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Michael Giacchino - from Games to Films:

Michael Giacchino - photograph Michael Giacchino had an early fascination with film and experimented with animations as a boy. He later studied film production in New York, where he scored a few independent films before moving on to study composition at the Juliard school. Working for Disney, one of his early jobs was for the newly formed Dreamworks putting music to the Playstation game based on Spielberg's "The Lost World: Jurassic Park". This game score was unusual at the time, because Giacchino followed the path taken by John Williams in the film by creating a full orchestral score recorded by "The Northwest Sinfonia". The added atmosphere generated by orchestral music and the symphonic skills of the composer gave a feeling of cinematic depth to console gaming, and the composer was asked to repeat this format for "Medal of Honor". The resultant success led to a number of game sequels and new titles including "Call of Duty" and "Secret Weapons over Normandy".

Michael Giacchino - The Incredibles soundtrack CD cover Between composing for these various video games, Giacchino extended his experience by composing music for television, such as the TV movie "Semper Fi" and the series "Alias" and "Lost" for J. J. Abrams. Incidentally, it was Abrams himself who composed the opening themes for both these series, though Giacchino created the incidental music. Giacchino then landed the career changing task of composing for the Pixar animation The Incredibles. Michael Giacchino deserves credit for a unique jazz score which dares to deviate from the accepted Hollywood norm. Although missing out on the oscar nomination, his score for this movie has justly been recognised with a number of awards, and the same team has come together again to create Rataouille.

Michael Giacchino - Mission Impossible 3 soundtrack CD cover Giacchino's big screen blockbuster of 2006 was Mission Impossible 3. Like the soundtracks to the previous films by Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer, this one also has references to the original music from the TV series by Lalo Schifrin but Giacchino uses more than just the main theme so this soundtrack seems to have a greater degree of familiarity that bonds it to the small screen original. This is very much in the Schifrin traditional style and seems to be entirely played by acoustic instruments with some hints at the jazz styles of "The Incredibles". Giacchino then came back in 2011 (again with Brad Bird) for the next Mission Impossible installment called Ghost Protocol which integrates elements of Shifrin's music and style even more.

Michael Giacchino: John Carter - soundtrack CD cover Michael Giacchino has rapidly turned into an A-list composer and has been exceedingly busy this past few years! In quick succession he was the Music Director for the 2009 oscar ceremony, he scored the new Star Trek movie (which is sure to continue as a rebooted franchise), then in 2010 the composer was back at the oscars - this time to receive a well-deserved award for his score to the animated film "Up" (the sheet music for "Up" is available from this link at Sheet Music Plus). Since then Giacchino has scored "Let Me In", "Super 8", "Cars 2", "50/50" as well as the previously mentioned latest Mission Impossible film Ghost Protocol. In many ways his rise has paralleled that of J. J. Abrams and it is almost as though their partnership is the modern equivalent of Steven Spielberg and John Williams, though encompassing both film and television productions.

Michael Giacchino: Star Trek Into Darkness The new Trek film, Star Trek Into Darkness is also scored by Michael Giacchino, building upon the main theme from the first film and adding additional themes. Meanwhile the filmmakers have made Star Trek the video game, featuring the voices and the likenesses of the current Enterprise crew. Giacchino has recorded a completely new orchestral score for the game. The game features the fondly remembered Gorn from the original classic series - look out for the funny video promo featuring William Shatner and a Gorn, and even some original Star Trek series music! "Star Trek Into Darkness" is now available and you can find it at Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. Staying with sci-fi, Michael Giacchino has now scored the Wachowski sibling's new project Jupiter Ascending whose official trailer is here on youtube.

In recent years Giacchino seems to have been taking over a lot of existing franchises. Following on from "Star Trek" and "Mission Impossible", he has scored Jurassic World, Doctor Strange from the Marvel Extended Universe, Rogue One from "Star Wars" and now War for the Planet of the Apes.

