Composer Christopher Lennertz Reteams with Director Tim Story to Score Ride Along
Film Opens Friday, January 17, 2014
(Hollywood, CA) January 15, 2014— Award-winning composer Christopher Lennertz scores Ride Along, Universal Pictures’ buddy-cop action comedy starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart. Ride Along marks Lennertz’s second collaboration with director Tim Story.
Previously working together on Think Like A Man, Lennertz and Story are also working on Think Like A Man Too releasing this summer. Ride Along opens in theaters nationwide Friday, January 17, 2014. The Ride Along score album will be available January 28, 2014 on Varèse Sarabande Records.
Ride Along follows a fast-talking slacker (Hart) who must join his girlfriend’s brother (Ice Cube) —a hot-tempered cop—to patrol the streets of Atlanta. As he gets entangled in the officer’s latest case, he must survive the most insane 24 hours of his life to prove that he deserves his future bride.
Christopher Lennertz wrote a comedic score, adding to the attitude necessary for the film’s action sequences. Lennertz told me, “Having worked with Tim previously, this film was the perfect situation for me. You have Kevin as the funny guy and Ice Cube as the straight shooter, which makes it the job of the music to enhance the energy of both of those characters. For Ice Cube’s character, I incorporated ‘90s hip-hop influences, whereas for Kevin’s character, I infused a tone reminiscent of the classic ‘80s cop comedies.”
Fans and industry leaders know Christopher Lennertz as an award-winning composer for film, television and video games. Lennertz’s success ranges from scoring star-studded comedies including the recent box office hits Identity Thief, Think Like a Man and Horrible Bosses to family films including Alvin and the Chipmunks and Hop. Lennertz’s recent television credits include NBC’s hit series Revolution and the CW’s landmark series Supernatural.
In the video game world, Christopher Lennertz’s credits include the final installment of Mass Effect 3 and the final installment of Starhawk. Other video game credits include Medal of Honor, the James Bond: 007 series, and Gun.
Lennertz’s accolades include BMI Film Awards, two Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences awards for Best Original Score, and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music for a Series for Supernatural.
By Phil Johnson
When Muhammad Ali died this month, the world lost a great athlete who turned out to be much more. He earned the respect of people throughout the world. No one was more proud of that than the late Ben Becker.
Ben Becker was a former boxer and boxing coach in Albany N.Y. No one who ever met him face to face challenged those credentials. He looked the part – think rougher version of the actor Pat O’Brien in Knute Rockne: All-American.
In 1960, Becker, by then, a hard-nosed high school administrator and disciplinarian – no one ever had to be called into his office a second time- was chosen as one of three coaches for the US Boxing Team competing at the Olympic Games in Rome. His light heavyweight boxer, Cassius Clay, won the gold medal.
Clay, a trash talker even then, was a Becker favorite and a boxing legend as early as 1964 when he won the heavyweight championship upsetting Sonny Liston. Soon to become known as Muhammad Ali, the boxer’s prominence grew well beyond the ring, mainly because of his outsized personality, his conversion to Islam and affiliation with The Nation of Islam, and his principled refusal to be drafted into the military during the Viet Nam War.
Although they kept in touch for several years, by the mid-1970s it had been a while since Becker and Ali had spoken. By that time, Ali was again the Heavyweight Champion of the World and Becker had retired after a 40-year career working in the Albany schools.
In 1979 Ali was scheduled to make a public appearance at the State University of New York at Albany. Earlier that year, I had written a profile of Becker for the University’s alumni magazine. And he reached out to me to see if he could attend a reception being held for Ali before the boxer’s public remarks that evening.
He could come with me, I said.
Becker wasn’t sure Ali would recognize him. It was 19 years after the Rome Olympics, several years since they had been in touch, and Ali was -arguably – now the most famous athlete in the world.
Becker was one of a small group waiting just inside the rear entrance of the University’s Alumni House when Ali came through the door. All of a sudden the champ stopped.
He spotted his old coach.
“BEN BEKKA!” Ali shouted. Then he took two steps and threw a huge bear hug around his former coach. They exchanged private words, heard only by the two. But those of us watching knew it was a moment of genuine, mutual affection.
