Saturday, April 13, 2024

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)


Composer and director Michael Giacchino grew up fascinated with both movies and music, and he’s gone on to an ideal career writing acclaimed scores for numerous films and television series. Best known for scoring many Pixar animated films plus latter-day installments of franchises spanning Mission: Impossible and Marvel, Giacchino has also scored video games and done pivotal work for the television series Lost and Alias. After building his résumé with work on a few low-budget films alongside prestige DreamWorks video games with fully orchestrated scores in the late ’90s, Giacchino had his box-office-topping big-screen breakthrough with 2004’s The Incredibles, his first collaboration with Pixar. He received his first Academy Award nomination and Grammy win for the animation studio’s Ratatouille (2007). His first Emmy win followed in 2008, for Lost, before he took home an Oscar and a BAFTA for Pixar’s Up (2009). Some of Hollywood’s biggest film franchises soon came calling, and throughout the 2010s, Giacchino worked on the likes of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011), Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013), Jurassic World (2015), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), and Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017). In the meantime, he continued his relationship with Pixar, scoring 2017’s Coco and 2018’s Incredibles 2. In 2022 alone, Giacchino provided music for The Batman, Jurassic World Dominion, Lightyear (for Pixar), and the Marvel entry Thor: Love and Thunder. He also made is full-length directorial debut, helming the Marvel Studios Halloween special Werewolf by Night.

Giacchino was born in Riverside Township, New Jersey, on October 10, 1967, and grew up in nearby Edgewater Park. As a child, he developed an interest in animation and began making stop-motion cartoons, but discovered his favorite part was selecting the music that would match the action. After high school, Giacchino received a degree in film production at New York’s School of Visual Arts and then went on to study music at Lincoln Center’s Juilliard School. Giacchino supported himself as a publicist for the New York offices of Universal Pictures and Disney, and after completing his studies, he relocated to Burbank, California, where he worked for Disney’s feature film publicity department. He moved on to Disney Interactive, assisting with production on video game projects as he continued to hone his craft in music.

After contributing music to several Disney games, he took a position with DreamWorks Interactive in 1997 and scored the video game The Lost World: Jurassic Park, released as a tie-in with the sci-fi blockbuster; the same year, he also scored a low-budget live-action thriller, Legal Deceit. Giacchino composed scores for a number of other video games, including the Medal of Honor and Call of Duty franchises, and in 2001, when producer J.J. Abrams was assembling his creative team for the television series Alias, he invited Giacchino to write music for the show, having been impressed with his video game work.

After working together successfully on Alias, Abrams hired Giacchino to compose music for the cult favorite series Lost, which earned him an Emmy Award for outstanding dramatic score in 2005; Giacchino also wrote music for Abrams’ short-lived but critically acclaimed show Fringe. In 2004, he was part of a team credited with music for Star Trek: The Final Darkness, and Brad Bird invited Giacchino to write the music for the Pixar animated feature The Incredibles. It was the first of several projects he scored for Pixar. Following work on Abrams’ Mission: Impossible 3 (2006), his second Pixar film, 2007’s Ratatouille, made Giacchino an Oscar nominee and a Grammy winner (Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media). He worked on films including 2008’s Cloverfield (produced by Abrams) and Speed Racer, and 2009’s Star Trek (directed by Abrams), before winning an Academy Award in 2010 for the Pixar release Up (2009). It also garnered a Grammy for Best Score Soundtrack Album.

After Lost ended its six-season run in May 2010, Giacchino’s music could be heard in films including Let Me In (2010), Pixar’s Cars 2 (2011), Abrams’ Super 8 (2011), and the Brad Bird-directed Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011). The action fare continued in the form of Star Trek: Into Darkness (Abrams, 2013), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), and 2015’s Tomorrowland, a collaboration between Bird and Lost creator Damon Lindelof. That year brought another Jurassic Park sequel, Jurassic World, and Giacchino’s fifth Pixar movie, Inside Out. His stock only continued to increase as 2016 saw the release of Disney’s Zootopia, Star Trek Beyond, Marvel’s Doctor Strange, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, all with scores by Giacchino. Spider-Man: Homecoming followed in 2017, as did another Planet of the Apes series entry, War for the Planet of the Apes, and another Pixar film, Coco, which featured songs by Germaine Franco, Adrian Molina, Robert Lopez, and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and a Grammy-nominated score by Giacchino. Among his film work to finish out the decade were Pixar’s Incredibles 2, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Spider-Man: Far from Home, and the World War II satire Jojo Rabbit.

The composer branched out to another animation studio, Montreal’s Cinesite Animation, to pen music with his son, Mick Giacchino, for 2021’s Extinct. That year, he also had sole credit on Spider-Man: No Way Home. Giacchino kicked off 2022 with The Batman in March and both Jurassic World Dominion and Toy Story spin-off Lightyear in June. Marvel Studios’ Thor: Love and Thunder followed a month later. Having previously directed the short film, Monster Challenge starring Patton Oswalt, Giacchino also made his full-length directorial debut with the Marvel Studios Disney Plus Halloween special Werewolf by Night, which he also scored. ~ Mark Deming & Marcy Donelson


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