Films by Michael Giacchino:

    Michael Giacchino - Super 8 soundtrack CD cover
  • My Brother the Pig
  • Los Gringos - animation
  • Semper Fi - TV movie
  • Redemption of the Ghost
  • Sin
  • The Trouble with Lou
  • The Incredibles - big-band orchestral jazz suggesting the style of John Barry
  • M:I:3 - following the tradition established in the previous movies of using the theme (and other references) from the TV series by Lalo Schifrin
  • Rataouille - set to repeat the success of The Incredibles
  • Cloverfield - there is no incidental music, since the premise of the film is that it is shot on a hand-held camcorder, but there is a great end title called "Roar!" or "The Cloverfield Overture" for this J. J. Abrams production
  • Michael Giacchino - Star Trek soundtrack CD cover
  • Speed Racer
  • Star Trek - the latest reinvention of the Star Trek saga
  • Up - winning all the major awards for his score including the Oscar
  • Last of the Lost
  • Let Me In - darkly atmospheric and including a boys choir on some tracks
  • The Ballad of Nessie - animation narrated by Billy Connolly
  • Cars 2 - another Pixar production, the theme for the Finn McMissile character (voiced by Michael Caine) is described by Giacchino as "British Surf Music"
  • Monte Carlo
  • Super 8 - film and score are traditional in many ways harking back to the Spielberg/Williams films of the 70s and 80s, but Abrams/Giacchino puts their own spin on things especially in the way the creature is kept mysterious until near the end
  • Michael Giacchino - Jurassic World soundtrack CD cover
  • 50/50
  • Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - Gicchino returns for the most successful Mission Impossible film to date
  • John Carter - film adaptation based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels
  • Star Trek Into Darkness - a great score expanding on the thematic material from the previous film
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - taking over from Patrick Doyle
  • Jupiter Ascending - a sci-fi action movie by the Wachowskis
  • Jurassic World - Giacchino on superb form in a score which both quotes from and pays homage to the music of John Williams while also managing to include a quote from his own "Lost World" game theme
  • Tomorrowland - Giacchino working once more with director Brad Bird
  • Inside Out - a cute animation where Giacchino's themes depict the complex emotions going on literally in a girl's head
  • Doctor Strange - the strangest additional to the Marvel Universe, and thankfully the score is not a typical superhero one
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - after delays and re-shoots Giacchino had only a month to write this score which fits beautifully into the established Star Wars musical landscape
  • War for the Planet of the Apes - gritty and emotional
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • The Book of Henry
  • Coco - Pixar animation with a great score by Giacchino and songs such as "Remember Me" by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, and other songs by Germaine Franco
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  • Incredibles 2 - a welcome return to this franchise
  • Bad Times at the El Royale
  • Spider-Man: Far from Home - staying with Spiderman and the MCU

Other music by Michael Giacchino:

    Michael Giacchino - Medal of Honor soundtrack CD cover
  • The Lost World: Chaos Island - video game
  • Squad Commander
  • Small Soldiers
  • Medal of Honor - the original game release
  • Medal of Honor: Underground - and numerous sequels...
  • Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
  • Medal of Honor: Frontline
  • Call of Duty - video game
  • Call of Duty: Finest Hour
  • Michael Giacchino - Alias soundtrack CD cover
  • Secret Weapons over Normandy - yet another game set during World War II
  • Mercenaries - main theme for game
  • Teen Angel - for TV
  • Alias - TV series (and game)
  • Lost - another TV series by J. J. Abrams, the music comprising of eerie sound effects and heightened dramatic "shock" moments
  • The Incredibles - computer game based on the film characters
  • Fringe - TV series
  • Alcatraz - TV series
  • Star Trek - video game

CD Recommendations for Michael Giacchino:

Michael Giacchino's music is well-represented in terms of soundtrack CDs. The following list of recommendations covers his work in film and TV, and also his highly regarded contribution to game music.

There is an informative fan web-site about the composer at www.MichaelGiacchinoMusic.com with a lot of information and links, which also seems to have the composer's support.

Sheet Music by Michael Giacchino:

Here is a selection of sheet music by Michael Giacchino, all arranged for piano:

Michael Giacchino - Memorabilia:

Here are some CD covers signed by Michael Giacchino. Our thanks to Petr Kocanda for permission to use his collection of autographed CDs. Click any thumbnail below to see the image full size in a separate window.

Michael Giacchino: Lost Season 3 - signed CD Michael Giacchino: Lost Season 4 - signed CD Michael Giacchino - Lost Final Season 6: The Last Episodes - signed CD Michael Giacchino: Alias Season 2 - signed CD Michael Giacchino & Christopher Lennertz & Ramin Djawadi: Medal of Honor Collection - signed CD Michael Giacchino: Land of the Lost - signed CD Michael Giacchino: Let Me In - signed CD Michael Giacchino: Star Trek - signed CD Michael Giacchino: Speed Racer - signed CD Michael Giacchino: Super 8 - signed CD Michael Giacchino: Up - signed CD