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Hans Zimmer Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (5) | Trivia (21) | Personal Quotes (14)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 12 September 1957Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany
Birth NameHans Florian Zimmer

Mini Bio (1)

German-born composer Hans Zimmer is recognized as one of Hollywood's most innovative musical talents. He featured in the music video for The Buggles' single "Video Killed the Radio Star", which became a worldwide hit and helped usher in a new era of global entertainment as the first music video to be aired on MTV (August 1, 1981).

Zimmer entered the world of film music in London during a long collaboration with famed composer and mentor Stanley Myers, which included the film My Beautiful Laundrette (1985). He soon began work on several successful solo projects, including the critically acclaimed A World Apart, and during these years Zimmer pioneered the use of combining old and new musical technologies. Today, this work has earned him the reputation of being the father of integrating the electronic musical world with traditional orchestral arrangements.

A turning point in Zimmer's career came in 1988 when he was asked to score Rain Man for director Barry Levinson. The film went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year and earned Zimmer his first Academy Award Nomination for Best Original Score. The next year, Zimmer composed the score for another Best Picture Oscar recipient, Driving Miss Daisy (1989), starring Jessica Tandy, and Morgan Freeman.

Having already scored two Best Picture winners, in the early 1990s, Zimmer cemented his position as a pre-eminent talent with the award-winning score for The Lion King (1994). The soundtrack has sold over 15 million copies to date and earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Score, a Golden Globe, an American Music Award, a Tony, and two Grammy Awards. In total, Zimmer's work has been nominated for 7 Golden Globes, 7 Grammys and seven Oscars for Rain Man (1988), Gladiator (2000), The Lion King (1994), As Good as It Gets (1997), The The Preacher's Wife (1996), The Thin Red Line (1998), The Prince of Egypt (1998), and The Last Samurai (2003).

With his career in full swing, Zimmer was anxious to replicate the mentoring experience he had benefited from under Stanley Myers' guidance. With state-of-the-art technology and a supportive creative environment, Zimmer was able to offer film-scoring opportunities to young composers at his Santa Monica-based musical "think tank." This approach helped launch the careers of such notable composers as Mark Mancina, John Powell, Harry Gregson-Williams, Nick Glennie-Smith, and Klaus Badelt.

In 2000, Zimmer scored the music for Gladiator (2000), for which he received an Oscar nomination, in addition to Golden Globe and Broadcast Film Critics Awards for his epic score. It sold more than three million copies worldwide and spawned a second album Gladiator: More Music From The Motion Picture, released on the Universal Classics/Decca label. Zimmer's other scores that year included Mission: Impossible II (2000), The Road to El Dorado (2000), and An Everlasting Piece (2000), directed by Barry Levinson.

Some of his other impressive scores include Pearl Harbor (2001), The Ring (2002), four films directed by Ridley Scott; Matchstick Men (2003), Hannibal (2001), Black Hawk Down (2001), and Thelma & Louise (1991), Penny Marshall's Riding in Cars with Boys (2001), and A League of Their Own (1992), Quentin Tarantino's True Romance (1993), Tears of the Sun (2003), Ron Howard's Backdraft (1991), Days of Thunder (1990), Smilla's Feeling for Snow (1997), and the animated Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) for which he also co-wrote four of the songs with Bryan Adams, including the Golden Globe nominated Here I Am.

At the 27th annual Flanders International Film Festival, Zimmer performed live for the first time in concert with a 100-piece orchestra and a 100-piece choir. Choosing selections from his impressive body of work, Zimmer performed newly orchestrated concert versions of Gladiator, Mission: Impossible II (2000), Rain Man (1988), The Lion King (1994), and The Thin Red Line (1998). The concert was recorded by Decca and released as a concert album entitled "The Wings Of A Film: The Music Of Hans Zimmer."

Last year, Zimmer completed his 100th film score for the film The Last Samurai, starring Tom Cruise, for which he received both a Golden Globe and a Broadcast Film Critics nomination. Recently, Zimmer scored Nancy Meyers' comedy Something's Gotta Give (2003), the animated Dreamworks film, Shark Tale (2004) (featuring voices of Will Smith, Renée Zellweger, Robert De Niro, Jack Black, and Martin Scorsese), and most recently, Jim Brooks' Spanglish (2004) starring Adam Sandler and Téa Leoni (for which he also received a Golden Globe nomination). His upcoming projects include Paramount's The Weather Man (2005) starring Nicolas Cage, Dreamworks' Madagascar (2005), and highly anticipated Warner Bros. summer release, Batman Begins (2005).

Zimmer's additional honors and awards include the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in Film Composition from the National Board of Review, and the Frederick Loewe Award in 2003 at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. He has also received ASCAP's Henry Mancini Award for Lifetime Achievement. Hans and his wife live in Los Angeles and he is the father of four children.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (2)

Vicki Carolin (19 March 1982 - 7 April 1992) (divorced) (1 child)
Suzanne Zimmer (? - ?) (3 children)

Trade Mark (5)

Uses elements from the characters culture in the music. Some examples are tribal chants in The Lion King, Ukulele in Pearl Harbor and Guitar with vocals in Gladiator.
Seamlessly mixes synthesizers with real instruments and soloists. Often uses solo cello and acoustic/electric guitar.
Frequently works with DreamWorks Animation
Often works with directors Ridley Scott and Christopher Nolan.
Famous for his frequent use of what is known as a "Bwaum" wherein a major plot point is revealed and the music blasts out a single note loudly

Trivia (21)

