Summer 2022 has been busy! This weekend (September 8!) Cars on the Road will debut on Disney+. This was one of the first projects to kick off the latest batch of new work. Jake Monaco scored this new series from Pixar, and I orchestrated and conducted.
Prey also recently released on Hulu. I played a small role in helping with Sarah Schachner‘s score for this one shortly before we got into work on Cars. We got to make a lot of cool sounds, including some phasing percussion (had to do some maths and finesse the click tracks to make that one work)! Here’s a map of the strings layout for our sessions at Fox.
After those movies it was on to work for several films due out at the beginning of 2023. The first was Cocaine Bear, with composer Mark Mothersbaugh. Yes, this one is about exactly what it says on the tin – inspired by true events, no less! (If you’re ever in Kentucky you can visit the taxidermied body of the original cocaine bear!)
Then it was straight into another project for Mark Mothersbaugh (I appreciate when he stays busy!) The Magician’s Elephant is an upcoming adaptation of the book by author Kate DiCamillo, who has written several other stories adapted into popular movies, including Flora & Ulysses, which I also worked on! This was definitely a tonal shift from Cocaine Bear. I orchestrated and traveled to London to conduct the recording.
Awake now? The next big project was working on a new Shazam film, Fury of the Gods, composed by Christophe Beck. This should be in theaters in March of 2023.
Click on this diagram to see a larger version of how I organize my strings. Having everyone know which subgroups they’re part of lets me have the most appropriate divisi for any given section of score without costing any time explaining or coordinating during the session. I like efficiency!
In between working on these films, I’ve also done a little work for Fil Eisler and Alexis Grapsas on a second season of the Disney+ show Big Shot, which is finally getting a second season after keeping fans waiting since the show first came out in spring of 2021. The first season was one of my pandemic projects, and it was much nicer to work on the second season in a more normal context!
In addition to leading orchestration for these films and shows I’ve also been contributing orchestration to a few other projects. Working with Mark Graham, I orchestrated on the movie Luck and a few episodes of The Orville for composer John Debney.
Finally, sometimes I don’t even touch any of the crotchets myself, I just roll up and wave my hands in front of the orchestra for a bit (okay it’s actually a bit more involved than that!). My good friends Carlos Rafael Rivera (composer) and Jeremy Levy (orchestrator) were back at work on a second season of Hacks, after great reviews for its first season, and brought me in to conduct the recording sessions. I also joined Cars on the Road composer Jake Monaco again to conduct his score for Jerry and Marge Go Large.
Just recently, after finishing with all of these projects, I had the opportunity to travel down to Guadalajara for a week to conduct a workshop about scoring for animation. I was invited by the Taller del Chucho, an animation studio and school set up by Guillermo del Toro in affiliation with the University of Guadalajara. Maya and the Three creator Jorge Gutierrez dropped in over Zoom one day and we had an awesome chat about animation, music, and Mexico!