Virtual ASCAP Screen Music Awards Recap

This year, the ASCAP Screen Music Awards took to the screen itself to honor 2020’s winning music creators. The ASCAP composers who brought everyone’s favorite onscreen entertainment to life in the past year were celebrated virtually on ASCAP’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@ASCAP, @ASCAPScreen) with the hashtag #ASCAPAwards.

Winning composers gave personal acceptance speeches from their home studios, some with creatively staged video segments, and celebrity friends chimed in with special congratulatory messages. A complete list of winners can be found on the ASCAP website: www.ascap.com/screenawards20.

On Thursday, June 25, as part of its free, ongoing, weekly virtual conference for music creators, ASCAP Experience: Home Edition, ASCAP also hosted conversations featuring three of its top 2020 Screen Music Awards winners: Michael Abels, Siddhartha Khosla and Hans Zimmer.

Highlights from both events included:

  • Top Box Office Film The Lion King winner Hans Zimmer in conversation with Mitchell Leib, President of Music and Soundtracks for The Walt Disney Studios: “Music was a real refuge for me… my dad died when I was six years old…. Lion King is my way of saying goodbye to my dad.” The session is available on demand with free registration at ASCAP Experience: Home Edition.
  • In conversation for ASCAP Experience: Home Edition, composer Siddhartha Khosla, who won the ASCAP Screen Award for Top Network Television Series for This is Us, told actor/musician Chris Sullivan, who plays Toby on the show: If I had known it would take me years of little failures… I could have easily stopped at any of those points, but I kept going. The main thing I would say I wish I knew early -- do what you can to find your own voice.” The conversation is at ASCAP Experience: Home Edition.
  • Composer Michael Abels, a Top Box Office Film winner for Us, spoke with Starr Parodi, President of the Alliance for Women Film Composers about championing diversity and fairness for Film/TV composers for ASCAP Experience: Home Edition: “People will say it’s a pipeline problem. They want to be diverse but they just don’t know anyone... So we decided to fix the doorbell. We now have the Composers Diversity Collective website."
  • ASCAP Chairman of the Board and President Paul Williams introduced this year’s virtual Screen Music Awards celebration, remarking, "Our beautiful family of ASCAP composers and songwriters wrote the underscore to our lives in 2019. You heightened the drama of our favorite TV shows, intensified the action of the biggest blockbuster films and found new ways of bringing characters and ideas to life on screen." LINK
  • A message of "resilience… patience and passion. Never lose your passion, it is contagious," from winner Pinar Toprak. TheCaptain Marvel composer shared an inside look at where the magic happens — her studio. LINK In an ASCAP Facebook post, Dave Jordan, Music Supervisor for Marvel Cinematic Universe, shared a special message to Pinar thanking her “for an unbelievable contribution to our shared Marvel Universe, and for being the first female composer in the history of cinema to have scored a movie that has gone on to make over a billion dollars. It’s pretty unbelievable.” LINK
  • David Vanacore, the top winner for Most Performed Themes & Underscore for Live PD and Survivor shared, “After 40 seasons of Survivor it’s truly unbelievable. I’m incredibly grateful and thankful.” LINK He received a heartfelt message from show host Jeff Probst: “You have given Survivor a signature sound. People know when Survivor is on from the music, that is you. I love working with you. I love learning from you, and I love that we are truly buddies in life.” LINK Performing on the keyboard, friend Howie Mandel also sent kudos: “Just wanting to congratulate you on this prestigious award. You add so much to every production.” LINK
  • “This award means so much to me… Some 25 years ago I started working with Tyler Perry. I’ve been on this journey with him since then, providing music for many of your favorite TV shows, films and theater” – Elvin Ross, ASCAP Screen Music Award-winning composer for The Have and the Have Nots, who also takes his award on a tour of New Orleans. LINK
  • An important message from Nathan Matthew David as part of his acceptance for the music to Surviving R. Kelly: "We need more voices of color, not just in front of the camera, but behind the camera as well.” He goes on to dedicate the award to his parents who came to the U.S. from the Philippines “with nothing in their pockets but dreams.” LINK
