TALENT SCOUT - Jim Dooley

The Emmy-winning composer on his life scoring to picture
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Jim Dooley has scored acclaimed television shows and films like Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events, TNT's The Last Ship and Disney's Kim Possible. Get to know our TALENT SCOUT Artist of the Week.

NAME: Jim Dooley

HOMETOWN: Maspeth, NY. 

MUSICAL TRAINING: I did my undergraduate studies in composition at NYU. After that, I did my graduate studies at USC in their Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program. While at USC I studied with Christopher Young, Elmer Bernstein, David Raksin, Leonard Rosenman among others.

FIRST GIGS: After schoo,l I became Hans Zimmer’s tech assistant starting on Gladiator. While learning on the job, I started to be given small musical opportunities which developed over time. This eventually turned into becoming a freelance composer at what used to be Hans’ company Media Ventures.

MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Led Zeppelin is really the starting point for me. Originally, I wanted to be a rock guitar god like Jimmy Page. I learned every song and every lick off of every album they released. Even to this day, I have a 1979 EDS 1275 Gibson double-neck! Danny Elfman’s Batman score was the first time I really saw the power of film music. And working on Hans’ movies for nearly two decades has obviously had a profound effect on my music.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: I love listening to George Harrison. I love the surprises in his music. He doesn’t follow the dogma of traditional thinking and I really appreciate that. For example, in "What is Life," the first two chords of the verse are straight rock and roll; Major I to Major V. After that, it would normally be a minor 6th chord but it’s not. It’s a Major 6th. It gives the song such gravity. I am strongly attracted to music that defies tradition.

MY BIG BREAK: Getting the job as Hans’ assistant was a big deal for me. It changed my life. Musically, getting to work on Pushing Daisies with Barry Sonnenfeld and Bryan Fuller was the next one. To win the Emmy that year for the series was  amazing and something that I will always be grateful for.

LATEST PROJECTS: I am currently scoring the Jurassic World Ride at Universal Studios. I also have a movie coming to Netflix this summer called Secret Obsession. The first film music I created in college was for this director Peter Sullivan. It's a collaboration 25 years in the making!

FAVORITE KEYBOARDS AND WHY? The Roland D-10 will always have a place in my heart because it was my first keyboard. I love those sounds so much because I grew up with them. My MIDI controller now is a Yamaha S90XS. I really like the feel of it. 

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? I still have to finish the Jurassic World attraction and then take a much-needed vacation!

ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: Work hard. Show up early. Stay late. Be nice. Be kind.

For more information on Jim visit http://jimdooley.com