East Los Angeles lies in the crossfire of debate about American identity—this is home to the largest Latino immigrant population in the U.S. Yet every November, East L.A. hosts a distinctly American event, when one of the country’s fiercest high school football rivalry games draws more than 25,000 proud locals.
The Classic follows the lives of four students seeking glory on the field, while making sense of their community’s vital place in today’s America. Premiered at the LA Film Festival in June 2017, the film’s guitar-layered score tracks the highs and lows of East L.A. high school life on the field – and off.
Premiered on CNN on World Health Day, 2017, Unseen Enemy addresses why we are experiencing a rash of diseases that were once outbreaks but have become full-blown epidemics.
The film spans the globe amidst three outbreaks – Ebola, Influenza, and Zika – and shows how our interconnected cities hyper-accelerate the spread of viruses.
The score’s relentless percussion and gritty synth pulses mirror the natural and tech worlds, stressing the urgency of the doctors and scientists seen fighting to save lives. Read more at CNN – Watch on Amazon
The movie’s opening title cards explain it best: “In 1992, some of the greatest comedy talents of all time came together to create a new sketch comedy show. What resulted was arguably one of the most spectacular failures in television history. Now, more than two decades later, they’ve reunited to tell the story of how it all came together, and how it all went to shit.”
You can see the whole (hilarious and enlightening) story on Hulu.
The film centers on interviews of Dana Carvey, Robert Smigel, Steve Carrell, Stephen Colbert, plus many others involved with The Dana Carvey Show when it premiered on ABC in 1996.
Since the story is about making a high-risk primetime show, a live rhythm section is the foundation of the score, in order to give a “showtime”, “anything-can-happen” energy to the score. To reflect the ensemble nature of sketch comedy, we used a scaled-down mini-orchestra of soloists – string quartet, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and accordion – and gave them playful, highly-exposed melodies which jump from one player to another. This lets the score reflect the joyous collaboration captured in the film.
Of course you know by now that it all eventually came crashing down, and the cues in the cancellation part of the story are quieter and more wistful.
A unique Hulu documentary/narrative hybrid chronicling the stranger-than-fiction true story of George Lazenby, a poor Australian car mechanic who, through an unbelievable set of circumstances, landed the role of James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), despite having never acted a day in his life. Then after being offered the next six Bond films and a $1 million signing bonus, he turned it all down.
The Short Game follows the lives of eight of the best 7-year old golfers in the world as they train for and compete in the World Championships of Junior Golf.
Directed by Josh Greenbaum, The Short Game premiered at South by Southwest Film Festival in 2013.
John composed 10 cues Additional Music for the film, including “This is Life” and the vocal track “I Don’t Break” (featuring Allison Iraheta of Halo Circus and co-written with her and Matthew Hager).
No Place On Earth tells the harrowing story of how in October 1942, Esther Stermer, along with some family members and a group of other families, seek asylum underground to evade being caught by pursuing Nazis. Their story is unearthed when cave explorer Chris Nicola stumbles upon remnants left behind by the cave dwellers.
Directed by Janet Tobias, the film premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in 2012.