Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Sorry there's been nothing from me since Wednesday, but the run-up to Christmas is always a busy time for me, work-wise. Can't promise something every day next week either, but I'll do my best. Anyway, here's some news from Costa Communications:-



LOS ANGELES – Award-winning composer Christophe Beck wins an HMMA for “Best Original Score: Indie/Short/Documentary” for his moody and introspective score to the critically-acclaimed Paramount Vantage documentary “Waiting For Superman.” Directed by Academy Award-winner Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”), the documentary is a deeply personal exploration of the current state of public education in the United States, and how it has affected our children. Just announced as one of 15 contenders for “Best Documentary Feature” at next years Academy Awards, the film opened in October to major markets. The score released by Lakeshore Records is now available in stores on CD and online through and iTunes.

“One of the great things about working on a documentary is that you're dealing with real people in real situations,” says Beck. “The music's function isn't to merely push the action along, or to manufacture some kind of feeling that for one reason or another wasn't captured on film – it's to support real, authentic, genuine characters and emotions.”

The film uses playful animations to help convey some fairly disturbing facts when it comes to our failing education system. “I found I could complement that by using some whimsical instrumentation such as pizzicato strings, bouncy percussion and a slightly-too-optimistic feeling,” explains Beck. This helps liven up the presentation of otherwise fairly dry facts and statistics. Then, of course there's the human side too. We wanted to underscore the kids' stories of struggle, hope, disappointment, and for a lucky few, celebration. We used simple, intimate instrumentation – often a plaintive single guitar or piano to help tell these kids' stories.”

In 2000, the cheerleading comedy "Bring It On" launched Beck's prolific film scoring career. His credits include "Under the Tuscan Sun," "Saved," "We Are Marshall," "Red," "The Hangover," the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time and recently released musical drama, “Burlesque.”

Beck’s road to film scoring was circuitous. The Montreal native started piano lessons at five and by eleven he was writing music for his first-ever band. During high school he studied flute, saxophone, trombone & drums, and performed in rock bands. While studying music at Yale, Beck had an epiphany: “I discovered my talent for composing was far greater than my talent for performing.” He wrote two musicals with his brother Jason (a.k.a. Chilly Gonzales, the Berlin-based hip-hop recording artist), as well as an opera based on Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.”

Upon graduation from Yale in 1992, he moved to Los Angeles to attend USC's prestigious film scoring program, where he studied with notable composers Jerry Goldsmith and Christopher Young. Beck was immediately attracted to the creative challenges unique to the marriage of music and picture. A personal recommendation from the legendary Buddy Baker, head of the USC Music Department, led to his first assignment for a TV series called "White Fang.” Soon thereafter, he was asked to score a new TV series, “Buffy,” based on the movie “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” for which he received the Emmy for Outstanding Music Composition.

The Hollywood Music in Media Awards recognizes and honors the music in visual mediums, the talented individuals responsible for creating and placing it, and the music of both mainstream and independent artists from around the globe for their compositions and recordings in all forms of media including film, TV, video games, commercial advertisements, movie trailers and music videos. The HMMA is also the first music awards event to recognize and honor excellence in music supervision. In addition, iconic individuals are presented with special awards for outstanding career achievement and longevity in entertainment.

Selections from the score can be heard at


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