On Friday August 4, Turner Classic Movies and Film Music Magazine held "The Composer Expo" at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. Open to the public (for a registration fee), numerous panel discussions were held on a variety of topics. From the creative side (with composers John Frizzell, Christophe Beck, Aaron Zigman, Hummie Mann, Bill Brown and Mark Waters), the business side (with Entertainment attorney Neville Johnson, former agent Stan Milander, Warner Bros. studio music executive Keith Zajic and composers Hummie Mann, Geoff Levin and Mark Holden) and the technological side (with Michael Stern, Richard Ash, Nick Phoenix, and John Rodd). Video games were also discussed, on a panel featuring composers Lennie Moore, Cris Velasco, Jason Hayes, Shawn Clement and Garry Schyman.

Panorama of the panel discussions. (Click to enlarge)

The highlight of the conference was the Keynote Panel discussion, moderated by John Frizzell, which featured Hans Zimmer, Brian Tyler, Ron Jones, David Newman, Mark Isham and John Ottman. The discussion was rather energetic and free flowing, with topics ranging from demo reels, to their personal lives. After the panel ended, many of the composers stayed around to talk to the conference attendees.

Ron Jones, Brian Tyler, Hans Zimmer, John Frizzell, David Newman, Mark Isham and John Ottman chat at the Keynote Panel.

Following the panels, there was a cocktail reception, and then the annual awards ceremony for the 7th Annual TCM Young Film Composers Competition. Over 650 people entered the competition, which involved them scoring a scene from a silent film. The five finalists were present for the awards ceremony, and would soon find out their fate. Introduced by Tom Karsch, the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Turner Classic Movies, the event featured a very quick speech by Hans Zimmer, and then an address by noted film historian and critic Leonard Maltin.

Hans Zimmer addresses the audience at the TCM Young Film Composers Competition

Leonard Maltin gives the keynote address at the TCM Young Film Composers Competition

The awards were handed out, with each contestant's composition (all for the same clip) being shown. The winner this year was composer Darryl Raby - who was actually the first runner-up last year, and had made it into the Top 10 two years ago. It just goes to show that perseverance and determination can indeed pay off! As the winner, Raby received a $10,000 grand prize, and the opportunity to score the 1927 silent film, The Show. He will be mentored by Hans Zimmer, and will record his score at Todd-AO.

Tom Karsch, Darryl Raby, Hans Zimmer and Mark Northam

For more information on The Composer Expo, visit www.tcmcomposerexpo.com. Audio from the panels will soon be online. For more details on the TCM Young Film Composers Competition, visit their website.

Photos by Dan Goldwasser and Eric Charbonneau/Wireimage.com