Composer Michael Giachinno - How to become a film composer
The SoundWorks Collection talks with Composer Michael Giacchino about his start in the music and film business and a few of his projects include Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocal, John Carter, and Cars 2.
ABOUT MICHAEL GIACCHINO:
Michael Giacchino (pronounced "Juh-keen-oh") was born 10th October 1967 in Riverside Township, New Jersey. He started venturing into music at the age of ten, where he spent his time between the cinema and his basement. Creating his own stop motion animation films on his brother's pool table, he found the most enjoyable part of the process was putting music to the pictures.
He later joined the School of Visual Arts in New York where he received a major in film production and a minor in history. During his time there he took an unpaid internship at Universal Pictures as well as working at a department store to pay the rent.
He graduated in 1990 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and began studying music at the Juilliard School at the Lincoln Center. He worked day jobs at the publicity offices for Universal and Disney. Two years later he moved to Disney Studios in Burbank, LA working in their feature film publicity department as well as taking night classes in music at UCLA.
His work at Disney involved interacting with various people from the film industry, including producers who hire composers. When a role became available for a producer at Disney Interactive, Michael took the job, allowing him to hire himself to write music for their games. His first major composition came in 1997 when newly formed DreamWorks Interactive asked him to score their video game adaptation of The Lost World: Jurassic Park. It became the first PlayStation game to have a live orchestral score.
Michael continued writing for video games including Small Soldiers, Warpath: Jurassic Park, and in 1999, the first in the Medal Of Honor franchise, on which he would eventually score four further sequels.
In 2001, rising director J.J. Abrams, a fan of Michael's Medal Of Honor scores, hired him to write for his new show, Alias. It also led to Michael's largest project, Lost, on which he scored all 120 episodes of the show from 2004-2010, as well as writing a symphonic concert of the music which debuted in Hawaii in 2007. The final recording session for the show took place on May 7th 2010, and a farewell concert was held a week later which was attended by many fans, cast and crew.
During his period on Lost, Michael continued writing for video games including Call Of Duty and Secret Weapons Over Normandy, and also launched his career into feature films in 2004 when he was asked to score Pixar's The Incredibles, directed by Brad Bird.
In 2006 Michael scored J.J. Abrams' first feature film, Mission: Impossible III and continued to work with him on Cloverfield, Star Trek and Super 8.
Michael also continued his work with Pixar, scoring Ratatouille which earned him an Oscar nomination, and Up on which he won two Grammys, a Golden Globe, a Bafta and an Oscar. His most recent projects have been Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and John Carter. Michael is also an advisory board member of Education Through Music Los Angeles, an oganization which promotes the integration of music into the curricula of disadvantaged schools.
2012 has seen concerts of Michael's music in both the USA and Switzerland, and Michael's next film score will be Star Trek Into Darkness in May 2013.