Darren Fung is featured on this week’s episode of ‘The Screen Composer’s Studio’. You can find the show wherever you get your podcasts!
Born of Chinese immigrant parents, he started his musical education at a very early age, and had his first orchestral work performed when he was only 15. He eventually found his way to Montreal where he studied at McGill University, and finally to LA where he currently makes his home. All along the way, this savvy entrepreneur has found himself helped by many amazing mentors, and has himself long been giving back to the community that helped him get his start. His stunning work on Niobe Thompson’s The Great Human Odyssey and Equus: Story of the Horse won him Canadian Screen awards in 2016 and 2019, and he has led orchestras across Canada in highly acclaimed concert performances of both mini-series. We chat about the intensity and pressure of live orchestral recording sessions and what it takes to pull them off, his work on a piece of music that could have made him the most hated man in Canada, the journey that led him to Hollywood, and his thoughts about living and working in the mecca of filmmaking and music.
Please be warned – this episode does contain some spicy words, so be aware if you’re listening with kids or anyone sensitive to not-so-safe-for-work language.
Mark Korven is featured on this week’s episode of ‘The Screen Composer’s Studio’. You can find the show wherever you get your podcasts!
In this episode I’ll be chatting with Mark Korven, whose long and successful career recently skyrocketed with the wild success of The Witch, and more recently, The Lighthouse, both of which he worked on with film making maverick, Robert Eggers. Mark says his greatest fear is being boring, and the lengths he goes to prevent this have yielded amazing results, including his invention of anew musical instrument in The Apprehension Engine, to his recent move to “free scoring”, where he doesn’t use a metronic click or measures to guide composition. We trace Mark’s journey from The Beatles, Punk, Prog Jazz and Pop, to Thomas Newman, from Winnipeg to Edmonton and finally Toronto where he worked on the sci-fi horror cult-hit Cube, to recent outings In The Tall Grass on Netflix, and AMC’s The Terror: Infamy. This Gemini and Genie award winning multi-instrumentalist is blazing his own path, breaking the rules as he goes along, and creating some of the most striking scores as he does it.
Amin Bhatia is featured on this week’s episode of ‘The Screen Composer’s Studio’. You can find the show wherever you get your podcasts!
In this episode, we speak to Amin Bhatia, who is probably best known for his award winning work on the massive hit series’ Flashpoint, and Anne with an E, which he co-composed with his longtime writing partner, Ari Posner. Amin’s life story is worthy of its own movie, including narrow escapes from a violent African dictator, going from being a self-proclaimed “nerd” recording analog synth epics alone in his basement in Calgary to making an appearance on one of the biggest pop albums of all time, and the truly weird, risky, and hilarious way he wrote the theme for a show that would earn him an Emmy nomination. We chat about his ups and downs, and how this unstoppable optimist deals with disappointment, and why I end up calling him “the comeback kid”. Passionate and humble, this talented, multiple Gemini and Canadian Screen Award winner is also one of the kindest and generous people I know, who notes that through it all he draws strength from his actor wife, Danielle Nicole, and daughters Angie and Kel, who are also pursuing careers in music and storytelling.
Judith Gruber-Stitzer, a notable Canadian film composer, is widely known for her scores for award winning National Film Board of Canada animated shorts. Most recently, she scored ‘The Most Magnificent Thing’ inspired by the picture book of the same name by Ashley Spires. The widely successful animated short stars Whoopi Goldberg, Alison Pill and Lilly Bartlam!