Category: Personal

Score: A Film Music Documentary

This weekend, I flew to New York City for a film premiere. That, by itself, is not unusual. Just a year ago, I was in the city for the world premiere of 10 Cloverfield Lane. This time, however, I was there not in support of a film I scored, but a film in which I am featured! Score: A Film Music Documentary, directed by Matthew Schrader, is the first feature-length documentary to explore the world of film music. As one of the dozens of composers featured in the film, I attended the premiere to help spread the word about this unique film.

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The weekend was fun, exhausting and surprisingly illuminating. (more…)

Remembering Richard Hatch

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Richard Hatch was my friend. And tonight he is gone.

I first met the dynamic actor, who played Captain Apollo in the original Battlestar Galactica and Tom Zarek in its reincarnation a quarter century later, while I was scoring the new series’ second season. He was the first actor on the show I had the pleasure of meeting, when he interviewed me for a fan website. He quickly put my starstruck nerves at ease with his obvious passion for storytelling. I instantly recognized him as a man for whom art was a spiritual experience. A genuine curiosity about life, music and story radiated from him.

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Sundance 2017

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IMG_6806I have long dreamed of hearing my music in a film at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. I can safely say that this last week, attending Sundance in support of not one, but three, unique films, is literally beyond my wildest dreams!

My journey to Sundance began two and a half years ago. The month my daughter was born, I realized that my career was not all I wanted it to be. My television career was at an all-time high, but my progress into in other mediums, especially film, videogames, theater, and live performance, had stalled. I partnered with Richard Kraft and Laura Engel and began pursuing every film opportunity I could. I wanted to work in new genres, to reach into both studio and independent films. (more…)

Attitude is Everything

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I was honored last spring to be the Outstanding Alumnus and Commencement Speaker for my alma mater, the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. I took very seriously this opportunity to offer advice to a new generation of musicians, determined to communicate something practical to students they could use to kick-start their careers. In the fourteen years since I graduated from USC myself, I have learned many lessons, the most profound resulting from humiliating mistakes. From these I learned that “Attitude is Everything.” That universal message is applicable to any career in any field.

With that in mind, I am sharing my USC Thornton School of Music commencement address with you all. The following is adapted and expanded from my speech, given on May 13, 2016.

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You are about to embark upon your professional career, armed with the skills you have honed during your education. You are good at what you do. You might even be the best at what you do. Building a successful career, however, relies on more than talent or skill. Being “good” isn’t enough. Even being “the best” isn’t enough. In the music business, as in life, attitude is everything. A successful career emerges when the person with the right talent and skills also has the right attitude at all times.BabyBear (more…)

Remembering James Horner

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If asked who my heroes were when I was eight years old, James Horner’s name would have been on a very short list of film composers whose work I adored. My cassette tapes of his soundtracks to Star Trek II, Star Trek III, Aliens and Willow wore down over endless repeat plays. Taking my mother’s VHS camcorder, I recreated Star Trek II scene by scene, using toys and puppets against a set I made out of a cardboard box, just so I could hear his score against it! Horner’s rich orchestral writing and thematic development ignited my imagination on long car trips, while walking to school, or while simply sitting in my room in front of my stereo. (more…)

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