as well as its less successful sequel. He took a rare excursion into superhero territory with the failed reboot of Fantastic Four, sharing the scoring credit with, of all people, Philip Glass, and increased his genre diversity with the true-crime drama True Story and the comedy The Night Before. Topping it all off was his unusual and effective score for one of the most impressive (and too little seen) genre films in recent years, Bong Joon-Ho’s dazzling post-apocalyptic Snowpiercer. He also worked in television on the Revolutionary War series Turn, and upcoming projects include a remake of Ben-Hur (now there’s some big musical shoes to fill) from Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Ben-Hur, Matilda, The Shallows


15. MARK MOTHERSBAUGH
 
2011 RANKING: Not ranked
AGE: 55
BIRTHPLACE: Akron, Ohio
REP: Greenspan Artist Management
5 EMMY NOMINATIONS
1 GRAMMY NOMINATION 
RELATIONSHIPS: Chris Miller & Phil Lord 
BACKGROUND:  Rock singer-songwriter (Devo)
FAN FAVORITES: The Royal Tenenbaums
TYPECAST IN: Comedies, kids movies
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. The LEGO Movie--257  
2. 22 Jump Street--191 
3. Pitch Perfect 2--184  
4. Hotel Transylvania 2--169  
5. Hotel Transylvania--148  
6. 21 Jump Street--138  
7. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked--132  
8. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs--124
9. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2--119  
10. Rugrats: The Movie--100
 
There are two, well-defined periods in the film scoring career of Devo founder Mark Mothersbaugh. At the end of the last century, he was gaining critical acclaim for his idiosyncratic scores for the first films of writer-director Wes Anderson, and at the same time was having box-office success with more kid-friendly entertainments, especially the features spun off from TV’s Rugrats. While he kept busy after scoring his last film for Anderson, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, it’s only in the last few years that he's really been able to make a mark in features again, though as before his projects tend toward the light-hearted. Since Wes Anderson began using Alexandre Desplat as his principal composer (Mothersbaugh did supply some source music for the Desplat-scored Moonrise Kingdom, suggesting that the Mothersbaugh-Anderson relationship may still have a future), Mothersbaugh has found a new filmmaking partner -- well, partners -- in the team of Chris Lord and Phil Miller, who have collaborated with the composer on four commercial and critical hits: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The LEGO Movie and 21 & 22 Jump Street. He’s managed to vary his musical palate with non-comedies such as the underrated Jason Statham thriller Safe (which benefited greatly from the Goldsmith/Schifrin-esque quality of Mothersbaugh’s music) and the IMAX short Island of Lemurs: Madgascar, and had one of his highest grossing titles with the blockbuster sequel Pitch Perfect 2, which, like its predecessor, seemed to have so little original score in it that it’s surprising it even required a composer. Having scored the original Pee-Wee’s Playhouse decades ago, before he was an established film composer, it’s fitting that he should reunite with the bow-tied rebel for the just-released Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday.
 

14. THEODORE SHAPIRO 
 
2011 RANKING: 16
AGE: 39
BIRTHPLACE: Washington D.C.
REP: Gorfaine/Schwartz
BACKGROUND: Julliard, concert composer
RELATIONSHIPS: Paul Feig, David Frankel, Karyn Kusama, Jay Roach, Ben Stiller, Rawson Marshall Thurber
FAN FAVORITE: Heist
TYPECAST IN: Comedy
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. We’re the Millers--150  
2. Marley & Me--143
3. The Devil Wears Prada--124
4. Blades of Glory--118
5. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story--114
6. Fun with Dick and Jane--110
7. Spy--110
8. Tropic Thunder--110 
9. Starsky & Hutch--88
10. Along Came Polly--87
 