  • Top Cable Television Series winning composer Ruth Barrett shares a glass of champagne as she accepts her award for PBS’s LINK
  • This year’s ASCAP Screen Composers' Choice Award - TV Composer of the Year goes to… Bear McCreary! His TV work for 2019 included greats like The Walking Dead, Outlander, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Apple TV+'s See and Fox's Proven Innocent.“I’m kind of at a loss for words,” says McCreary LINK
  • With over 60 scores to his name, from theBourne trilogy to Shrek, 2018 ASCAP Henry Mancini Award winner John Powell takes home the ASCAP Screen Composer's Choice: 2019 Film Score of the Year for his work on How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World. Powell shares his message “from somewhere in California.” LINK
  • A two-time Game Audio Network Guild Award winner, ASCAP composer Gordy Haab thanked his peers for the Composer's Choice: Video Game Score of the Year Award forStar Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, calling it “by far one of the most coveted awards in the composing business.” LINK
  • A thoughtful and informative acceptance speech by Joel Beckerman, ASCAP board member and a winner for Most Performed Themes & Underscore. “This is a really tough time for all of us. Especially for young, upcoming composers. And for those who may not know what choices you have in terms of getting paid, what it takes to get royalty stream and actually build a career. Go to com to learn more.” LINK
  • An iMovie from ASCAP award-winning composer Didier Lean Rachou, who takes a trip down memory lane sharing moments from past ASCAP Screen Music Awards and celebrates his Most Performed Themes & Underscore LINK
  • Earnest words from ASCAP Award-winning composer Matt Bowen, for The Bachelor and The Bachelorette: "I am beyond humbled to be included with the award winners... I'd also like to acknowledge the growing Black Lives Matter movement... I just want to encourage everyone to continue learning, continue pushing and continuing fighting until we have some semblance of equality.” LINK
  • Michael Giacchino, a winner for Most Performed Themes & Underscore, shared some advice for the quarantined: “Everyone’s at home. Make something. In fact, if you don’t come out of this time period having made something, I’m going to come after you. I’m going to be really, really upset. So, make something. Put it out there.  Be great. You’re all so talented. Let’s see it happen.”LINK
  • An unboxing acceptance video from Most Performed Themes & Underscore winner Jared Gutstadt, (Ellen's Gameof Games) from “the mean streets of Brentwood” who cheekily declares that “2020 is the best year ever and will be forever be remembered for this singular award and nothing else…” LINK; and special congrats to Gudstadt from songwriter/producer Poo Bear and from Hollywood movie star and podcaster pioneer, Dennis Quaid: “I’m looking forward to making a lot of great music with you…” LINK
  • A bilingual video clip from Alberto Slezynger’s for winning for La Reina Del Sur. "This is my third or fourth ASCAP Screen Music Award, and every time I receive it, it makes my heart sing. For all of you who are beginning, the dreams can come true.” LINK
  • “Making music right now is hard, especially emotionally authentic music, because everyone is experiencing trauma on some level” – Jeff Ball, ASCAP Screen Music Awards winning composer for Steven Universe, in his acceptance video. LINK
  • Matthew Margeson’s words on receiving his ASCAP Screen Music Award for blockbuster film Rocket Man. “ASCAP’s been a huge part of my career for the past 10 to 15 years. I did the 2007 ASCAP Film Composers Workshop, and you’ve been with me every step of the way since then.” LINK
  • Lorne Balfe’s video acceptance saw him in proper celebratory form – adorned with balloons, a garland around his neck and a glass of champagne for Top Box Office for the motion picture Gemini Man, with help from his son. LINK
  • ASCAP board member and 2020 Screen Music Award-winner for The Connors Dan Foliart: "I could not be happier to be a part of this wonderful community. Every moment that you bring with your music to the project enriches all of our lives.” LINK
  • ASCAP board member Bruce Broughton, winning for The Orville, gives “a friendly shout-out to my pal John Debney, who, like me, the most surprised of the bunch, is picking up his award for his work on The Orville. A special shout-out to our producer Seth MacFarlane, who prefers to record these episodes weekly with as many as 70, 80, and occasionally more than 90 musicians.” LINK MacFarlane tweeted congrats to both composers to his 1.4 million followers: LINK