Paramount Pictures Works With Berklee Students On Film Music Project

Film Music Magazine • February 24, 2011

Paramount Pictures is working with a team of 40 student interns from Boston’s Berklee College of Music to create the first full-function database of its immense archive of film music. The online music library database will make it easier for filmmakers and others to access music and obtain rights to music from the Paramount catalog for use across a range of media platforms. Students will conduct an in-depth analysis and interpretation of audio clips from a number of films (totaling thousands of clips) from Paramount’s 99-year-old library, including Star Trek, Forrest Gump, Chinatown, Mission Impossible, Love Story, and Airplane, with scores by Elmer Bernstein, Danny Elfman, Philip Glass, Jerry Goldsmith, Ennio Morricone, and Berklee alumnus Alan Silvestri, among others.

Using their expertise in music, production, and composition, the interns will provide detailed descriptions of the clips, capturing the feeling and mood of the music, audio notes, and keywords to enhance the search capability and functionality of Paramount’s music library database. The project began last semester with 30 film scoring majors at Berklee, who were also given the unique opportunity to compose original scores to five-minute short films from Paramount’s archives, some of which date back to the early 20th century. The shorts will be featured on a dedicated website and can be included on the composer’s professional reel.

According to the college, Berklee is the only college in the world that offers an undergraduate degree in film scoring. The number of students who pursue this major has grown significantly in the past few years, and the department now counts nearly 300 students as majors. The film scoring facilities include a dedicated set of classrooms and labs with state-of-the-art software and hardware, as well as a scoring studio complex with “live” scoring-to-picture capabilities and two fully integrated digital audio/video post-production suites. The department’s comprehensive program offers students the opportunity for individual, hands-on study in film music composition, orchestration, MIDI sequencing, scoring for video games, conducting to picture, and digital music editing for film, television, and visual media.


By Tom on February 26th, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Who spoke in behalf of the college, stating that they were the only school with an undergraduate degree in film scoring? I know for a fact that California State University of Northridge has a Bachelor program…I am almost certain there are several others.

By Mark Northam on February 28th, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Hi Tom –

This statement was included in their press release, however we’ll check with them to inquire if they wish to alter this statement. Thanks for pointing this out!

By Mark Northam on March 2nd, 2011 at 7:14 am

Hi Tom –

Following up on your question, Dan Carlin, head of Berklee’s film scoring department, confirms their statement that while there are several graduate level programs offered by other schools, Berklee is the only undergraduate degree in film scoring offered in the US.

By Frank Wales on March 13th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

“…in the US” is pretty different from “…in the world”, though, which is what’s still stated in the article.

Leave a Comment