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Composing : Are composing companies the wave of the future? by Michael Joseph DeRosa

Michael Joseph DeRosa

Are composing companies the wave of the future?

It seems to me that Hans Zimmer has forged a new approach to film score composition and created a "rat pack" for composers who collaborate and work collectively on a film score. Unlike the traditional approach which we could draw parallel's to Wagner's operas or Tchaikovsky's ballet scores, few composers today do it all themselves anyway. John Williams and James Horner may orchestrate their own film scores, but many like Michael Giacchino does not, and collaborates with orchestrators. Zimmer even has a problem with taking credit for scores his name appears on in the credits. In his own words: "Originally I had this idea that it should be possible to create some kind of community around this kind of work, and I think by muddying the titles – not having "you are the composer, you are the arranger, you are the orchestrator" – it just sort of helped us to work more collaboratively. It wasn't that important to me that I had "score by Hans Zimmer" and took sole credit on these things. It's like Gladiator: I gave Lisa Gerrard the co-credit because, even though she didn't write the main theme, her presence and contributions were very influential. She was more than just a soloist, and this is why I have such a problem with specific credits." Certainly Zimmer's Media Ventures and now his Remote Control Productions is able to produce more product than a single composer taking on all the daunting tasks of scoring a film completely on your own. So do you think this is the wave of the future? Would young budding composers have a better shot if they "pooled their resources" and their talents? It's certainly been done with songs in the recording business, and great talents like Carol King have been monopolized by such producers that offered a steady salary for brutally binding contracts that took all their creative work. Will "film scoring houses" be a option for the film industry in the future? What's your take on that?

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