Paramount Pictures Works with Berklee Students on Film Music Project

Margot Edwards
February 1, 2011
Berklee film scoring majors receive training from Paramount's Nick Bonomo and alumnus Adam Ehrlich.
Photo by Margot Edwards
Photo by Margot Edwards

Paramount Pictures is working with a team of student interns from Boston's Berklee College of Music to create the first full-function database of its immense archive of film music. The online music library database will make it easier for filmmakers and others to access music and obtain rights to music from the Paramount catalog for use across a range of media platforms. Students will conduct an in-depth analysis and interpretation of audio clips from a number of films (totaling thousands of clips) from Paramount's 99-year-old library, including Star Trek, Forrest Gump, Chinatown, Mission Impossible, Love Story, and Airplane, with scores by Elmer Bernstein, Danny Elfman, Philip Glass, Jerry Goldsmith, Ennio Morricone, and Berklee alumnus Alan Silvestri, among others.

Using their expertise in music, production, and composition, the interns will provide detailed descriptions of the clips, capturing the feeling and mood of the music, audio notes, and keywords to enhance the search capability and functionality of Paramount's music library database. The project began last semester with 30 film scoring majors at Berklee, who were also given the unique opportunity to compose original scores to five-minute short films from Paramount's archives, some of which date back to the early 20th century.  Ten additional interns joined the project this semester.  The shorts will be featured on a dedicated website and can be included on the composer's professional reel.

Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television, and digital entertainment brands. The company's labels include Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Digital Entertainment, Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., Paramount Studio Group, and Paramount Worldwide Television Distribution.

Berklee College of Music is the only college in the world that offers an undergraduate degree in film scoring. The number of students who pursue this major has grown significantly in the past few years, and the department now counts 320 students as majors. The film scoring facilities include a dedicated set of classrooms and labs with state-of-the-art software and hardware, as well as a scoring studio complex with "live" scoring-to-picture capabilities and two fully integrated digital audio/video post-production suites. The department's comprehensive program offers students the opportunity for individual, hands-on study in film music composition, orchestration, MIDI sequencing, scoring for video games, conducting to picture, and digital music editing for film, television, and other visual media.