BMI, the U.S. performing right organization representing more than 300,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, will present the third annual film music “Coffee Talk” at the Los Angeles Film Festival on Sunday, June 25. The spirited discussion will be moderated by BMI's Vice President of Film/TV Relations, Doreen Ringer Ross, and will feature BMI composers Terence Blanchard, Thomas Newman and Harry Gregson-Williams. The “Coffee Talk” will be held at the Geffen Playhouse (10886 Le Conte Ave.) from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission will be $15 and tickets can be purchased at 1-866-FILMFEST or www.lafilmfest.com.
Ross will focus the conversation on the composers' thoughts on film music – from working with directors to the creative muse – as well as on amusing anecdotes from their careers. This informal discussion is part of the Los Angeles Film Festival's “Coffee Talks” program featuring filmmakers and their creative cohorts in a relaxed setting. The Festival runs from June 22 to July 2.
A world renowned trumpeter, composer and bandleader, Blue Note recording artist Terence Blanchard is the most prolific jazz musician to ever compose for motion pictures. Blanchard was born and raised in New Orleans, where he studied with the Marsalis brothers at the famed New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts. In 1980, he won a scholarship to Rutgers University and immediately began performing in the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. Two years later, he succeeded Wynton Marsalis in the legendary Jazz Messengers before forming his own influential groups. Blanchard originally began performing on Spike Lee's soundtracks, including Mo' Better Blues, in which he ghosted the trumpet for Denzel Washington. He has since gone on to score such films as Inside Man, Their Eyes Were Watching God, She Hate Me, Barbershop, Gia, Bamboozled, Malcolm X, Jungle Fever, and many others.
Thomas Newman, a six-time Oscar nominee and BAFTA, Emmy and Grammy Award winner, has scored such films as Finding Nemo, Road to Perdition, In The Bedroom, White Oleander, Six Feet Under, The Shawshank Redemption, The Horse Whisperer, The Player, Little Women, Fried Green Tomatoes, American Beauty, The Green Mile and many others. The youngest son of legendary composer Alfred Newman, Thomas studied composition and orchestration at USC, completing his academic work at Yale. He scored his first film, Reckless, at the age of 29, and his reputation for originality and for intensifying mood and character grew with his work starting with such films as Gung Ho, Scent of a Woman and Citizen Cohn,continuing up to his most recent work on Finding Nemo, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and Cinderella Man.
One of Hollywood's most sought-after composers, Harry Gregson-Williams has infused his unique musical talent into the scores of such diverse films as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, Man on Fire, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Shrek, Shrek 2, Chicken Run, Spy Game, Kingdom of Heaven, Antz and Domino. Named the recipient of BMI's Richard Kirk Award for Outstanding Career Achievement at the 2006 Film & Television Awards, the British-born Golden Globe nominee was also named Composer of the Year at the 2005 Hollywood Film Festival. He is currently working on the music to Shrek The Third and Déjà Vu.
As Vice President, Film/TV Relations, Ringer Ross oversees all activities of the Los Angeles-based department serving film and television composers. During her tenure at BMI, she has established many programs for composers, including the Earle Hagen Film Scoring Workshop, the Sundance Institute's Composer's Lab and the BMI Conducting Workshop. She also oversees BMI's film scoring scholarships at USC, UCLA and Berklee College of Music, and sponsorship involvement with the Sundance Film Festival, the IFP Rough Cut Lab and the IFP Film Market, the Los Angeles Film Festival, the SXSW Film Festival, and the Woodstock Film Festival.
Ringer Ross works closely with BMI's many celebrated film and television composers, including John Williams, Thomas Newman, Danny Elfman, Dave Grusin, John Barry, Mike Post, W.G. “Snuffy” Walden, David Newman, and the late Jerry Goldsmith and Michael Kamen. In addition to Harry Gregson-Williams and Terence Blanchard, she is responsible for signing many other composers to BMI, including Graeme Revel, Chris Young, David Arnold, Stewart Copeland, Mychael Danna, Rolfe Kent, George S. Clinton, Alexandre Desplat, Aaron Zigman, John Ottman and Rachel Portman.
Now celebrating more than 65 years in business, BMI is an American performing right organization that represents more than 300,000 songwriters, composers and publishers in all genres of music. With a repertoire of more than 6.5 million musical works from around the world, the non-profit-making corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.