On the one hand, it would be nice to see the Julliard-trained Shapiro get more opportunities to do non-comedies, as light-hearted projects have dominated his resume since he began scoring features in the late 1990s, but he shows such deft technique in comedy scoring that it’s a rare pleasure to have someone with his talent and taste working in a genre that can often be the most challenging for a composer. Several of his recent comedy projects have allowed him to combine comedy scoring with genre, such as the hits Tropic Thunder and Spy and the upcoming Ghostbusters, and for his fourth project with director Jay Roach, he had a rare chance to score a true-life drama with the Hollywood biopic Trumbo, and he also scored Maya Forbes' autobiographical comedy drama Infinitely Polar Bear. He had a welcome opportunity to score animation with Aardman’s Oscar-nominated The Pirates! Band of Misfits a few years back, and when Hans Zimmer proved unavailable, he scored Nancy Myers’ hit comedy The Intern. His other 2016 projects include the recently released Zoolander 2 for regular collaborator Ben Stiller, and the just-released psychological thriller The Invitation.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Central Intelligence, Ghostbusters 

 
2011 RANKING:  Not ranked
AGE: 48
BIRTHPLACE:  Lithtenvoorde, Netherlands
REP: WME
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Mad Max: Fury Road
BACKGROUND: Child musician, New Wave multi-instrumentalist and performer, music producer, composer-performer (as Junkie XL)
FAN FAVORITES: Mad Max: Fury Road 
TYPECAST IN:  Action-adventure, thrillers
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Deadpool--355 (4/3/16)
2. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice--260 (4/3/16)
3. Mad Max: Fury Road--153 
4. Divergent--150  
5. 300: Rise of an Empire--106  
6. Black Mass--62 
7. Point Break--28  
8. Run All Night--26  
9. Paranoia--7  
 
Tom Holkenborg -- until recently billed as Junkie XL, and still using that name for specific projects -- has had one of the fastest rises of any film composer in living memory. While he has been scoring features since 1998, he didn’t break into the American scoring scene until 2013’s industrial espionage thriller Paranoia, starring Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford. The following year he scored two U.S. features that weren’t exactly Oscar bait but managed to do strong business despite poor reviews, the 300 prequel and the first of the Divergent films, but 2015 proved to be the real breakthrough year, both commercially and critically. Mad Max: Fury Road was a commercial hit and a critical smash, ultimately receiving 10 Academy Award nominations and six Oscars, with reviewers regularly praising his work on the film. He followed that triumph with a more traditionally orchestral score for the hit Whitey Bulger biopic, Black Mass (interestingly, Warner Bros. sent “For Your Consideration” CDs of Black Mass to Oscar voters but not of Fury Road).  Not that 2015 was all topflight movies for Holkenborg -- he also scored the underrated Liam Neeson thriller Run All Night and the instantly forgotten remake of Point Break – but this year he’s already made his mark with the first megahit of 2016, the R-rated action-comedy Deadpool. Right now in theaters he has a more traditional take on superhero mythology with the megabudget Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, sharing the scoring credit with fellow rising newcomer Hans Zimmer, and a limited U.S. release of the British dark comedy Kill Your Friends, and upcoming is the sci-fi thriller Spectral.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Spectral

12.   CHRISTOPHE BECK
 
2011 RANKING: 15
AGE: 43
BIRTHPLACE: Montreal, Canada
REP: Kraft-Engel
1 EMMY, 2 NOMINATIONS
1 GRAMMY NOMINATION
RELATIONSHIPS: Miguel Arteta, Daniel Barnz, James Bobin, Shana Feste, Steve Pink, Peyton Reed
BACKGROUND: USC film scoring program (under Jerry Goldsmith), TV composer
FAN FAVORITE: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV)
TYPECAST IN: Youth/family comedy, aftermath of drunken Vegas vacation comedies
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Frozen--400  
2. The Hangover--277
3. The Hangover Part II--254  
4. Ant-Man--180  
5. Cheaper by the Dozen--137
6. The Peanuts Movie--130  
7. The Hangover Part III--112
8. American Wedding--104
9. Edge of Tomorrow--100  
10. Due Date--100 
 
In the 2011 edition of this series I wrote “Christophe Beck and Theodore Shapiro seem to be in an unofficial (and presumably unconscious) competition to become the top comedy film composer of the new century,” They still be about neck-and-neck in that regard, but Beck has been given more chances to break out of that genre. He took a rare trip into sci-fi action for 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow, and joined the musical side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with last year’s hit Ant-Man. His biggest hit to date was of course the animation blockbuster Frozen, and he returned to that family friendly turf with last year’s hit Peanuts Movie. He’s currently one of the most prolific feature composers working – 2014 saw him score Endless Love, Muppets Most Wanted, Edge of Tomorrow, Cake, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day as well as shared scoring credits on Let’s Be Cops and the documentary Red Army. 2015 brought the aforementioned Ant-Man and The Peanuts Movie as well as Hot Tub Time Machine, Get Hard, Hot Pursuit and Sisters. He seems to be taking it comparatively easy at the moment, as his only announced feature project is DreamWorks’ animated Trolls.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: Trolls

