To submit requests for assistance, or provide feedback regarding accessibility, please contact

Arts & Entertainment

Audience Feedback

Hans Zimmer

Lesson time 11:38 min

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

Hans Zimmer
Teaches Film Scoring
From collaborating to scoring, Hans Zimmer teaches you how to tell a story with music in 31 exclusive video lessons.
Get Started


The first and selfish truth is I write for myself. Because the seconds of my life are ticking by, and I want to have a good life. And I want to write music that I like or that I'm interested in. But-- and this goes back 40-odd years, when I was in a band and I was touring in the '80s in England. And times were tough. Margaret Thatcher was in power. And if you went outside London, you went into the working class. You went up into the north, and you saw people working hard and trying to make ends meet. And so weirdly, every night playing in these pubs, you knew you were creating an escape for people. And so somehow over the years, in my mind, I have this fictitious character. She's called Doris. She lives in Bradford. She's of a certain age. She's got two boys, doesn't have a husband. She works really hard every week. Those boys are impossible, by the way. I mean, they're a real pain. She works really hard to try to make ends meet. And at the weekend, she's got a choice. She can either watch the television, or she can go to the cinema. And she plunks down her hard-earned money. And it really is hard-earned money. And life is tough. And she wants to have an experience. Just for two hours, she wants to have an experience that she wouldn't have in her normal life. And I am part of the responsibility of giving her that experience and not short-changing her on her hard-earned money. So yeah, most of it's written for Doris, who doesn't really exist, but completely and utterly exists. I like to do a temp dub. And I like to preview the movie. I like to put the music in front of an audience. And it's got to be a sizable audience. Because if it's just 15 of your best friends, you're never going to learn anything. They're just coming for the free drinks. But if you have 600 people in a room, you know pretty quickly if you overstepped the mark. Gladiator is a good example where when we started out and I had Lisa Gerrard, and her voice, I mean, the studio really didn't like the idea of the voice, just thought, what is a female voice doing in a gladiator movie? And Ridley and I had a very specific point of view about it. So we would literally go-- and we had many screenings where we would test, see-- because the audience really liked it. An audience is-- they just feel things differently. They're there for an experience. I noticed it, of course, most in Inception, that idea of shared dreaming that you get in a cinema. So we would preview it just to see how far we could push it. And there came a point, as well where even I went, hang on a second, OK? We've got to go and pull back a bit. You feel them getting a bit restless. It's not like you just sit there amongst them and-- you know, you've broken some sort of agreement you had with them to stay within the reality of whatever world you cre...

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 start film scoring.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Thank you Hans for your verve and extreme creativity in bringing films to life and sharing your incredible secrets and process. Unforgettable !

I have learned how to make my my music sound more sophisticated. I have learned how to carefully choose which note I'm going to play. I learned how to appreciate the score of the movie.

Excellent masterclass. Wise words from a master, delivered with self-deprecation, enthusiasm and humour.

I had certain expectations of what to learn, like learning his process or even seeing him spend time showing the process of composing a song from start to finish. What I did learn was that composing is just as much of story telling as the director. Helpful to learn a greater understanding of composing and what goes into it


Antonia T.

Sorry, but in this lecture I disagree with Mr. Zimmer. I personally think that when the big audience likes a film this means that it's probably a bad film. Really great movies tent to have little audience. What the masses like is never the most artistic. Show to a big audience today The Seventh Seal, Les 400 coups, Va, vis et deviens (Radu Mihaileanu), Interiors (Woody Allen) or Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray) and most of the audience will fall asleep, and they are all masterpieces. We live in an era of superhero movies, bad scripts and little poetry. As Woody Allen says: "If my films don't show a profit, I know I'm doing something right". In another hand, I do agree with Hans in that it's important to feel what the public feels in a cinema, the atmosphere, but this is sadly gradually disappearing since less and less people go to the cinema nowadays and more people watch films at home (due to Netflix, Amazon and, most recently, the Covid-19). Pity.

Jeshua S.

Its interesting to hear how trying something way out of the ordinary got him criticized, but in the end it was exactly what the movie needed

A fellow student

2020 when content is a exploding out of every outlet, I really did not think about if anyone is asking themselves "am I serving myself?" or "am I serving the listener?" or both? When I think about pleasing people, which is rewarding, adding weight to your compositions by adding the consequence of not just meeting expectations but allowing a expressionistic journey of multiple emotions that they did not even know they wanted to experience is such a beautiful chase.

Larissa R.

The lesson provides the approach which is truly original. I wouldn't guess how to use the feedback, especially subtle. As for me, teaming is a puzzle. People have expectations; not only they don't clearly define them , but they are not entirely aware of how the sound may play its role for each scene. There are notions of leadership explained in the lesson - very new to me.

Matt G.

"I have no idea why we're going to Phoenix (to screen the movie)." I'll tell you why they're going to Phoenix: 1) Phoenix is a marketing research mecca. Nobody is from there. Everybody comes from somewhere else. So when you screen a movie or conduct product market researchin Phoenix, you are researching the response of the entire USA for a fraction of the cost. 2) Compared to L.A., Phoenix is a backwater. Your screening in L.A. would accidentally pull in actors, members of the trade press, employees of competing studios; none of which would likely attend a screening in Phoenix.

Ethan F.

This one was clearly the best episode ! The Doris thing reminds you that part of your job is to do this for the others, as well as you do this for yourself in a certain way. I just love the story about putting Sherlock in front of the audience in Phoenix, shows that even at the highest professional level people can still doubt on the quality of your job, and that you constantly have to stay confident in what you are doing.

Dr. Monnie Chan

Our maestro teacher Hans Zimmer live concert in Hong Kong is coming on 26th September 2019. Just 12 days to go. I am going and wonder if there are any classmates I can meet?

Greg U.

admiring mr. zimmer‘s approach (Doris!) and his ability of transforming ideas into high class working entertainment whilst simultaneously convincing the economy driven film business and producers with his outstandig work/perspective and personality - guessing that it was a long journey through HnHell to become such a stellar music innovator

Anthony V.

Yeah, Hanz Zimmer is all class! I’m following his work even closer after following his MasterClass. Fan for life.

Arek Z.

Fantastic class! “You have to have a courage to put it in front of the audience”.