BMI Honors Composers of Top Movies, TV Shows, and Cable Programs at BMI Film & TV Awards

By • May 21, 2005

LOS ANGELES (Film Music Magazine) — U.S. performing rights organization BMI honored the composers and songwriters of the music from this year’s top-grossing films, top-rated prime-time network television series and highest-ranking cable network television series at its annual Film & Television Awards dinner. Held at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, the black-tie gala was hosted by BMI President and CEO Del R. Bryant and BMI Vice President Film/TV Relations, Doreen Ringer Ross. More than 100 awards were announced during the ceremonies.

One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the BMI Richard Kirk award for Outstanding Career Achievement to composer

Graeme Revell. Named after late BMI Vice President Richard Kirk, the prestigious award is given annually to the composer who has made significant contributions to film and TV music. Past recipients of the award include John Barry, Randy Edelman, Danny Elfman, Charlie Fox, Jerry Goldsmith, Earle Hagen, Michael Kamen, Alan Menken, Mark Mothersbaugh, Thomas Newman, Mike Post, Lalo Schifrin, Richard and Robert Sherman, W.G. “Snuffy” Walden, John Williams and Patrick Williams.

Revell, a New Zealand native, is in the midst of a historical career in film and television music. With credits including “Sin City,” “Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D,” “Dead Calm,” “The Crow,” “The Insider,” “CSI: Miami,” “The Negotiator,” “Blow,” “Open Water” and more, he has become known for his blending of traditional ethnic music and ambient sounds. He started his scoring career after picking up on rhythms in patient vocalizations at an Australian hospital for the mentally ill, where he worked as an orderly. His experiments with recordings of human and insect sounds and industrial machinery led him to create the early industrial band SPK. His first score was for director Philip Noyce and producer/director George Miller with “Dead Calm,” for which he won an Australian Film Industry Award for Best Score.

Honoring Revell at the dinner via video messages were directors Robert Rodriguez, Phillip Noyce, Danny Cannon, David Twohy and Carl Franklin, as well as journalist Jon Burlingame. Chucky, the star of the “Chucky” film series for which Revell scored “The Bride of Chucky,” narrated the video salute to Revell.

Calling Revell, “…the best secret weapon a director can ever have,” director Noyce described working with him on the film “Dead Calm.” “Graeme immediately sparked at the material and the opportunity. He hadn’t scored a film before, but he had that great composing sense. We wanted a composer who would bring a completely different score to a very elemental movie. Graeme started at the idea of taking sounds that were part of the movie and incorporating them into the score; sound of wind, sound of water.

“The movie was completely different once we put Graeme’s score in,” he added. “He added tension, he added pace, he created drama, and he gave the film a unique aural quality.”

Revell’s skill at collaboration with the director was a theme that permeated throughout the evening. “Honest,” “innovative,” “soulful” and “a true renaissance man” were just some of the descriptions that the directors offered. His vast range of musical talents were lauded, including his use of a wide array of ethnic sounds and voices, atmospheric noises and wide ranging knowledge of obscure percussion and voice styles. His encompassing musical style constantly delivers a fresh new sound and approach to each score he has done. Cannon said, “Graeme is modern and he is up to date. That’s what is great about him. He is so willing to use new techniques, new inspirations and is always willing to try something different, move the goalposts.”

BMI also gave out the award for the Most Performed Song From A Motion Picture to the Counting Crows and their publishing companies for the “Shrek 2” song, “Accidentally in Love.” BMI also recognized this year’s Emmy Award winners for music.

The first BMI Spotlight Award was given to television composer Frank Gari and the inaugural BMI Classic Contribution Award was presented to the creators of “The Tonight Show” themes, composed by Johnny Carson, Paul Anka and Kevin Eubanks.

With a nod to the digital music age, BMI handed out its first Ringtone Award for the TV music theme that has become the most-performed song in the mobile space; the award went to Lalo Schifrin for the theme to “Mission Impossible.”

Taking home multiple awards at the dinner were past Richard Kirk recipient Mike Post with four Television Awards for the “Law & Order” series “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Law & Order: CI” and “Law & Order: Trial By Jury.” Pete Townshend picked up three awards for “CSI,” “CSI: Miami” and “CSI: NY.” Double winners included Harry Gregson Williams for the films “Shrek 2” and “Man On Fire”; Rolfe Kent for the films “Sideways” and “Mean Girls”; Harald Kloser for the films “The Day After Tomorrow” and “Alien vs Predator”; Thomas Newman for “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” and “Six Feet Under”; John Keane for “CSI” and “The Amazing Race 7”; and Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, Anthony Jackson, Jeff Lippencott and Mark T. Williams for “The Apprentice 2” and “The Apprentice 3.”

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