11.  CARTER BURWELL
 
2011 RANKING: 10
AGE: 60
BIRTHPLACE: New York, New York
REP: First Artists Management
1 OSCAR NOMINATION
1 EMMY, 2 NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE NOMINEES: Fargo, No Country for Old Men, The Blind Side, A Serious Man, The Kids Are All Right, True Grit
RELATIONSHIPS: Joel & Ethan Coen, Bill Condon, John Lee Hancock, Todd Haynes, Martin McDonough
BACKGROUND: Harvard (architecture, animation), punk rock
FAN FAVORITES: Fargo, True Grit
TYPECAST IN: Biopics
TOP GROSSING FILMS:
1. Breaking Dawn, Part 2--292   
2. Breaking Dawn, Part 1--281   
3. The Blind Side--255  
4. Twilight--191
5. True Grit--171   
6. The General's Daughter--102
7. Where the Wild Things Are--77 
8. Conspiracy Theory--76
9. The Rookie--75
10. No Country for Old Men--74 
 
Few composers with such a distinctive yet unflashy style as Carter Burwell tend to come as far as he has in the contemporary film music world, but it certainly helps that he’s a favorite of many top filmmakers. 2013 was a strange year in the composer’s career -- he was originally announced for two major projects, August: Osage County and Thor: The Dark World, but ultimately his music was featured in neither of them; for the first time since they started making features, the Coen brothers released a film that featured no score, Inside Llewyn Davis; director John Lee Hancock worked for the first time with a different composer (Thomas Newman) for his fourth film, Saving Mr. Banks; and Burwell’s one project to receive a theatrical release that year, Bill Condon’s Wikileaks drama The Fifth Estate, was a critical and commercial flop. But while he hasn’t had a true box-office smash since reuniting with both Condon and the Twilight franchise for the final, two-part entry in that seemingly endless “Saga,” 2015 proved to be an impressive comeback year as he had four major projects in Oscar season – Bill Condon’s moving Mr. Holmes, the lively gangster biopic Legend, Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s groundbreaking stop motion drama Anomalisa, and his first-ever Oscar nominated score, for director Todd Haynes’ remarkably evocative romance Carol (his previous collaboration with Haynes, the 2011 miniseries remake of Mildred Pierce, earned the composer an Emmy for his score and an additional nomination for its main title theme). Burwell shows no signs of slowing down, as 2016 has already seen two new scores, the underrated, old-fashioned rescue docudrama The Finest Hours (whose box-office failure unfortunately probably won’t help Burwell get more assignments in this genre) and the Coen Brothers’ uneven but typically stylish ‘50s Hollywood pastiche Hail, Caesar! For his next project, he’s reuniting with Hancock for The Founder, a biographical drama starring Michael Keaton as MacDonalds’ Ray Kroc.
 
WHAT’S NEXT: The Founder 

The rest of list so far:

21. Mychael Danna
22. Randy Newman
23. Dario Marianelli
24. Patrick Doyle
25. Johann Johannsson
26. Steve Jablonsky
27. John Ottman
28. Lorne Balfe
29. Heitor Pereira
30. Joseph Trapanese
31. Rob Simonsen
32. Michael Andrews
33. Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross
34. Nick Urata
35. John Debney
36. Daniel Pemberton
37. Ramin Djawadi
38. Mark Isham
39. Tyler Bates
40. Steven Price
Return to Articles Author Profile
Comments (13):Log in or register to post your own comments
To Scott, I’d like to say thank you for taking the time to do all of this research and posting composers’ rankings and top scores. I find these rankings fascinating and interesting.

