John Powell (film composer)
|Born||18 September 1963|
|Origin||East Sussex, England, United Kingdom|
|Occupation(s)||Composer, conductor, producer|
John Powell (born 18 September 1963) is an English composer, best known for his scores to motion pictures. He has been based in Los Angeles since 1997 and has composed the scores to over fifty feature films. He is particularly known for his scores for animated films, including Antz, Chicken Run, Shrek (all three co-composed with Harry Gregson-Williams), Robots, Happy Feet (and its sequel), three Ice Age sequels, Rio, How to Train Your Dragon, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, and its 2014 sequel.
He has also scored many live-action films, of which his collaborations with directors Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass are perhaps the best known. These include the first three and the fifth Bourne films, United 93, and Green Zone.
Powell was a member of Hans Zimmer's music studio, Remote Control Productions, and has collaborated frequently with other composers from the studio, including Harry Gregson-Williams and Zimmer himself.
Early life and education
Powell was born in London, United Kingdom. He originally trained as a violinist as a child, before studying at London's Trinity College of Music. He later ventured into jazz and rock music, playing in a soul band called the Faboulistics. On leaving college, he composed music for commercials, which led to a job as an assistant to the composer Patrick Doyle on several film productions, including Much Ado About Nothing.
Since the age of 6, Powell has been an atheist.
In 1995, Powell co-founded the London-based commercial music house Independently Thinking Music, which produced scores for more than 100 British and French commercials and independent films.
Powell's first film score was for the 1990 film Stay Lucky. He moved to Los Angeles in 1997, and scored his first major film, Face/Off. This was followed by Antz in 1998, the first film produced by DreamWorks Animation which he co-scored with fellow British composer Harry Gregson-Williams. Two years later the two collaborated again to compose the score to Chicken Run, and again the following year on Shrek, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. All subsequent Shrek films however, have been scored solely by Gregson-Williams. During 2001 he also scored Evolution, I Am Sam, Just Visiting, and Rat Race.
In 2002 Powell was hired to score The Bourne Identity, after Carter Burwell left the project, and has gone on to score all of director Doug Liman's subsequent films. He also returned to score the other two films in the series, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, which were both directed by British director Paul Greengrass.
Following the Bourne films, Powell collaborated with Liman again to score the 2005 film Mr. & Mrs. Smith. That year, he also scored Robots, going on to score all but one of subsequent films by Blue Sky Studios.
In 2006, he scored Greengrass' United 93. He also composed music for Ice Age: The Meltdown, following David Newman, who scored the first Ice Age film, as well as X-Men: The Last Stand, and Happy Feet, for which he won a Film & TV Music Award for Best Score for an Animated Feature Film. The following year he scored The Bourne Ultimatum. In 2008 he collaborated with composer Hans Zimmer to score Kung Fu Panda, and also wrote music that year for Jumper, Hancock, and Bolt. In 2009 he scored the third film of Ice Age series; Dawn of the Dinosaurs.
In 2010, Powell composed the score to How to Train Your Dragon. This was his sixth score for a DreamWorks Animation film, although the first where he composed the whole score himself. It also became his first work to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score. That year, he has also scored Greengrass's Green Zone, and Knight and Day.
In 2013, he took a sabbatical year from film scoring and in April 2014, following the completion of his scores to sequels Rio 2 and How to Train Your Dragon 2, he announced his decision to take another break to compose concert music, including a 45-minute oratorio to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of World War I. The piece, named "A Prussian Requiem", premiered on 6 March 2016 at The Royal Festival Hall, London with Jose Serebrier conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra and a libretto by Michael Petry.
