Sean McMahon

Class of 
2000
Assistant Chair
617-747-2444
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Courses Taught
  • Career Highlights
    • Compositions include the score to The Grudge 3, the score to 400 Days, and the score to the video game Strata
    • Ghostwriter on Sony/Columbia, 20th Century Fox, and Dreamworks feature films
    • Conductor for the film score to All Good Things
    • Orchestrator of several feature films for various composers, such as Spider-Man 3, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider, The Grudge, Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas, and dozens more
    • Recorded guitar on the Sony/Colombia feature film Ghost Rider
  • Education
    • B.M., Berklee College of Music
    • Graduate certificate from the Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program, University of Southern California

In Their Own Words

"Berklee’s film scoring program rigorously prepares graduates for a long and diverse career in music creation for film, television, and video games. As a graduate of Berklee’s Film Scoring Department myself, I could not have been more prepared when I began my scoring career in Los Angeles."

"Writing music for film is an enormously collaborative process. A director's film doesn’t exist solely to be the canvas for a composer’s music. We composers are collaborative partners with filmmakers. As their creative partners, we must support the drama that takes place on the screen and uniquely tell the story in the way the dialogue, sound effects, and visuals cannot."

"An original score is one of the most effective ways filmmakers can achieve their creative vision. In many ways, I feel film composing is less about creating a product (the music itself) and more about providing a service (the collaborative process)."

"Mastery over technology is a must. That’s why music technology is at the forefront of Berklee’s film scoring program. It is the central force that drives change in the industry. Increasingly, there is less and less distinction between the composition itself and how the composition is produced. These lines between creation and realization have been blurred. Producing has become composing, and, composing has become producing."

"I stress to students the need to compose quickly but without compromising on quality. Deadlines for film and (especially) television are ridiculously tight. You can’t just wait for inspiration to strike. Therefore, a composer must rely on a solid command of compositional technique if he or she is to succeed professionally, [which is] something we stress in the curriculum."

"I emphasize to students the importance of a composer’s network and encourage them to start growing their professional networks while in school. Composing for film is not a nine-to-five job, and you’re not going to find your next scoring gig by poring over classified ads in the back of the newspaper. Film composers are freelance contractors, which means they must continually be hired and rehired. Possessing a robust network of quality industry contacts is vital for any composer to sustain a career in film, television, or video game scoring."