John Powell

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John Powell
Born(1963-09-18) 18 September 1963 (age 50)
OriginLondon, United Kingdom
GenresFilm scores
OccupationsComposer, conductor, producer
InstrumentsPiano, violin
Years active1990–present
 
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John Powell
Born(1963-09-18) 18 September 1963 (age 50)
OriginLondon, United Kingdom
GenresFilm scores
OccupationsComposer, conductor, producer
InstrumentsPiano, violin
Years active1990–present

John Powell (born 18 September 1963) is an English composer and conductor, best known for his scores to motion pictures. After studying at London's Trinity College of Music, Powell rose to fame in the late 1990s and 2000s, scoring numerous animated films, in addition to his live-action collaborations with directors Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass. He has been based in Los Angeles since 1997 and has composed the scores to over fifty feature films. His 2010 score for the film How to Train Your Dragon earned him his first Academy Award nomination at the 83rd Academy Awards. He was a member of Hans Zimmer's music studio, Remote Control Productions, and collaborated frequently with other composers from the studio, including Harry Gregson-Williams and Zimmer himself.

Early life and education[edit]

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 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.

Career[edit]

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.

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.

Discography[edit]

John Powell discography
Releases
Soundtracks53

Television[edit]

YearTitleNotes
1989–1993Stay Lucky
1996–1997High Incident

Film[edit]

1990s[edit]

YearTitleDirectorStudio(s)Notes
1997Face/OffJohn WooParamount PicturesN/A
1998With Friends Like These...Philip Frank MessinaMiramax FilmsN/A
AntzEric Darnell
Tim Johnson
DreamWorks Pictures
DreamWorks Animation
with Harry Gregson-Williams
1999EnduranceLeslie Woodhead
Bud Greenspan
Walt Disney PicturesN/A
Forces of NatureBronwen HughesDreamWorks PicturesN/A
Chill FactorHugh JohnsonWarner Bros. Pictureswith Hans Zimmer

2000s[edit]

YearTitleDirectorStudio(s)Notes
2000The Road to El DoradoDon Paul
Bibo Bergeron
DreamWorks Pictures
DreamWorks Animation
with Hans Zimmer
Chicken RunPeter Lord
Nick Park
DreamWorks Pictures
DreamWorks Animation
with Harry Gregson-Williams
2001Just VisitingJean-Marie PoiréHollywood PicturesN/A
ShrekAndrew Adamson
Vicky Jenson
DreamWorks Pictures
DreamWorks Animation
with Harry Gregson-Williams
EvolutionIvan ReitmanDreamWorks PicturesN/A
Rat RaceJerry ZuckerParamount PicturesN/A
I Am SamJessie NelsonNew Line CinemaN/A
2002D-ToxJim GillespieUniversal PicturesN/A
The Bourne IdentityDoug LimanUniversal PicturesN/A
DrumlineCharles Stone III20th Century FoxN/A
The Adventures of Pluto NashRon UnderwoodWarner Bros. PicturesN/A
Two Weeks NoticeMarc LawrenceWarner Bros. PicturesN/A
2003Stealing SinatraRon UnderwoodShowtime NetworksTelevision film
Agent Cody BanksHarald ZwartMetro-Goldwyn-MayerN/A
The Italian JobF. Gary GrayParamount PicturesN/A
GigliMartin BrestColumbia PicturesN/A
PaycheckJohn WooParamount PicturesN/A
2004The Bourne SupremacyPaul GreengrassUniversal PicturesN/A
Mr. 3000Charles Stone IIITouchstone PicturesN/A
AlfieCharles ShyerParamount PicturesN/A
2005Be CoolF. Gary GrayMetro-Goldwyn-MayerN/A
RobotsChris Wedge20th Century Fox
Blue Sky Studios
N/A
Mr. & Mrs. SmithDoug Liman20th Century FoxN/A
2006Ice Age: The MeltdownCarlos Saldanha20th Century Fox
Blue Sky Studios
N/A
United 93Paul GreengrassUniversal PicturesN/A
X-Men: The Last StandBrett Ratner20th Century FoxN/A
Happy FeetGeorge MillerWarner Bros. Pictures
Animal Logic
N/A
2007The Bourne UltimatumPaul GreengrassUniversal PicturesN/A
PS, I Love YouRichard LaGraveneseWarner Bros. PicturesN/A
2008JumperDoug Liman20th Century FoxN/A
Horton Hears a Who!Jimmy Hayward
Steve Martino
20th Century Fox
Blue Sky Studios
N/A
Stop-LossKimberly PeirceParamount Pictures
MTV Films
N/A
Kung Fu PandaJohn Stevenson
Mark Osborne
Paramount Pictures
DreamWorks Animation
with Hans Zimmer
HancockPeter BergColumbia PicturesN/A
BoltChris Williams
Byron Howard
Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Animation Studios
N/A
2009Ice Age: Dawn of the DinosaursCarlos Saldanha20th Century Fox
Blue Sky Studios
N/A

2010s[edit]

YearTitleDirectorStudio(s)Notes
2010Green ZonePaul GreengrassUniversal PicturesN/A
How to Train Your DragonChris Sanders
Dean DeBlois
Paramount Pictures
DreamWorks Animation
nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Score
Fair GameDoug LimanSummit EntertainmentN/A
Knight and DayJames Mangold20th Century FoxN/A
2011Mars Needs MomsSimon WellsWalt Disney Pictures
ImageMovers Digital
N/A
RioCarlos Saldanha20th Century Fox
Blue Sky Studios
N/A
Kung Fu Panda 2Jennifer Yuh NelsonParamount Pictures
DreamWorks Animation
with Hans Zimmer
Happy Feet TwoGeorge MillerWarner Bros. Pictures
Animal Logic
N/A
2012Dr. Seuss' The LoraxChris RenaudUniversal Pictures
Illumination Entertainment
N/A
Ice Age: Continental DriftSteve Martino
Mike Thurmeier
20th Century Fox
Blue Sky Studios
N/A
2014Rio 2Carlos Saldanha20th Century Fox
Blue Sky Studios
N/A
How to Train Your Dragon 2[1]Dean DeBlois20th Century Fox
DreamWorks Animation
N/A
2016How to Train Your Dragon 3Dean DeBlois20th Century Fox
DreamWorks Animation
N/A

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards[edit]

Nominations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ V., Erin (2 April 2012). "Interview: Dean DeBlois, director of ‘How To Train Your Dragon’". One Movie, Five Views. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 

External links[edit]