Composers John Powell and Germaine Franco took top honors at this week’s ASCAP Screen Music Awards. Powell won the Henry Mancini award for lifetime achievement as a film composer (for such scores as How to Train Your Dragon, The Bourne Identity and Solo: A Star Wars Story), while Franco (songwriter for Coco, currently scoring TV’s Vida) received the Shirley Walker award for contributing to “the diversity of film and television music.” Other honorees included Gordy Haab and Dave Porter; a full rundown of the evening is in my Variety story here.
Stephen Schwartz was honored last week with the Founders Award of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). In addition to covering the annual ASCAP Screen Music Awards for Variety — which featured not only the Schwartz honor but a number of other awards doled out to film, TV and video game composers — I had the pleasure of interviewing him at length about his career. He talked about working on the upcoming (2019?) Wicked movie, both screenplay and new songs, as well as the enduring popularity of such Broadway shows as Pippin and Godspell. His Prince of Egypt score (from the 1998 animated film) has been expanded for a stage version to debut this fall.
One of the fun parts of my job is interviewing many of the top music-makers in the film and TV world. Monday night, the performing-rights society ASCAP honored two deserving composers: Elliot Goldenthal (Alien 3, Interview With the Vampire, Heat, Titus) with the Founders Award, and Deborah Lurie (Safe Haven, Dear John, An Unfinished Life) with the Shirley Walker Award. Here I am talking with the great Goldenthal; here is part of my video interview with Lurie (and it was a special treat to write and narrate the video tribute to her); and here is an overview of the entire event, with more photos of highlights.
I was happy to shoot brief red-carpet interviews with several of this year’s ASCAP award winners, including Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman, Bear McCreary and others. This collection of video clips includes one of my favorite moments, a wonderful chamber-music performance of Garry Schyman’s Bioshock Infinite theme.
In addition, I worked with director Dan DiSouza of Talking Pictures Media to create three of the evening’s key video tributes: one profiling the great Shirley Walker, another on Wendy and Lisa, and a third celebrating 100 years of ASCAP film music. Here‘s my rundown of the key awards and the evening in general.
John Powell is one of today’s very finest composers for film. If you’ve seen the Bourne thrillers, How to Train Your Dragon, Happy Feet or the Rio movies, you’ve heard his music. He’s an absolute delight in person, and I was happy to interview him today at ASCAP’s “I Create Music” Expo in Hollywood.
Coincidentally, Variety this week published my series of stories about John and his career. Here is the main story, something of an overview with some high praise from his collaborators. A second story deals with his decision to leave film music (temporarily, we hope). And finally, a few choice remarks by the composer himself on five of his notable scores.