I like Mark Mothersbaugh’s and Christopher Lennertz’s music. I note in their top music lists that their composing niches are mainly comedies with a large dollop of animation, and that’s fine. They do a good job with these genres. Someday, however, I’d love to have them given movies that are dramatic, heroic, or action-packed. I’d love to hear what they could do with a “Bourne” type of movie. I think when composers are pigeon-holed into one or two genres, we listeners might miss some amazing scores. Perhaps something different will be on their horizons.

So, the Top 10, roughly in order, is?

Zimmer
Giacchino
Desplat
Newton Howard
T. Newman
Elfman
Shore
Williams
Morricone
erm...Young?

So, the Top 10, roughly in order, is?

Zimmer
Giacchino
Desplat
Newton Howard
T. Newman
Elfman
Shore
Williams
Morricone
erm...Young?


Much as I've come to love Maestro Ennio, I don't see him suddenly becoming a major player in Hollywood again, brand new Oscar notwithstanding (and I especially don't see him putting up with the remarkable amount of B.S. that today's composers are dealing with in the industry; why would he waste his remaining creative years on that?).

Victor Young, of course, has been gone 60 years, while one of my faves, Christopher Young, these days is scoring bigger films in Asia than in the U.S.

So you left out one two-time Oscar nominee (one of whose nominations was for a Best Picture winner), and another composer whose name suggests he could star in the "Operation Kid Brother"-style ripoff of the Wolverine movies.

Because I have so many composers to catch up on, this will actually be a ten-part series, followed by a two-to-three part prequel series.

(in a semi-related note, I just watched After the Thin Man again, and I was intrigued at how prominently the trailer used the word "sequel" -- i didn't know that word was a selling point for the mass moviegoing audience in the 1930s).

Bear McCreary and Steven Price?

I thought about Bear, if indeed he is one of the Final Two (see what I did there, BSG fans?). But as he hadn't had a single film in wide release when this Top 40 rundown began, I didn't include him.

Steven Price already appeared at #40.

I'm flummoxed on the other, based on the clue. So I will wait with some excitement and hope it's not an Ellen Tighe style letdown.

Good work on the rundowns!

Hours after posting that clue, I realized that the person it referred to, Marco Beltrami, was of course already covered in Part Three.

The mystery composer is one who has had a lot of success in recent years in franchises -- one in particular, but entries in other series as well.

Would I be getting my hopes up to think that you might also finish your Top 100 Favorite CD's series from years and years ago, Scott? I know I'm probably the only one who was left hanging on that, but it's been like a 10 year cliffhanger.

Hours after posting that clue, I realized that the person it referred to, Marco Beltrami, was of course already covered in Part Three.

The mystery composer is one who has had a lot of success in recent years in franchises -- one in particular, but entries in other series as well.


Ah, must be film music's answer to Zoolander then. I keep confusing him with his already-on-the-list namesake.

Would I be getting my hopes up to think that you might also finish your Top 100 Favorite CD's series from years and years ago, Scott? I know I'm probably the only one who was left hanging on that, but it's been like a 10 year cliffhanger.

Hear, hear.

And I'm pretty sure that Henry Jackman is in the top 10. Not too shabby for a newbie.

FYI, Powell is 52 years old, not 47.

View more comments   |   view last
Film Score Monthly Online
James Newton Howard Buyer's Guide: Part 1
Sirens Songs
The Bergman Centenary: The Music of the Works of Ingmar Bergman, Part 1
Germaine Franco Is It
Counterpoint: Lock Him Up and Throw Away Giacchi? No!
On Jones Beach
Mark and Me
Wong's Turn: The Original Original Soundtrack of Star Wars
Ear of the Month Contest: James Newton Howard, Vol. 1
Peter Boyer's Dream of America
Concert Review: Star Trek Beyond at Royal Albert Hall
Concert Review: Close Encounters of the Third Kind in Concert
Today in Film Score History:
July 19
Dominic Muldowney born (1952)
Gerald Fried's score for the Star Trek episode "Amok Time" is recorded (1967)
Gerald Fried's score for the Star Trek episode "The Paradise Syndrome" is recorded (1968)
John Barry begins recording his score for Dances With Wolves (1990)
Paul Dunlap born (1919)
Ramin Djawadi born (1974)
Tim McIntire born (1944)
Van Alexander died (2015)
FSMO Featured Video
Video Archive • Audio Archive
Podcasts
© 2018 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.