6 Female Film Composers You Should Know
With the Golden Globes coming up on Jan. 12, the web is abuzz with rumors and predictions. Of course, everyone is gushing about his or her favorite actors and music, but one often-forgotten category is Best Original Score. A movie’s score has an enormous effect on a film-viewing experience. For film experts and enthusiasts, it might be just as exciting a category as Best Actress or Best TV Comedy.
But let’s face it: most people aren’t sitting around arguing over which composer is the hottest or making bets on who's going to take home the big prize.
So, perhaps it’s not a complete shock that more coverage isn’t given to the appalling lack of women composers in film. Like any male-dominated field, scoring for film does have a rare few leading ladies who hold their own among industry kings like Hans Zimmer (The Lion King, Pirates of the Caribbean) and John Williams (Harry Potter, Star Wars). But these women are few and far between. There are absolutely no women nominated for the Best Original Score Golden Globe this year (nor has there been since 2009.) And taking a look at the contenders for Oscar nominations in the Academy’s Best Original Score category, there are only two. That’s out of a list of 114 people.
The number of women in the film scoring industry is small enough to begin with, but it seems to be dwindling even further. Even acclaimed female composers, including Rachel Portman who was the first woman to ever with the Oscar for Best Original Score, haven’t worked on many “big” films in recent years. We can only speculate the reason why this is the case. Sexism? Lack of interest? Whatever the case, the few women in this field deserve to be celebrated.
Here is a selection of the best in the business, most of whom are still actively composing.