The Director/Composer Relationship: Re-Assembling (Michael Kamen's Score for) The Iron Giant with writer/director Brad Bird

LA 12 PM  |  NY 3 PM  |  UK 8 PM

The Director/Composer Relationship: Re-Assembling (Michael Kamen's Score for) The Iron Giant with writer/director Brad Bird

featuring Chris Brooks, Zoe Kamen, Robert Elhai, Blake Neely, Stephen McLaughlin

moderated by Dan Redfeld and Chris Siddall

Join us as we take a deep dive into Michael Kamen's score from The Iron Giant, moderated by Dan Redfeld and Chris Siddall, with special guests Zoe Kamen, orchestrators Robert Elhai & Blake Neely, music editor Christopher Brooks and director Brad Bird.

Michael Kamen was a multi-award winning composer, orchestrator, conductor, songwriter and musician whose career spanned decades and genres. His music was known for melding together the often disparate worlds of classical and pop and encompassed epic collaborations of hundreds of players of all disciplines sharing concert stages around the world.

Born in New York in 1948, he went to the High School of Music & Art (LaGuardia) and then on to study the oboe at Juilliard, where his teacher Jean Morel encouraged him to think “bigger”.

He formed the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble with friends. They released 6 albums together, and Michael went solo to write 12 ballets before touring with David Bowie. In the early 80s he moved to the UK to work with artists with whom he also became friends, among them Pink Floyd, the Eurythmics, Eric Clapton, Queen, and George Harrison.

He scored almost 100 movies and TV shows while continuing to collaborate with legendary talents releasing multiple hit songs including the worldwide number one hit, “Everything I Do, I Do it for You” with Bryan Adams from “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”. Other film scores include the Lethal Weapon and Die Hard Series, Bond: License to Kill, Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, What Dreams May Come, Don Juan De Marco, X‑Men, The Iron Giant, the HBO series Band of Brothers and From the Earth to the Moon.

Michael set up the Mr Holland’s Opus Foundation and over 25 years later it is still donating musical instruments to school children supporting musical education for the next generation.

He composed 2 Concertos pairing sax and electric guitar with orchestra and a millennium symphony for the National Symphony Orchestra. For his collaboration with Metallica in S&M, he matched the band’s songs with a 100-piece orchestra in concert. He wrote for two Olympic Games and was musical director of the Great Music Experience in Japan and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

His work garnered two Oscar nominations, two Golden Globe Awards, four Grammys and an Emmy. For Michael however, the greatest win was working with all the musicians and getting to stand in front of orchestras and wave his hands about while the music played.


Brad Bird is a director, screenwriter, animator, producer and voice actor. He is best known for his animated feature films The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Incredibles 2, as well as the live-action films Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and Tomorrowland.

Christopher Brooks has worked on 250 features films as a music supervisor, music producer or music editor. His past projects have included: “Across the Universe,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “X-Men,” “Sausage Party,” “The Iron Giant,” and “Mr.Holland’s Opus.” Mr. Brooks’s current work includes the Netflix series “Lost in Space,” Amazon’s “The Boys,” and the feature film “Across the River and Into The Trees.” He is very proud of his contribution to Ben Stiller’s acclaimed series “Escape at Dannemora” for Showtime. Mr. Brooks is a frequent guest lecturer at NYU, USC and Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of Music for Filmmakers, which is currently included in college film curricula across the United States.

Robert Elhai most recently composed the filmed mini-opera In The Midst Of Things (In Media Res) for An Opera Theatre in Minneapolis. Other work includes incidental music for The Jungle Theater’s Little Women and scores for The History Theater’s Dirty Business, Fortune’s Fool Theatre’s The Lady With A Lapdog, Nautilus Music-Theater’s Twisted Apples: Stories from Winesburg, Ohio, and Theater Latte Da’s C. (based on Cyrano de Bergerac). Dr. Elhai is the recipient of Tony and Drama Desk nominations for his orchestrations to the Broadway production of The Lion King (for which he also supplied dance and incidental music arrangements). As Elliot Goldenthal’s longtime musical associate, he worked on his many concert and stage works, as well as orchestrating his highly-regarded film scores (including his Oscar-winning score for Frida). He has contributed orchestrations to some 150 other movies, among them Crazy Rich Asians and 3 movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Other arranging projects include André J. Thomas’ Gospel-infused Mass: A Celebration of Love and Joy, the acclaimed Glensheen at The History Theater, Metallica’s Grammy Award-winning album S&M (with the San Francisco Symphony) and the Emmy Award-winning Opening Ceremonies to the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.


