BMI Hosts Composer ‘Coffee Talk’ at LA Film Fest

Posted in News on June 3, 2004
BMI's Vice President of Film/TV Relations, Doreen Ringer Ross, will moderate a composer "Coffee Talk" at the Los Angeles Film Festival on Sunday, June 20. The "Coffee Talk" will feature BMI composers Danny Elfman (Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Men in Black) and Thomas Newman (Finding Nemo, American Beauty, Erin Brockovich) at the Director's Guild of America Atrium (7920 Sunset Blvd.) from 3 pm to 5 pm. Admission is $20 and tickets can be purchased at 1-866-FILMFEST or at

Danny Elfman Thomas Newman

Ringer Ross will focus the conversation on the two composers' thoughts on film music - from working with directors to the creative muse - as well as amusing anecdotes from their careers. The informal talk is part of the Los Angeles Film Festival's "Coffee Talks" program featuring filmmakers in a relaxed setting. Considered two of the most influential composers in film and television music today, Elfman and Newman will each bring a unique perspective to working with independent filmmakers as well as the many commercial properties in their credits.

A highly prolific and influential musician, Elfman carries dual notoriety: that as a highly respected and revered composer and as the lead singer of seminal Southern California rock band Oingo Boingo. Elfman entered the world of film music in 1985, when director Tim Burton and star Paul Reubens called him to write the music for Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. His other credits include Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Big Fish, Hulk, Men In Black, Men In Black II, Planet of the Apes, Proof of Life, Spy Kids, Good Will Hunting, Mars Attacks!, Mission: Impossible, Dead Presidents, To Die For, Dolores Claiborne, Black Beauty, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, The Simpsons, as well as songs for such diverse films as Ghostbusters 2, Weird Science and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Elfman won a Golden Globe for his score for The Nightmare Before Christmas, a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition for the theme to Batman and three Saturn Awards for Best Score for Spider-Man, Mars Attacks! and The Nightmare Before Christmas. He is a three-time Academy Award nominee, and has also earned various Grammy, Emmy and BAFTA nominations.

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 current work on Finding Nemo and the upcoming Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and Cinderella Man.

Both Elfman and Newman are past recipients of the BMI Richard Kirk Award for Outstanding Achievement.

As Vice President, Film/TV Relations, Los Angeles, Ringer Ross oversees all activity from the Los Angeles based department serving film and television composers. During her tenure at BMI, she has established many programs for film and television composers, including the Earle Hagen Film Scoring Workshop, The Sundance Institute's Composer's Lab and the BMI Conducting Workshop. She also oversees the BMI Film Scoring scholarships at USC, UCLA and Berklee School of Music, and sponsorship involvement with the Sundance Film Festival, Independent Feature Film Market, Independent Feature Project-West, Independent Feature Project-Midwest and the SXSW Film Festival.

Ringer Ross works closely with BMI's many other celebrated film and television composers, including the late Michael Kamen, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Dave Grusin, John Barry, Mike Post, W.G. "Snuffy" Walden and David Newman. She is responsible for signing many composers to BMI, including Graeme Revell, Chris Young, David Arnold, Stewart Copeland, Mychael Danna, Harry Gregson Williams, Terence Blanchard and Rachel Portman.


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