Rocketman to Godzilla: Alumni Create Music for Summer Films

If you hit the theaters this summer, chances are you'll hear the music of Berklee alumni.

July 11, 2019

Matthew Margeson B.M. '02 recently scored the hit Elton John biopic 'Rocketman.'

On top of all the standard artistic considerations to scoring major feature films, composing for a film like the Elton John biopic Rocketman poses its own challenge: writing music to support a movie built on iconic music.

Composer Matthew Margeson B.M. '02, who cut his scoring teeth on films such as Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children and Kick-Ass 2, had every bit of preparation he needed for the gig, from his dual major studies in composition and film scoring at Berklee to training and working with scoring titans Hans Zimmer and Henry Jackman.

In a recent interview in Score It Magazine, Margeson recounts how he found his approach, asking, “Why are we trying to reinvent Elton John, musically? We have all of these amazing musical why don’t we attempt to use those as part of the fabric of the score?” To make that happen, Margeson worked closely with the film's music producer, Giles Martin (son of George Martin, legendary producer for the Beatles). "Giles and I had to combine forces...and figure out creatively how to make the score seamlessly fade away within a song... It was a clever collaborative process between Giles and his team."

In addition to Rocketman, other summer films that feature music Berklee alumni helped create include:

  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Warner Bros.): Jason Akers B.M. '11, scoring assistant; Angelina Park B.M. '15, assistant to the composer; Kaiyun Wong B.M. '14, scoring coordinator
  • Shaft (Warner Bros.): Bobby Villarreal B.M. '13, MIDI programmer
  • Marooned (Dreamworks): Amie Doherty M.M. '13, composer
  • Child's Play (Orion): Jason Akers and Etienne Monsaingeon '17, scoring assistants
  • Dark Phoenix (20th Century Fox): Alejandro Moros '17, technical assistant
  • Astronaut (Buck Productions): Virginia Kilbertus M.M. '16, composer
  • Seize & Secure: The Battle for La Fière (PBS feature documentary): Lauren Butcher, composer

Watch the trailer for Rocketman

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