|John Powell discography|
|1997||Face/Off||John Woo|| Paramount Pictures (North America)
Touchstone Pictures (International)
|1998||With Friends Like These...||Philip Frank Messina||Miramax Films||N/A|
|Antz|| Eric Darnell
| Pacific Data Images
|with Harry Gregson-Williams|
|1999||Endurance|| Leslie Woodhead
|Walt Disney Pictures||N/A|
|Forces of Nature||Bronwen Hughes||DreamWorks Pictures||N/A|
|Chill Factor||Hugh Johnson|| Morgan Creek Productions
Warner Bros. Pictures
|with Hans Zimmer|
Awards and nominations
- 1998 ASCAP Award for Top Box Office Films - Face/Off
- 1999 ASCAP Award for Top Box Office Films - Antz (with Harry Gregson-Williams)
- 2001 ASCAP Award for Top Box Office Films - Chicken Run (with Harry Gregson-Williams)
- 2001 Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music Score an Animated Feature Production - Shrek (with Harry Gregson-Williams)
- 2002 ASCAP Award for Top Box Office Films - Shrek (with Harry Gregson-Williams)
- 2003 ASCAP Award for Top Box Office Films - The Bourne Identity
- 2004 ASCAP Award for Top Box Office Films - The Italian Job
- 2005 ASCAP Award for Top Box Office Films - The Bourne Supremacy
- 2006 ASCAP Award for Top Box Office Films - Mr. & Mrs. Smith
- 2006 ASCAP Award for Top Box Office Films - Robots
- 2009 Annie Award for Best Music in an Animated Feature Production - Kung Fu Panda (with Hans Zimmer)
- 2009 Annie Award for Best Music in an Animated Television Production or Short Form - Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five (with Henry Jackman and Hans Zimmer)
- 2011 Annie Award for Best Music in an Animated Feature Production - How To Train Your Dragon
- 2011 IFMCA Award for Best Original Score for an Animated Feature - How To Train Your Dragon
- 2011 IFMCA Award for Film Score of the Year - How To Train Your Dragon
- 2015 IFMCA Award for Best Original Score for an Animated Feature - How To Train Your Dragon 2
- 2015 IFMCA Award for Film Music Composition of the Year - for "Flying With Mother" from How to Train Your Dragon 2
- 1998 Saturn Award for Best Music - Face/Off
- 1999 Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production - Antz (with Harry Gregson-Williams)
- 2000 Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production - The Road to El Dorado (with Hans Zimmer, Elton John and Tim Rice)
- 2001 Saturn Award for Best Music - The Road to El Dorado (with Hans Zimmer)
- 2001 Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards for Best Original Score - Chicken Run (with Harry Gregson-Williams)
- 2002 BAFTA Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music - Shrek (with Harry Gregson-Williams)
- 2002 Saturn Award for Best Music - Shrek (with Harry Gregson-Williams)
- 2005 Golden Satellite Award for Best Original Score - Alfie (with David A. Stewart and Mick Jagger)
- 2007 Saturn Award for Best Music - X-Men: The Last Stand
- 2007 Annie Award for Best Music in an Animated Feature Production - Ice Age: The Meltdown
- 2007 BAFTA Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music - Happy Feet
- 2008 Grammy for Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media - Happy Feet
- 2008 Satellite Award for Best Original Score - Horton Hears a Who!
- 2008 Saturn Award for Best Music - The Bourne Ultimatum
- 2009 Saturn Award for Best Music - Jumper
- 2009 Annie Award for Best Music in an Animated Feature Production - Horton Hears a Who!
- 2010 Annie Award for Music in a Feature Production - Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
- 2011 Saturn Award for Best Music - How To Train Your Dragon
- 2011 BAFTA Award for Best Original Music - How To Train Your Dragon
- 2011 Academy Award for Best Original Score - How To Train Your Dragon
- "From Gigli to Oscar: Composer John Powell Reacts to His Nomination". Movieline. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- Thomson, Paul. "John Powell - Exclusive Q & A". Spitfire Audio. Spitfire Audio. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
- "John Powell's 'A Prussian Requiem' to be performed live in London". SoundtracksAndTrailerMusic.com. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
- V., Erin (2 April 2012). "Interview: Dean DeBlois, director of 'How To Train Your Dragon'". One Movie, Five Views. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
- "How to Train Your Dragon 3 Pushed Back to 2017". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved 2 September 2014.