The Production Music Association invites me every year to interview a major composer at its annual Production Music Conference. This year’s was at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, and my guest was Emmy-winning composer Laura Karpman, who had recently finished Ms. Marvel and was beginning work on her next feature film, The Marvels. It was a wide-ranging discussion that included not only her music but also her role as an advocate for marginalized composers (as co-founder of the Alliance for Women Film Composers and as a governor of the Motion Picture Academy). Earlier that month I reported on the amazing rise in the use of production music in broadcast and cable programming.
Composer Tyler Bates is not only one of the nicest people in the music business, he’s among the most thoughtful and philosophical, and just plain fun to be around. So when the Production Music Association asked me to return to their annual conference to do the keynote Q&A with him, I jumped at the opportunity. Bates, who has scored not only the two hugely successful Guardians of the Galaxy films but also this year’s fun Deadpool 2, talked about his composing process and his other musical pursuits ranging from TV’s The Punisher to concert tours with his friend and musical collaborator Marilyn Manson.
Yesterday was a fun day at the Directors Guild of America building on Sunset: The Production Music Conference invited me to collaborate with composer Brian Tyler on a “keynote address” that was really more of a Q&A about his music and his career. We opened with a spectacular five-minute montage of his big movie scores (including Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 3, the Fast and the Furious franchise and others). The Q&A was wide-ranging, covering his rise from small indies to huge studio films; his love of drumming and piano, which he still does himself on many scores; and how he runs his business. About 300 composers and music publishers attended.