Zoe Kamen was born in New York and grown in London. She studied Zoology, and has worked variously in marine conservation, as a cook, writer and a food critic for Time Out Magazine. Currently she’s administering her father’s publishing and working on collating and archiving his extensive music catalogue to preserve it and make it more accessible to an ever expanding audience.


In a 30-year career in motion picture music production and supervision, Grammy Award winning Producer Steve McLaughlin has produced, recorded and mixed the scores for over 190 major feature films, including the “Die Hard” series, the “Lethal Weapon” series, and the Academy Award-nominated scores for “Interview With The Vampire” and “Michael Collins”.

Steve has collaborated with directors including Francis Coppola, Robert Altman, Michael Mann, Brad Bird and Ridley Scott.

A specialist in helping composers who are new to the film scoring genre and adapting rock music into underscore, Steve was the architect and producer of Badly Drawn Boy’s highly regarded score for Chris and Paul Weitz’s “About A Boy”.

For over 15 years, Steve was the producer of the respected film composer Michael Kamen. Steve produced, with the composer, Kamen’s score for “Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves”, the soundtrack album of which went on to sell over 3.5 million copies.

Notable films Steve has mixed include Michael Mann’s “Heat”, “Don Juan De Marco”, “Batman Forever”, Brad Bird’s “The Iron Giant” (winner of an “Annie” award for Best Music) and “X-Men”.

Steve won a Grammy in 1996 for his recording work on Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers” album. He produced the hit single “It’s Probably Me” for Sting. Steve has two “Golden Reel” awards for best mixer, and four further “Golden Reel” nominations.

Recent notable work includes The Impossible, Ashes, Ralph Fiennes’ “Coriolanus”, and a further collaboration with Badly Drawn Boy on the score for “Being Flynn”, directed by Paul Weitz and starring Robert de Niro and Julianne Moore.


Blake Neely is an award-winning composer, whose work spans film, television and the concert world. He has scored more than 35 television series and 20 films. In addition to winning the EMMY® Award for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music for the series “The Flight Attendant,” Neely’s other EMMY® nominated works include the theme for “Everwood” and his scores to the series “Pan Am” and the mini-series “The Pacific.” Born in Paris, Texas, he found music at the early age of four on the family piano. Encouraged by his teachers to learn the classics and write his own music, he quickly found a passion for composing. After being rejected from music school at the University of Texas, he was driven to teach himself and pursue a career in music. In addition to his own projects, Neely has worked as a co-composer, conductor, and orchestrator with such masters as Michael Kamen, Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard, and Vangelis. Beyond the canvas of film and television, Neely has written commissioned works for The Washington Ballet that have been performed at The Kennedy Center and The Washington National Cathedral. He has been a featured lecturer on film music at the Sundance Institute, University of Southern California, Columbia College, UCLA, Hollywood Music Workshop Vienna, Conservatory of Music Puerto Rico, NYU, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and his alma mater, The University of Texas. Neely’s studio, Cow On the Wall Studios, is located in Los Angeles.


Dan Redfeld Award-winning American composer, conductor, orchestrator and producer Dan Redfeld has had his music and arrangements performed internationally from the concert hall to the musical theatre stage to the recording studio. His credits include the following: Music director: It Shoulda Been You, (Musical Theatre Guild), Bright Star, Beauty & The Beast, (Susan Egan), The Who's Tommy, (Alice Ripley), Chess, (Susan Egan/Matt Morrison), My Fair Lady, Jonathan Pryce, assistant MD), Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame, Peter Pan, Evita, and dozens more. Conductor for LA Opera's Educom since 2003. Composer: A Hopeful Place, Arioso for Oboe, Percussion & Strings, (Santa Barbara Symphony premiere), January 15, 1947 for Solo Harp, Fantasy for Violin & Piano, Travels for Piano Quartet, and Dance Sketches.


Event Date Saturday, October 9, 2021 12:00 pm
Cut off date Saturday, October 9, 2021 9:00 pm
Individual Price Free
Location Online

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