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Hans ZimmerTeaches Film Scoring

Tell a story with music

Hans Zimmer didn’t see a film until he was 12 years old. Since then, he’s scored over 150 films, including Inception, The Lion King, and The Dark Knight. In his MasterClass, the self-taught Academy Award winner teaches how he creates sounds from nothing, composes compelling character themes, and scores a movie before ever seeing it. By the end, you’ll have everything you need to tell your story.

31 VIDEO LESSONS

Watch, listen, and learn as Hans teaches his first-ever film scoring class.

CLASS WORKBOOK

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps and supplemental materials.

OFFICE HOURS

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Hans will also critique select student work.

Lesson Plan

  • 01

    Introduction

    Meet your new instructor, the Academy Award-winning composer of over 150+ films spanning multiple genres.

  • 02

    Themes

    Hans has created some of the most memorable themes in film. Learn how he creates a theme, and how simplicity is his best tool to maintain a theme.

  • 03

    Story

    Discover how Hans approaches writing to story and his number one rule for film composers.

  • Show all 31 Lessons

    • 04

      Directors: Part 1

      Learn how Hans works with directors, including what he needs to learn from the director in order to start writing - sometimes even before the film is shot.

    • 05

      Directors: Part 2

      Learn how to effectively have a conversation with the director throughout the film process.

    • 06

      Directors: Part 3

      Hans continues his discussion on what makes a great director and what makes a great relationship between composer and director.

    • 07

      Sound Palettes

      Hans is known for creating unique sound palettes. Learn how and why he does it, and how to do it on your own.

    • 08

      Creating with Synths

      Hans is known for his use of synths. Hans discusses how he uses synths, as he creates a song from his starter patch for us.

    • 09

      Scoring to Picture

      Hans discusses how to score to different types of scenes, as well as recognizing when a scene doesn't need a score.

    • 10

      Scoring Under Dialogue

      Learn how Hans approaches the relationship between music and dialogue, and how music can be dialogue too.

    • 11

      Tempo

      Your editor is your drummer. Learn how to recognize the tempo to a scene and edit to it.

    • 12

      Tempo: Sherlock Holmes Scene

      Hans continues his tempo discussion with how he scored an extremely well-edited scene from Sherlock Holmes.

    • 13

      Music Diary: Sherlock Holmes

      Hans creates music diaries to each film to help him along. Learn how and why he does it as he walks through his diary for Sherlock Holmes.

    • 14

      Character

      Learn how Hans gets to know his characters in order to create memorable themes for them.

    • 15

      Character Theme: Batman

      What makes Batman's theme in The Dark Knight Trilogy so recognizable? Learn how he developed the theme by thinking about the story and character.

    • 16

      Character Theme: The Joker

      Hans fell in love with the Joker, and created a haunting tune from just one vibrating note. Watch as he discusses how the story and character's impact on the story helps create the theme.

    • 17

      Character Theme: Jack Sparrow

      "Pirates were the rock-n'-rollers of the middle ages." Hans breaks down how he created Jack Sparrow's theme by finding the tone for the movie first.

    • 18

      Case Study: Frost/Nixon

      For Frost/Nixon, Hans had to score to a dialogue-heavy film. Learn his approach to creating a minimal but beautiful score.

    • 19

      Case Study: The Dark Knight

      Learn how Hans accentuated the tension in the already-tense boat scene from The Dark Knight.

    • 20

      Working With Musicians

      Learn how to find and write for the best musicians and instruments for your score.

    • 21

      Working With Musicians: The Orchestra - Part 1

      Hans discusses the important of earning your musicians' respect and how to effectively communicate with them.

    • 22

      Working With Musicians: The Orchestra - Part 2

      Hear from Hans on how he makes sure he's getting the best performance he can while recording an orchestra.

    • 23

      Feedback & Revisions

      Not every score is perfect on the first try. Learn how Hans asks for feedback on his scores and how he approaches rewrites when it's not quite working.

    • 24

      Audience Feedback

      The true test - learn how Hans approaches showing a score to an audience and how he determines if it's working or not.

    • 25

      Writing Tips: Part 1

      Hans gives you the tips and tricks he's learned over the years on how to approach writing music.

    • 26

      Writing Tips: Part 2

      Hans provides insights into how to make sure you aren't limiting your creativity when writing.

    • 27

      Hans' Journey

      Learn how Hans fell in love with storytelling and switched his career from a "radio star" to film composer.

    • 28

      Learning by Listening

      Hans discusses the importance of learning how to listen and dissect music when it works and doesn't work.

    • 29

      Life of a Composer: Part 1

      All artists struggle with the challenges that come with pursuing a life in the arts. Hear Hans' advice on how to never give up and never compromise your voice.

    • 30

      Life of a Composer: Part 2

      Hans continues his discussion on an artist's life, telling you why he was inspired to pursue the life of a composer in the first place.

  • 31

    Closing

    Listen to Hans' final words as he closes out his MasterClass and as you move forward in your career.

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Hans Zimmer

Teaches Film Scoring

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Class Trailer

Cello

Batman

Themes as Questions & Answers