Hans Zimmer didn’t see a film until he was 12 years old. Since then, he’s scored over 150 films, including Inception, The Lion King, and The Dark Knight. In his MasterClass, the self-taught Academy Award winner teaches how he creates sounds from nothing, composes compelling character themes, and scores a movie before ever seeing it. By the end, you’ll have everything you need to tell your story.
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Meet your new instructor, the Academy Award-winning composer of over 150+ films spanning multiple genres.
Hans has created some of the most memorable themes in film. Learn how he creates a theme, and how simplicity is his best tool to maintain a theme.
Discover how Hans approaches writing to story and his number one rule for film composers.
Directors: Part 1
Learn how Hans works with directors, including what he needs to learn from the director in order to start writing – sometimes even before the film is shot.
Directors: Part 2
Learn how to effectively have a conversation with the director throughout the film process.
Directors: Part 3
Hans continues his discussion on what makes a great director and what makes a great relationship between composer and director.
Hans is known for creating unique sound palettes. Learn how and why he does it, and how to do it on your own.
Creating with Synths
Hans is known for his use of synths. Hans discusses how he uses synths, as he creates a song from his starter patch for us.
Scoring to Picture
Hans discusses how to score to different types of scenes, as well as recognizing when a scene doesn’t need a score.
Scoring Under Dialogue
Learn how Hans approaches the relationship between music and dialogue, and how music can be dialogue too.
Your editor is your drummer. Learn how to recognize the tempo to a scene and edit to it.
Tempo: Sherlock Holmes Scene
Hans continues his tempo discussion with how he scored an extremely well-edited scene from Sherlock Holmes.
Music Diary: Sherlock Holmes
Hans creates music diaries to each film to help him along. Learn how and why he does it as he walks through his diary for Sherlock Holmes.
Learn how Hans gets to know his characters in order to create memorable themes for them.
Character Theme: Batman
What makes Batman’s theme in The Dark Knight Trilogy so recognizable? Learn how he developed the theme by thinking about the story and character.
Character Theme: The Joker
Hans fell in love with the Joker, and created a haunting tune from just one vibrating note. Watch as he discusses how the story and character’s impact on the story helps create the theme.
Character Theme: Jack Sparrow
“Pirates were the rock-n’-rollers of the middle ages.” Hans breaks down how he created Jack Sparrow’s theme by finding the tone for the movie first.
Case Study: Frost/Nixon
For Frost/Nixon, Hans had to score to a dialogue-heavy film. Learn his approach to creating a minimal but beautiful score.
Case Study: The Dark Knight
Learn how Hans accentuated the tension in the already-tense boat scene from The Dark Knight.
Working With Musicians
Learn how to find and write for the best musicians and instruments for your score.
Working With Musicians: The Orchestra – Part 1
Hans discusses the important of earning your musicians’ respect and how to effectively communicate with them.
Working With Musicians: The Orchestra – Part 2
Hear from Hans on how he makes sure he’s getting the best performance he can while recording an orchestra.
Feedback & Revisions
Not every score is perfect on the first try. Learn how Hans asks for feedback on his scores and how he approaches rewrites when it’s not quite working.
The true test – learn how Hans approaches showing a score to an audience and how he determines if it’s working or not.
Writing Tips: Part 1
Hans gives you the tips and tricks he’s learned over the years on how to approach writing music.
Writing Tips: Part 2
Hans provides insights into how to make sure you aren’t limiting your creativity when writing.
Learn how Hans fell in love with storytelling and switched his career from a “radio star” to film composer.
Learning by Listening
Hans discusses the importance of learning how to listen and dissect music when it works and doesn’t work.
Life of a Composer: Part 1
All artists struggle with the challenges that come with pursuing a life in the arts. Hear Hans’ advice on how to never give up and never compromise your voice.
Life of a Composer: Part 2
Hans continues his discussion on an artist’s life, telling you why he was inspired to pursue the life of a composer in the first place.
Listen to Hans’ final words as he closes out his MasterClass and as you move forward in your career.