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Michael Giacchino

Giacchino, with his sister, at the 2010 Academy Awards
Born Michael Giacchino
October 10, 1967 (1967-10-10) (age 42)
Riverside Township, New Jersey, United States
Occupation Film and television score composer
Years active 1995-Present

Michael Giacchino (Italian pronunciation: [dʒakˈkiːno]; born October 10, 1967)[1] is an American composer who has composed scores for movies, television series and video games.[2] Some of his most notable works include the scores to television series such as Lost, and Alias and films such as Mission: Impossible III, The Incredibles, Star Trek and Up, for which he won an Academy Award.


Early life

Giacchino was born in Riverside Township, New Jersey. Giacchino grew up in Edgewater Park Township, New Jersey and graduated from Holy Cross High School in Delran, New Jersey. He attended the Evening Division at the Juilliard School; as well as the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he acquired a degree in film production and a minor degree in History.[3][4]



Video games

Giacchino's first major composition was for the DreamWorks video game adaptation of the 1997 movie, The Lost World: Jurassic Park.[5] The video game was the first PlayStation- (also on Sega Saturn) console title to be recorded with an original live orchestral score. Giacchino has since continued his relationship with DreamWorks, providing full orchestral scores for many of their popular videogames. He also worked with Pandemic studios to create the Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction theme. Giacchino's award-winning compositions covers the first three Medal of Honor series, (Underground, Allied Assault and Frontline, along with the original Medal of Honor), and also the scores for several other World War II-related video games like Secret Weapons Over Normandy, Call of Duty and Call of Duty: Finest Hour.[6] Additionally, Giacchino composed themes for The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer, and co-wrote the theme of Black with composer Chris Tilton.[7] He also composed the score for Alias, which was based on the television series of the same name. Recently, Giacchino wrote music for Turning Point: Fall of Liberty.[8] Electronic Arts has announced that he has returned to the Medal of Honor franchise as he has composed the music for Medal of Honor: Airborne.[9]

Film and television

Giacchino's work on the various video games led to his first work on television. In 2001, J.J. Abrams, producer of the television series Alias, discovered Giacchino through his work on the video games and tapped Giacchino to provide the new show's soundtrack.[10] The soundtrack featured a mix of full orchestral pieces, often mixed with upbeat electronic music, a departure from much of his previous work. Giacchino would also provide the score for J.J. Abrams's project, the 2004 television series, Lost,[11] which was an acclaimed soundtrack that used a unique process of using spare pieces of a plane fuselage for the percussions. His score for Lost is notable for a signature thematic motif - a brass fall-off at the end of certain themes.[12] In 2004, Giacchino was given his first big feature film composition, when he was called on to provide the soundtrack for the Pixar film, The Incredibles.[13] Director Brad Bird had heard Giacchino's work on Alias and asked him to work on the soundtrack for the new movie. The upbeat jazz orchestral sound was a departure in sound not only for Giacchino but for Pixar, who had previously relied on the works of Randy and Thomas Newman for all of its films. Brad Bird had originally sought out John Barry, who was best known for composing many of the early James Bond movie soundtracks, to compose the music, but Barry was reportedly unwilling to repeat the styles of his earlier works.[14] Giacchino was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2005 for his work The Incredibles: Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media and Best Instrumental Composition.[15] Giacchino also composed scores for the 2005 films, Sky High and The Family Stone, and the television movie, The Muppets' Wizard of Oz. In addition, he wrote the music for Joseph Barbera's final theatrical Tom and Jerry cartoon: The Karate Guard. Giacchino also composed the score for the movie Mission: Impossible III, directed by J.J. Abrams, which was released on May 5, 2006.[16] Giacchino's next musical achievement was his Paris-inspired score for the Disney-Pixar film, Ratatouille, which includes the theme song, "Le Festin," performed by French artist Camille. He received his first Academy Award nomination for this score. He also created the score for Abrams' 2009 Star Trek film. His latest work is the score for the Pixar motion picture Up—which won him his first Academy Award for Best Original Score—as well as its accompaniment, the Pixar animated-short Partly Cloudy, which he worked on with director Pete Docter marking the first time he has worked with a Pixar director other than Brad Bird.

Giacchino has continued his collaboration with J.J. Abrams. He wrote an homage to Japanese monster scores in an overture titled "ROAR!" which played over the credits of the Abrams-produced monster movie Cloverfield. It was the only original music for the entire film. He is also the composer of the new Abrams show, Fringe.

Giacchino has constantly made references to previous tracks on his scores. For example, there is a track in The Incredibles score called "100 Mile Dash," and the CD with the score from Ratatouille has another track titled "100 Rat Dash." Also, the first Lost album has a track titled "World's Worst Beach Party," the Mission: Impossible III soundtrack has a track titled "World's Worst Last 4 Minutes To Live," and the Speed Racer score has a track titled "World's Worst Road Rage." The second Lost album even has a track titled "World's Worst Landscaping." Inversely, The score for Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction has a track titled "World's Best Carpool Lane."