That evening Ali went on to say he wanted “nothing to do with boxing anymore” (a pledge he would break and make several more times before retiring from the ring in 1981). But he had the full attention of the 3,000 on hand.
No matter how many were there, the happiest person in the room was Ben Becker. He was proud of Ali. And the champ had remembered.
Becker died in 1987 at age 80.
Phil Johnson, a longtime freelance writer, was Director of Communications at the State University of New York at Albany when Ali and Becker reunited in 1979.
DANIEL PEMBERTON GETS NOD FOR SCORING “STEVE JOBS”
By Alice O’Neill
Pemberton’s first comment: ‘Wow! I just got nominated for a Golden Globe – that is proper bonkers! I’m so honored to be nominated with my musical heroes. I wanted to ‘Think Different’ in how I approached this score and working with a cinematic visionary like Danny Boyle meant I could. Since STEVE JOBS was brilliantly written by Aaron Sorkin in three acts I took three different musical approaches, so Danny got three scores for the price of one – Bargain of the year!” —Daniel Pemberton
More of the story:
Pemberton was able to get involved with the edit and work very closely alongside Danny Boyle in order to achieve a unique score. Directed by Danny Boyle, Steve Jobs stars Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels, and Seth Rogen. “Steve Jobs” is currently in theaters and the soundtrack is available from Backlot Records.
Listen to the “Steve Jobs” score here: https://soundcloud.com/backlotmusic/sets/steve-jobs-music-by-daniel-pemberton/s-qTs1J.
With thanks to Nicole Albert at Costa Communications, Hollywood’s top reps for professional musicians.
More on Daniel Pemberton:
Pemberton also recently composed the critically acclaimed retro-rock score for Guy Ritchies’ The Man from U.N.C.L.E. He is excited to bring another original and distinct sound to Steve Jobs. Pemberton stated “I seem to specialize in scoring films that don’t want to be scored in an obvious way. Steve Jobs is similar in that respect – it’s unique and you have to find a way to deal with that.”
Named 2014’s “Discovery of the Year” at the World Soundtrack Awards in Ghent, Belgium, Daniel Pemberton is a diverse and multi-talented composer. He is an Ivor Novello Award-winner and has been nominated multiple times for the prestigious BAFTA Awards. Pemberton scored Ridley Scott’s 2013 crime-thriller film The Counselor starring Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, and Michael Fassbender, as well as Scott’s TV project The Vatican. After self-releasing an avant-garde electronic album at the age of 16 and garnering attention from Massive Attack’s label, Pemberton began composing for British television while still in high school. Pemberton’s soundtrack credits include films such as The Awakening and In Fear, and he has scored video games including Little Big Planet 1 & 2, and the second highest selling Xbox game of all time: Kinect Adventures.
With thanks to Ray Costa and his team at Costa Commuications
Ray Costa of Costa Communications announces that Eye in the Sky will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2015.
Composers Mark Kilian and Paul Hepker Reunite with Director Gavin Hood for Thriller EYE IN THE SKY.
(Hollywood, CA) September 4, 2015 – Mark Kilian and Paul Hepker are reuniting for a third time with film director, Gavin Hood to provide the score for “Eye in the Sky.” The pair previously collaborated with Hood on “Rendition”, and the Academy Award-winning film “Tsotsi.”
Featuring award-winning actors including Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, and Barkhad Abdi, “Eye in the Sky” follows Colonel Katherine Powell (Mirren), a military intelligence officer on a secret drone mission, intent on capturing a terrorist group in Nairobi, Kenya.
When a nine-year old girl is found entering the kill zone, Powell has to determine whether or not to take action. The film will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday, September 11, 2015 at 6:30 PM – Roy Thomson Hall 60 Simcoe Street Toronto, Ontario.
Hepker, Kilian, and Hood, all from South Africa met through mutual friends in Los Angeles and immediately developed a collaborative, “artist-to-artist” relationship in addition to a deep friendship. Kilian has stated “Our relationship is very “work-like” when it needs to be, but we also sit around the piano, drink beer, and sing Pink Floyd songs.”
