Monday, May 9, 2011

A Fistful of Orchestrators, Part I

Since the beginning of film music, the orchestrator has been a vital part of the process.  The one thing that comes up is what do these mysterious people do and what they even look like.  For earlier films, orchestrators (and tons of crew members) were uncredited.  Even now, not all people that work on film scores are listed in the credits.

Here I’ve picked a few leading orchestrators of past or present.  It would be quite impossible to list every orchestrator or every movie they’ve worked on, but this is a nice basic list.  You’ll note a lot of repeating composer names and repeating movie titles – since a movie could have somewhere between 1 and maybe more than 5 orchestrators. 
Pete Anthony

Composer Collaborators: Marco Beltrami, John Debney, James Newton Howard, Marc Shaiman, Theodore Shapiro, Edward Shearmur, Christopher Young
Score Examples: Mimic, Wonder Boys, Atlantis The Lost Empire, Old School, Peter Pan, Batman Begins, Spiderman 3, Tropic Thunder, Water for Elephants, Mars Needs Moms
Jeff Atmajian
Composer Collaborators: James Newton Howard, Rachel Portman, Marc Shaiman, Howard Shore, Gabriel Yared, Christopher Young
Score Examples: Waterworld, The American President, Dinosaur, South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut, Peter Pan, King Kong, Defiance, The Dark Knight
Steve Bartek
Composer Collaborators: Danny Elfman
Score Examples: Batman, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Spiderman, Nightmare Before Christmas

Frank Bennett
Composer Collaborators:
John Debney, Jerry Goldsmith, James Newton Howard
Score Examples: The Simpsons, Cutthroat Island, Elf, Passion of the Christ, King Kong, Iron Man 2

Chris Boardman

Composer Collaborators: James Newton Howard, Quincy Jones, Michael Kamen
Score Examples: The Wiz, Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Fugitive, James and the Giant Peach

James B. Campbell
Composer Collaborators: Alan Silvestri
Score Examples: Romancing the Stone, Back to the Future trilogy, Predator, The Abyss
Alexander Courage (1919-2008)

Composer Collaborators: Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams
Score Examples: Showboat, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, My Fair Lady, Star Trek The Motion Picture, Rudy, Jurassic Park, Air Force One, The Mummy
Don Davis

Composer Collaborators: James Horner, Michael Kamen, Randy Newman
Score Examples: Aliens, Die Hard 2, Legends of the Fall, Apollo 13, Toy Story, Titanic, Matrix Trilogy, Toy Story 3
Brad Dechter

Composer Collaborators: John Debney, James Newton Howard, John Powell
Score Examples: Pretty Woman, Last of the Mohicans, Cutthroat Island, The Sixth Sense, Dinosaur, Bruce Almighty, Peter Pan, Van Helsing, Spiderman 2, King Kong, The Water Horse, Predators, Mars Needs Moms, Cars 2
Nicholas Dodd
Composer Collaborators: David Arnold, Andrew Lockington
Score Examples: Independence Day, Tomorrow Never Dies, Casino Royale, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Avatar, Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Robert Elhei

Composer Collaborators: Klaus Badelt, Elliot Goldenthal, James Newton Howard,   Michael Kamen, Edward Shearmur, Brian Tyler
Score Examples: Heat, Batman Forever, The Iron Giant, The Sixth Sense, X-Men, Frida, Pirates of the Caribbean, Public Enemies, The Expendables
Bruce Fowler
Composer Collaborators: Hans Zimmer, John Powell, Harry Gregson-Williams
Score Examples: Backdraft, Speed, The Lion King, Crimson Tide, The Rock, Armageddon, Gladiator, Chicken Run, Shrek, Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sherlock Holmes, Inception, Rango
Hugo Friedhofer (1901-1981)
Composer Collaborators: Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Max Steiner
Score Examples: Captain Blood, Life of Emile Zola, Tovarich, Adventures of Robin Hood, Rebecca, The Sea Hawk, Kings Row, Casablanca
Jack Hayes (1919-2011)

Composer Collaborators: Elmer Bernstein, Randy Newman, John Morris, Alfred Newman, Quincy Jones, Michael Giacchino
Score Examples: The Greatest Story Ever Told, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Elephant Man, The Wrath of Khan, Spaceballs, The Incredibles, Up
Ray Heindorf (1908-1980)

Composer Collaborators: Max Steiner, Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Score Examples: Street Scene, Captain Blood, The Sea Hawk, Yankee Doodle Dandy, The Music Man
Jon Kull
Composer Collaborators: Marco Beltrami, Marc Shaiman, James Newton Howard, Theodore Shapiro
Score Examples: Scream 2, Rush Hour, Wild Wild West, Treasure Planet, Monster House, Lady in the Water, The Last Airbender, The Tourist
Ladd McIntosh

Composer Collaborators: Hans Zimmer, Harry Gregson-Williams, John Powell
Score Examples: The Lion King, Con Air, Antz, Gladiator, Shrek, Curse of the Black Pearl, Chronicles of Narnia, X-Men Origins Wolverine, Prince of Persia, Cowboys & Aliens
Mark McKenzie

Composer Collaborators: Bruce Broughton, Danny Elfman, Alan Silvestri, John Powell
Score Examples: Coming to America, A Few Good Men, Batman Returns, Nightmare Before Christmas, Men in Black, Lilo and Stich, Van Helsing, Mr & Mrs Smith
Greig McRitchie (1914-1997)

Composer Collaborators: John Barry, Basil Poledouris, James Horner
Score Examples: Conan The Barbarian, Krull, Search for Spock, Aliens, Willow, Glory, Hunt for Red October, Dances with Wolves, Last of the Mohicans, Starship Troopers
Dave Metzger

Composer Collaborators: John Powell, Alan Silvestri, Trevor Rabin, Mark Mancina
Score Examples: Speed 2, Tarzan, Brother Bear, Flyboys, August Rush, Kung Fu Panda, Bolt, Night at the Museum 2, How to Train Your Dragon, Rio
Arthur Morton (1908-2000)
Composer Collaborators: Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams
Score Examples: Laura, Planet of the Apes, Patton, Star Wars, Superman, Alien, Star Trek the Motion Picture, Rudy, LA Confidential

Many photos by
Dan Goldwasser at

1 comment:

  1. How does one outside of Hollywood go about hiring an Orchestrator the likes of Dave Metzger or Ladd McIntosh? Are they paid by the hour or by the project?