Additional compositions

In addition to his long list of soundtracks, in 2005 Giacchino collaborated with Walt Disney Imagineering in creating two new soundtracks for the updated versions of Space Mountain at Disneyland, Space Mountain: Mission 2 at Disneyland Paris, and Space Mountain at Hong Kong Disneyland.[17] Giacchino was also contracted by Sarah Vowell, who played character Violet in The Incredibles, to compose the score to the audio version of her book Assassination Vacation.

In 2009 he was asked to conduct the Academy Awards orchestra for the 81st Annual Academy Awards. For this project he rearranged many famous movie themes in different styles, including a 30s Big Band treatment of 'Lawrence of Arabia' and a bossa nova of 'Moon River.'

Awards, nominations and recognition




  • Score for Season 1 of Lost was cited by New Yorker music critic Alex Ross as "some of the most compelling film music of the past year."[19]


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Work Year Notes
Legal Deceit 1997
My Brother the Pig 1999
The Trouble With Lou 2001
Sin 2003
The Incredibles 2004 A Pixar Production
Sky High 2005
The Muppets' Wizard of Oz 2005 Television movie
The Family Stone 2005
Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World 2006
Mission: Impossible III 2006 A Bad Robot Production
Ratatouille 2007 A Pixar Production
Cloverfield 2008 A Bad Robot Production
Speed Racer 2008
Star Trek 2009 A Bad Robot Production
Up 2009 A Pixar Production
Land of the Lost 2009
Earth Days 2009
Morning Glory 2010
Newt 2012 A Pixar Production

Video games

Work Year Notes
Gargoyles 1995
Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow 1995
The Lost World: Jurassic Park 1997 A Dreamworks Interactive Production
Chaos Island 1997 A Dreamworks Interactive Production
T'ai Fu: Wrath of the Tiger 1999 A Dreamworks Interactive Production
Warpath: Jurassic Park 1999 A Dreamworks Interactive Production
Medal of Honor 1999 A Dreamworks Interactive Production
Muppet Monster Adventure 2000
Medal of Honor: Underground 2000 A Dreamworks Interactive Production
Medal of Honor: Allied Assault 2002 A Dreamworks Interactive Production
Medal of Honor: Frontline 2002 An EA Los Angeles Production
Call of Duty 2003
Secret Weapons Over Normandy 2003
Call of Duty: Finest Hour 2004
Alias 2004
The Incredibles 2004
Black 2006
Medal of Honor: Airborne 2007 An EA Los Angeles Production
Lost: Via Domus 2008 A Bad Robot Production
Turning Point: Fall of Liberty 2008
Fracture 2008 Music produced by Michael Giacchino, composed by Chris Tilton and Chad Seiter


Work Year Notes
Alias 2001 - 2006 A Bad Robot Production
Lost 2004 - 2010 A Bad Robot Production
Six Degrees 2006 - 2007 A Bad Robot Production
Fringe 2008 - present A Bad Robot Production

Short films and other works

Work Year Notes
No Salida 1998 Short film
String Of The Kite 2003 Short film
Space Mountain at Disneyland 2005 Theme Park attraction
Space Mountain at Hong Kong Disneyland 2005 Theme Park attraction
Space Mountain: Mission 2 at Disneyland Paris 2005 Theme Park Attraction
The Karate Guard 2005 Short film
One Man Band 2005 Short film
Lifted 2006 Short film
How to Hook Up Your Home Theater 2007 Short film
Presto 2008 Short film
81st Academy Awards 2009 Awards ceremony, conductor
Partly Cloudy 2009 Short film
Dug's Special Mission 2009 Short film (edited from Up)
Prep and Landing 2009 Christmas Special


  1. ^ Jon Burlingame, "Tunes for Toons," Daily Variety, Dec. 8, 2004
  2. ^ - Michael Giacchino
  3. ^ Burlingame, Jon. "Michael Giacchino's Mission: Make the Old Music New", The New York Times, May 7, 2006. Accessed November 27, 2007. "The backyard for Mr. Giacchino, 38, was in Edgewater Park, N.J., where he grew up watching — and listening to — Hanna-Barbera cartoons, "The A-Team" and reruns of "The Dick Van Dyke Show." He graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York, but, as music became his main interest, he took classes at Juilliard and, later, film-music extension courses at U.C.L.A."
  4. ^
  5. ^ Michael -Biography
  6. ^ Michael - Works
  7. ^ Chris - Black
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Goldwasser, Dan (2007-07-10). "Michael Giacchino scores Medal of Honor: Airborne". Retrieved 2009-05-10. 
  10. ^ - Alias - Full Credits
  11. ^ Amazon - Lost Soundtrack
  12. ^ The Log Book - Lost
  13. ^ Cinemusic - The Incredibles
  14. ^
  15. ^ Grammy Nominations 2005 - PDF
  16. ^ CDUniverse - M:I - III
  17. ^ Space Mountain
  18. ^

External links


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