Last name means 'room' in German.
Co-founder (with Jay Rifkin) of Santa Monica-based music studio Media Ventures (now Remote Control), which has housed composers Mark Mancina, Harry Gregson-Williams, Rupert Gregson-Williams, Nick Glennie-Smith, John Powell, Klaus Badelt, Steve Jablonsky, Geoff Zanelli, Jeff Rona, Jim Dooley, Henning Lohner, James S. Levine, Mel Wesson, and several other composers from all over the world.
Frequently works with directors Ridley Scott, Gore Verbinski and Ron Howard.
December 2003 - Hans' longtime business partner, Jay Rifkin, filed a $10 million suit against him for conspiring to take business for himself. Due to this lawsuit Media Ventures changed its name to Remote Control.
In 2000 Gladiator became into one of the best selling film score albums of all time.
One of his biggest fans (after first hearing Crimson Tide) is director and producer Steven Spielberg, whose friendship and loyalty toward John Williams is perhaps the only reason why Zimmer has not become a regular for Spielberg-directed films.
The Last Samurai marked his 100th score.
Inspired by Ennio Morricone's The Mission (1986).
His music is heavily used in trailers.
He wrote music for a a 4-minute Maybach commercial.
His favorite movie theme of all time is from Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) by John Carpenter.
Fans and industry insiders in the film music world credit Crimson Tide (1995) as a turning point in both his career and the scoring business. The Grammy-winning score, often heard in trailers since, was a departure from the norm, making use of digital synthesizers, electronic keyboards, and the latest computer technology to digitally produce a rousing score with traditional orchestral arrangements.
The reason why he was chosen for the Laura's Star (2004) movie, was because, in an interview, he said that he feels that German producers forgot him for composing to a German language movie. One of the producers read the interview and he immediately asked him to do the movie.
Completely self-taught, he learned everything he knows through collaboration and experimenting.
He pushes collaboration between composers because that is how he learned. Every composer that has come out of Media Ventures learned by working with him on various scores by conducting, writing additional music, or even co-composing with him. Harry Gregson-Williams, John Powell, Mark Mancina, Klaus Badelt, and Steve Jablonsky are just a few composers who are now doing solo work after expanding from Media Ventures.
He told in an interview that he would retire for some years after The Dark Knight, saying he has been exhausted in the past years. He also said that he wants to help young composers and would produce their scores. His future plan is also about touring the world holding concerts with his own music.
Was nominated for a Tony for Original Musical Score in 1998 alongside Elton John, Tim Rice, Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin and Julie Taymor for their work on the musical version of The Lion King (1994).
Children: Jake (b. December 1997), Zoe and Brigitte.
Was nominated for Film Composer of the Year in 2006 by the International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA).
Was included on the list of "Top 100 Living Geniuses" published by The Daily Telegraph in 2007.
Has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in December 2010.

Personal Quotes (14)

I have all these computers and keyboards and synthesizers, and I rattle away. For instance, with The Lion King I wrote over four hours' worth of tunes, and they were really pretty --but totally meaningless. So in the end I came up with material I liked. We worked on The Lion King for four years, but I wasn't toying until the last three-and-a-half weeks properly. On Crimson Tide, on the other hand, I just went in and within seconds I knew what I wanted.
I wake up around noon, light a cigarette, get a cup of coffee, sit in the bathtub for an hour and daydream, and I usually come up with some ideas... It's a very irresponsible life. The only decisions I make are about the notes I'm writing.
I don't drive, so one of my assistants drives me to my writing room, and I have a calendar on the wall telling me how much time I have left, and how far behind I am. I look at it and panic, and decide which scene to work on. And you sit there plonking notes until something makes sense, and you don't think about it any more. Good tunes come when you're not thinking about it.
If something happened where I couldn't write music anymore, it would kill me. It's not just a job. It's not just a hobby. It's why I get up in the morning.
You have to remain flexible, and you must be your own critic at all times.
This is the best love theme I've ever written, I keep telling everyone this is a romantic comedy, but nobody believes me. - [on Hannibal (2001)]
"I think this one has more electronics in it than anything else.. I didn't want to do straight orchestra because Batman, he's not a straight character. I mean where do you get those wonderful toys from and the technology? So I thought I could embrace a bit more technology in this one.. there isn't a straight orchestral note on this score." - about his score for Batman Begins (2005)
Nobody ever mentions the Elliot Goldenthal scores. And of course I'm not mentioning any of that either, because quite honestly I didn't go and look at the old Batman movies again. - about previous Batman scores
I am not saying it is a bad movie or good movie, but it is an odd movie. All of the music was written before Terry would edit a scene. That was just how he wanted to work. It was a very odd way of working for me, because I had to lead the charge up the hill all the time. It gets a little daunting.
I'd never written for talking fuzzy animals before. I knew how to write to human emotions but these were animals. It took me a while to sort of get over that and do what you do which is just treat them like human characters. (On The Lion King (1994)]
I thought how do we deal with in a children's movie the idea that a father dies and make an emotional yet not horrifying experience. And it's very simple. It's my point of view because my dad dropped dead when I was six. I had nobody to talk to about it (About his score for The Lion King (1994))
If the secret should be known, which is not much of a secret at all, this is my hobby I love doing this. Anything else feels like work to me.
When you write a theme one of the things you want to do is you want to see how much life it really has. How many possibilities there are. Can it speak to you in joy? Can it speak to you in sorrow? Can it be love? Can it be hate? Can you say all these things with just a few notes? That's the thing when you figure out if a tune is any good or not. Does it have more than one shallow little character? Does it have just one little thing to tell you. Can it get underneath there under your skin? Can it get dark? Can it talk about the death of a father or something like that.
[on his score for The Lion King (1994)] The main emphasis to me was how we were going to get, in a children's movie, to the idea that a father dies and make it an emotional yet not horrifying experience but make it something that children might want to start asking some questions about. It's very simple. It's my point of view because my dad dropped dead when I was six and I had nobody to talk to about it. So, it's a very personal sort of thing.

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