Over his many years as faculty on the USC Screen Scoring program, Christopher Young has broken down genre films into eleven essential dramatic categories, each with musical solutions he will discuss in detail. Chris will also examine the importance of using immediately memorable melodies, using them to tie together a score through theme and variation.
Join ASMAC for an exciting Master Class
with Christopher Young!
“Scoring Genre Films”
Moderated by Sylvestor Rivers
Saturday, November 11th – 11:00am – 2:00pm
11 am – 2 pm
@ El Rancho Cordillera del Norte
9015 Wilbur Ave
Northridge CA 91324
After graduating college, Christopher Young moved to Los Angeles in 1980. Young was a jazz drummer, and although he loved the art of improvisation, he became discouraged after some negative feedback while studying with Dave Brubeck’s drummer at Berklee School of Music. Although his drumming days influenced some of the edgier scores he would later complete, Young put his sticks in the closet after a chance hearing of the record “The Fantasy Film World of Bernard Herrmann”, which included music from “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “ The 7th Voyage of Sinbad”. Within five seconds of dropping the needle on the record, Young’s life had changed. “Here was someone doing everything I had tried to do in my own writing up to that moment. I fell in love with the music before I realized that it was written for movies,” said Young.
From here Young applied to the UCLA School of Music, where he was turned down at first. Young was determined and reapplied the next year, and was finally accepted to study with famed film composer David Raksin (“Laura”). The first music that he wrote for his class received a negative response from Raksin. Young was devastated and came close to quitting, but Raksin would eventually become his greatest mentor. Young went on to build relationships with a number of college filmmakers with whom he would later work. One of these filmmakers wrote and directed the feature, “The Dorm that Dripped Blood” for his senior thesis, providing Young with an early foray into Hollywood.
Within a few years, his abilities thrust him to the attention of low budget movie studios, including New World Pictures and Roger Corman’s New Horizons Film Company. Through New World Pictures he met Clive Barker, landing his first major Hollywood movie Hellraiser, which has since become a cult classic. Though he has worked primarily in genre films throughout his career, he has had the great fortune of working in films of all shapes and sizes, and written in a multitude of styles including comedy, action, romantic, fantasy, and superhero movies. The only film genre that he has yet to work in is animation.
Over the years Chris has scored over 125 movies including Spider-Man 3, The Rum Diary starring Johnny Depp, The Hurricane with Denzel Washington, The Shipping News with Kevin Spacey and Drag Me To Hell. Chris has been on the faculty of the USC Screen Scoring program for over ten years, a two-term past president of The Film Music Society and the president of the Madrid Film Music Festival in Spain. Young teaches and mentors around the world in countries including Bulgaria, Ireland, Germany and Australia and in 2010 established the “Tilden House” residency program, providing housing assistance to those who might not otherwise be able to start or continue their composing careers in Los Angeles
Composer, arranger and pianist Sylvester Rivers has recorded with numerous hit artists including Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, The Jacksons, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dionne Warwick, Nancy Wilson, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Mathis, Aretha Franklin, New Edition, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Barry White, Marc Bolan & T. Rex, Ray Parker, Jr. & Raydio, Deniece Williams, The Fifth Dimension and many others. Composing, arranging and orchestrating for television and film, as well, such as the television series, “Fame,” songs for the Kevin Bacon/ Laurence Fishburne film, “Quicksilver,” “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo,” “The Arsenio Hall Show” and numerous others, he has been prolific in producing music throughout a wide spectrum.