Sunday, January 26, 2014

Brian Tyler: The Action


Born in 1972 in Southern California, Brian Tyler grew up around musical instruments playing the drums as well as piano.  His grandfather Walter Tyler worked as an art director for several major films (including Shane, The Ten Commandments, The Odd Couple) with many Oscar nominations and 1 win.  While beginning to write music, and knowing the behind-the-scenes of film making, it was a future calling.

He later attended UCLA, overloading on credits Tyler had to drop many music credits to graduate.  He ended up with a double major in history and music.  After graduating UCLA, Tyler attended Harvard before deciding to pursue a career in music.  Returning to LA, he continued composing music and performing in a band and recording albums.  He worked his way in with independent films, such as Bartender (1997).  He continued with a variety of projects such as the short-lived sitcom Jenny (1997) and Six-String Samurai (1998).


Tyler continued with a variety of projects across many genres in the early 2000s, including the stinker Simon Sez (1999), Frailty (2001) and Bubba Ho-Tep (2002).  Tyler received an Emmy nomination for the TV special Last Call (2002).  It was 2003 that Tyler made his biggest impact and entrance into Hollywood scoring.  First there was the horror score Darkness Falls (2003) and composing two episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise, both airing in 2003.  Another highlight is the action score to Timeline (2003), in which Tyler composed the score after Jerry Goldsmith's score was rejected.  It was his score to the Mini-Series adaption of Children of Dune (2003) that remains one of biggest achievements.  


He continued with smaller and suspenseful scores, like Paparazzi (2004) and Godsend (2004).  With The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005), Tyler was able to use a lush orchestral sound.  For Constantine (2005), upon studio suggestion, composer Klaus Badelt was brought in to overlay his own music over Tyler's instead of composing a new score - another one of Hollywood's odd scoring stories.  He also scored military drama Annapolis (2006) with director Justin Lin.  2006 was also the year Tyler jumped into an action franchise with The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), returning with director Justin Lin.  Following the work of BT and David Arnold, Tyler used a lot of rock guitar and electronics.                   


Departing from his norm, Tyler scored Partition (2007), a haunting score with a slight Eastern flavor.  This remains another one of Tyler's top scores.  Around this time, Tyler became the go-to for large scale action scoring with films like War (2007) and Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), with the latter utilizing styles from the past films.  He composed his score to Rambo (2008) in the same way, this time using Jerry Goldsmith's theme from the first Rambo film.  He continued with many intense action scores (despite the highs and lows of the films themselves) like Eagle Eye (2008), Bangkok Dangerous (2008), Dragonball: Evolution (2009), The Final Destination (2009) and Law Abiding Citizen (2009).  He also scored the next installment with Fast & Furious (2009).  


Returning with Sylvester Stallone after Rambo, Tyler scored the mega-action film The Expendables (2010) and ventured into video game scoring with Lego Universe (2010).  He also ventured the television front, scoring the main titles and a chunk of episodes of Transformers Prime (2010-2013).  For the reboot of the series Hawaii Five-0 (2010-), Tyler arranged the original series theme and composed episode scores.


2011 saw a bigger expansion of his work, going between films like Fast Five (2011), Final Destination 5 (2011), sci-fi action Battle: Los Angeles (2011), short lived television series Terra Nova (2011) and video games Need For Speed: The Run (2011), and the ever popular Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011).  Tyler scored a handful of projects in 2012, like thriller Columbus Circle (2012), back to the action grind with The Expendables 2 (2012) and video game Far Cry 3 (2012).  2012 was also the year of the unveiling of the updated anniversary of Universal Studios logo, with Tyler's arrangement of the Jerry Goldsmith tune.    


Tyler hit new heights in the film world by scoring a Marvel superhero film, first being blockbuster Iron Man 3 (2013).  He also scored Thor: The Dark World (2013) for Marvel, both films adding to the franchise and making Tyler an even more well-known name.  Attached to 'Thor 2', he composed a Marvel Studios Fanfare that will be used in subsequent projects.  He also scored several episodes of the TV series Sleepy Hollow (2013-) and video game Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (2013).

Remaining busy with all types of films and other scoring projects, Tyler has Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) coming out, as well as Fast & Furious 7 (2015) somewhere down the pipeline.  As the new hit composer for Marvel films, he most likely will have plenty of comic book films to score.  No doubt he will also continue with other high profile blockbuster and franchise films.  He's also notable for his conducting, orchestrating and even performing on most of his scores.  Tyler's penchant for action films makes him one of the go-to's, and one of the fastest growing scoring careers these days.  


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