CFAMC Hollywood Composers Panel

by Dave Martina, Jonathan Neal, JAC Redford & Mike Watts

Christian composers form the CFAMC Conference discuss the challenges of working in Hollywood

Dave Martina is a graduate of the Biola University music compositor department an is a perpetual member of the Torrey Honors Institute. He has worked with film composer Michael Glacchino and now serves as the brand therapist for businesses with identity crisises.

Jonathan David Neal is a composer and orchestrator with 25+ years for experience in composing music for film, TV and record projects in LA, Nashville, London and Budapest as well as composing for and working with ethnic instruments and musicians in Indonesia, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. He has recently composed music for the feature film “Film Maker’s Son” and a documentary “Patterns of Evidence – The Exodus”as well as other feature films and documentaries in both the US and Europe. His credits also include music for TV shows such as Sponge Bob Squarepants, Christmas Child (Lifetime feature), NFL Films, and E.R. among others. He currently sits on the board of the Society of Composers and Lyricists as Recording Secretary and is on the Music Rights and Social Media Committees.

J.A.C. Redford is a composer, arranger, orchestrator and conductor of concert, chamber and choral music, film, television and theater scores, and music for recordings. Artists and ensembles that have performed his work include: Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Joshua Bell, Liona Boyd, Cantus, Chicago Symphony, de Angelis Vocal Ensemble, Debussy Trio, Israel Philharmonic, Kansas City Chorale, Los Angeles Chamber Singers, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Millennium Consort Singers, New York Philharmonic, Phoenix Chorale, St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Utah Chamber Artists and Utah Symphony. His music has been featured on programs at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Lincoln Center in New York, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and London’s Royal Albert Hall. Redford has written the scores for more than three-dozen feature films, TV movies or miniseries, including The Trip to Bountiful, One Night with the King, What the Deaf Man Heard, Mama Flora’s Family and Disney’s Oliver & Company, Newsies and The Mighty Ducks II and III.

He has composed the music for nearly 500 episodes of series television, including multiple seasons of Coach and St. Elsewhere (for which he received two Emmy nominations). His incidental music has been heard in theatrical productions at the Matrix Theater in Los Angeles and South Coast Repertory Theater in Costa Mesa, California, as well as in the American Playhouse series on PBS. Two of his musical comedies are published by Dramatic Publishing and performed frequently across North America. Collaborating with other artists, Redford has orchestrated, arranged or conducted for Academy Award-winning composers, James Horner, Alan Menken, Randy Newman and Rachel Portman, as well as for Terence Blanchard, Danny Elfman, Mark Isham, Thomas Newman, Marc Shaiman, and Cirque du Soleil’s Benoit Jutras, on projects including The Little Mermaid, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Perfect Storm, WALL-E, Avatar, The Help, The Iron Lady, The Amazing Spider-Man and Skyfall. He orchestrated and conducted Adele’s Oscar-winning title song for Skyfall, wrote arrangements for Joshua Bell’s Voice of the Violin and At Home with Friends recordings and has written for and recorded with other Grammy Award-winning artists Steven Curtis Chapman, Bonnie Raitt and Sting.

He has produced, arranged, and conducted music for the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and served as a consultant for the Sundance Film Institute, a teacher in the Artists-in-Schools program for the National Endowment for the Arts, a guest lecturer at USC and UCLA, and on the Music Branch Executive Committees for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Redford’s music is published by G. Schirmer, Roger Dean, Fatrock Ink, Ander Kamp, Fred Bock and Plough Down Sillion Music. He is the author of Welcome All Wonders: A Composer’s Journey, published by Baker Books. His many recordings include three collections of his concert, chamber and choral music, Eternity Shut in a Span, Evening Wind and The Alphabet of Revelation.

Michael Watts, a native Southern Californian, has a wife, five children, and has been involved with the music industry in Los Angeles for over thirty years. As a pianist/keyboardist Mr. Watts started his recording career as the pianist/arranger/orchestrator for several of the original Disney cable television shows. From there he began working in episodic television (“Quincy”) and in film (“The Two Jakes” & “Unforgiven”). Mr. Watts’ performing and writing skills have greatly contributed to, and have been sought after by the entertainment industry ever since. From movies such as The Passion of the Christ, Toy Story 3, The Princess and the Frog, Iron Man 2, Predators, Valentine’s Day, Spiderman III, The Princess Diaries I & II, Bruce Almighty, Evan Almighty, Tangled, to television shows such as The Simpsons, Dancing With the Stars, Once Upon a Time, and most of the award shows like The Academy Awards, The Emmy Awards, The Grammy Awards, The People’s Choice Awards, The American Music Awards, and The Country Music Awards, you may well have heard his work without ever knowing it. In addition to record work with Christina Aguilera (“My Kind of Christmas”), Brian Wilson (“Orange Crate Art”),and Roy Orbison (“In Dreams”), you’d be hard pressed to walk into any of the Disney Theme Parks (Disneyland, Disney World, etc...) around the world and not hear Mr. Watts’ work. Teaching a little at both Biola University and Azuza Pacific University over the past few years has been very rewarding for him, and he is grateful for the opportunities he’s had to work with very gifted people through the years, both professionally and educationally.





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