Trevor Rabin has one of the most interesting backstories of any currently working Hollywood composer. The South African-born ex-guitarist for Yes has done no fewer than 13 Jerry Bruckheimer movies (from Armageddon to National Treasure), is the town’s go-to guy for sports-movie anthems (Remember the Titans), and is now working on two cable TV shows (including Sharon Stone’s upcoming series Agent X). Variety asked me to profile him in three stories: a main story outlining his background and current work; what collaborators are saying about him; and a look at his latest feature, the military-dog movie Max.
This week’s shocking loss of composer James Horner has upended the entire film music world. Everyone I know is still in disbelief. Many are using social-media platforms to eulogize him and recall their favorite scores. On Monday I wrote the obituary for Variety, after word came that his plane had crashed in Ventura County, Calif., and that he had not survived. And today I’ve added some personal thoughts and historical perspective in an appreciation piece dotted with photos of him taken over the past three decades. I liked James very much; we first met in the aftermath of his Titanic success, and over the years we spent hours on the phone discussing his subsequent work.
This was a challenge: Trying to anticipate what might be nominated for the song category in the 2014-15 Emmy Awards. You can never really tell what the Television Academy music branch will decide. I finally called songwriters from Empire, Galavant, Glee, Inside Amy Schumer and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt… that is, Jim Beanz, Glenn Slater, Darren Criss, Schumer herself and Jeff Richmond. Here’s the story I wrote for this week’s Variety. I’d be delighted if all of these were honored… but you can never really tell.