South African born Mark Kilian has had a successful and eclectic film scoring career since moving to Los Angeles in 1994. He is most known for his ethnic flavored scores like the Oscar winning “Tsotsi,” “Traitor,” “Rendtion,” “Bless Me Ultima,” and “Before the Rains”.
His most recent scores include “Revenge Of The Green Dragons” (executive produced by Martin Scorsese,) John Carpenter’s “The Ward,” “Trust Me” (Clark Gregg, Felicity Huffman, Sam Rockwell, William H Macy,) “Seal Team 8” (Tom Sizemore,) “Repentance” (Forest Whitaker,) and “Pitch Perfect,” for which he was awarded a platinum album. His TV work includes HBO’s 41, ABC’s Killer Women, and Daybreak.
He has also written music for many TV commercials including Apple, Toyota, Budweiser, American Express and Microsoft. As a musician, he has released three albums : ‘The Gravy Street’ and two albums with the electronica duo ‘Ape Quartet.’
Paul Hepker, born in Zimbabwe and raised in South Africa trained as a concert pianist under composer Adolph Hallis.
In 1994 he wrote the voter education theme “Make Your Mark” for the first democratic elections in South Africa, which gave birth to a National TV game show of the same name. In 1997 he moved to Los Angeles, and has since composed the music for numerous Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and National Geographic series including Deadliest Catch, Shark U, Herring, Iditarod, Raw Nature, and America’s Deadliest Season.
In 1999 Paul was a finalist in the inaugural John Lennon Songwriting Competition and has had songs featured in, and included on the soundtracks for “Tsotsi,” “Permanent Midnight,” “Soul Survivor,” “The Bird Can’t Fly,” and “Into the Light”.
Henry Jackman Creates Top Score for Pixels
by Albert Tello
In Theaters July 24th, 2015
(Hollywood, CA) – June 19, 2015—Award-winning Composer Henry Jackman’s Pixels score is a playful and intense musical rollercoaster ride that is just as fast, thrilling and fun as this new Columbia Pictures film, in theatres nationwide July 24th. Pixels, starring Adam Sandler, features exciting special effects, CG and animation that bring favorite video games PAC-MAN, Donkey Kong, Galaga, Centipede and Space Invaders to life.
Jackman is no stranger to video games coming to life: he won an Annie Award® for his score to Disney’s Wreck It Ralph and scored the Oscar®-winning animated film Big Hero 6.
In Pixels, legendary director and producer Chris Columbus (who famously directed the hit films Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Night at the Museum; I Love You, Beth Cooper; Mrs. Doubtfire; Home Alone 1 & 2; Gremlins; The Goonies), creates a reinvention of classic pop-culture video game characters, merging the digital world with our everyday reality in a whole new, never-before seen way. Jackman’s score keeps up the energy, excitement, creativity and originality of the film with music to match. The Pixels soundtrack will also be released on July 24th on Varese Sarabande.
For Pixels, Henry Jackman created a fully indulgent, classic action-adventure score that he describes as “symphonic mystery music.” Director Chris Columbus wanted a classic symphonic score in the tradition of renowned Composer John Williams, with whom Columbus collaborated on previous films.
“The alien invasion is more sophisticated,” says Jackman. “It almost feels like something you would hear on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, not the action scores of today. It’s a refreshing remake of a classic entertainment film,” he continues. “It feels like it could have been made in the 80s.”
Jackman chose not to score Pixels comedically because, he says, “the comedy in the film speaks for itself.” Henry Jackman worked with a 40-piece choir, full live percussion with five players, and a full orchestra of 75 members to create the Pixels score.
In Pixels, humanity succeeds at contacting an alien life form; unfortunately, the message is taken the wrong way, and the aliens launch a full-scale war using video game technology to destroy us. Adam Sandler, who plays Sam Brenner, leads the cast of this action-packed comedy, along with Kevin James, Josh Gad, and Peter Dinklage who play Brenner’s childhood, arcade-fly friends. Now, all grown up, they must use their classic video game skills to help the president save the world from PAC-MAN, Donkey Kong, Galaga, Centipede and Space Invaders. Jackman’s score weaves in and out of the action expertly, building tension and taking audience members on an indulgent musical adventure throughout the film.
