Jeremy Tisser is only 28 years old, which comes with pros and cons in the composing world. Tisser, who started out studying music business with dreams of being a studio drummer, ultimately stumbled into composing when he found out there was such a thing as a film scoring degree at the University of Southern California. He showed some of his music to the department head, who was won over by how “outside the box” it was, and learned about orchestra from there. “I fell in love with creating music to go behind a picture,” he says.
Tisser had Emmy-winning composer Mark Watters as a mentor, which led to credits on projects including Jurassic World, Disney’s Oscar-nominated short animation Get a Horse! and Disney’s Pixar in Concert. That fortuitous meeting spurred from Tisser’s involvement with his school’s Studio Ensemble program.
When it comes to his young age, Tisser says it can be a roadblock as well as blessing in the composing world. “Elmer Bernstein wrote the score to the The Ten Commandments at 28. Igor Stravinsky wrote The Firebird at 23 and The Rite of Spring at 27,” Tisser says. “It doesn’t necessarily have to do with age, but when you’re telling a story or relate it to a mass audience, the more life experience you have, the more you can tell a story. Older people have survived more of life and when they get a film that’s dramatic or adventurous, they have more of life to pull from.”
That said, the aforementioned composers lived in different times. Today is a “free for all,” Tisser says. “It seems now you can be 25 and score 27 feature films if you have that kind of mad work ethic, and those can be enough to get you a movie.” Regardless of the time, persistence is still the key, he says.
Tisser is now working on a score for a virtual reality game for the company Survios, but can divulge little about the project at this time.
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