Some background on Henry Jackman
Henry Jackman – a prodigy who began composing his first symphony at age six and was an accomplished composer by age nine – began his professional solo career in 2009 after studying classical music at Oxford University.
In just five years, he has established himself as a dynamic and prolific film composer. He scores films in all genres: animated films (Big Hero 6, Wreck-It Ralph), action-adventures (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, X-Men: First Class, Kick-Ass 1&2), comedies (This is the End) and dramas (Captain Phillips). Jackman presents a revolutionary range of composing skills, ingeniously marrying his expertise in classical music with his experience in dance/club music and his innovative production of Electronica.
Looking Ahead with Henry Jackman
Next up for Jackman is Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, in theatres May 2016.
With thanks from Costa Communications
Composer Lorne Balfe Creates Hybrid Action Score for Terminator Genisys
By Albert Tello
Grammy winning composer Lorne Balfe creates an action-packed, emotive score for Paramount Pictures’ and Skydance Productions’Terminator Genisys, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, and Jai Courtney. Oscar® winning composer Hans Zimmer is the Executive Music Producer. Directed by Alan Taylor, “Genisys” returns to the Oscar® winning Terminator franchise to take familiar characters in a new direction.
When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and safeguard the future, an unexpected turn of events creates a fractured timeline.
Now, Sgt. Reese finds himself in a new and unfamiliar version of the past, where he is faced with unlikely allies, including the Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger), dangerous new enemies, and an unexpected new mission: to reset the future. The film opens in theaters nationwide on July 1, 2015.
With the movie building from 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day, including shot-for-shot recreations, Lorne Balfe’s score needed to honor the tradition of the past Terminator films while adding bold, new music to fit the action and emotions of Genisys.
Producer David Ellison says, “This is the largest scale Terminator movie that’s ever been made. There are bigger action sequences in Genisys than any prior Terminator film.”
In addition to propelling the action, Balfe’s score needed to tap into the film’s emotional core as it explores themes of freedom and guardianship. “The score contains everything but the kitchen sink. It’s a hybrid score, and although there are these massive action cues, there is a hell of a lot of emotion.”
“The score needed to be much more personal to match the progression of the movie’s character development and convey the relationship between Sarah Connor and the Terminator,” stated Balfe.
Lorne Balfe is a Grammy Award winning, Emmy and BAFTA nominated film composer from Inverness, Scotland. His recent credits include Dreamworks Animation’s “Home” starring Rihanna, Jim Parsons and Steve Martin, Dreamworks Animation’s “The Penguins of Madagascar,” and “Manny,” a documentary about the life of boxer Manny Pacquiao which premiered at SXSW. Other composing credits include the animated film “Megamind,” and Ubisoft’s acclaimed game, “Assassin’s Creed III.” Balfe is currently scoring the Paramount Pictures thriller “Captive” starring David Oyelowo and Kate Mara, releasing September 18, 2015. He also currently co-scores the hit NBC mini-series “A.D.: The Bible Continues” with Oscar® winning composer Hans Zimmer.
Balfe began his career in Hollywood providing additional music on several major motion pictures including the second and third installments of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, “Iron Man,” and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” He provided additional music and was the score producer on 2008′s “The Dark Knight,” which earned him a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture.
In addition to being named Discovery of the Year at the World Soundtrack Awards in 2009, he was also the score producer for Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes,” which earned a 2010 Oscar nomination for Best Original Score. In 2011, he produced the score for Christopher Nolan’s “Inception,” which also earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score.
His music is featured in the BBC and Sundance Channel TV mini-series, “Restless,” starring Hayley Atwell and Rufus Sewell, for which Balfe received the 2013 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music Composition. Balfe’s a BAFTA nominated video game composer with credits including “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,” “Assassin’s Creed: Revelations,” “Assassin’s Creed III,” and “Beyond: Two Souls,” which features performances by Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe.
Thanks to COSTA COMMUNICATIONS INC.