6 Film Composers Who Also Directed Films

night werewolf has become one of the most anticipated MCU projects, seemingly out of nowhere, as critics call it a unique and welcome entry into the franchise. The unique Disney+ special is an eyesore for the titular character, and it comes from a first-time director, but Michael Giacchino has been a household name in Hollywood for decades.

Giacchino is a popular film composer who has composed scores for every major franchise, be it star wars, the MCU or the DCEU. But Giacchino is not the first composer to embark on directing. Whether it’s a jack-of-all-trades Western actor, a bizarre horror composer whose music is more iconic than his films, or a one-man film crew that has no other choice than to compose his scores, these filmmakers are true authors.


Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood is a film auteur in every sense of the word, having been active in the film industry for over 60 years, whether it’s starring, directing award-winning dramas, or even composing. The famous filmmaker was certainly an actor and even a director before embarking on composition, but he composed some of his best films.

2003 crime drama the mystical river and the emotionally draining 2004 boxing film Million dollar baby are his two most accomplished films in terms of direction, but he also composed them. The orchestra-centric compositions are just as stunning as the movies, but it’s a category Eastwood was snubbed in at the Oscars.

Michael Giacchino

Giacchino has so many great film scores to his name, and while he hasn’t quite reached the classic status of John Williams or Hans Zimmer, he is certainly just as prolific. The composer scored Pixar films, action blockbusters and Will Ferrell comedies, and sometimes all in the same year.

In 2009 alone, Giacchino scored star trek, At the topand Land of the Lost. And now, after just scoring the phenomenal The BatmanGiacchino directed the unique new MCU special, night werewolf. Given the special’s rave reviews, with many calling it the best MCU Disney+ release, this could be the first of many projects Giacchino is working on with Marvel outside of compositing.

Robert Rodriguez

Robert Rodriguez is often referred to as “the one-man film crew” because he’s known for doing absolutely everything himself, from writing the script to shooting the movie, editing and music. Since his directorial debut, El Mariachihad a budget of just $7,000 (via Numbers), Rodriguez almost had no choice but to score the film himself.

His guitar playing was honored as much as his kinetic cinema. Rodriguez stretching himself so thin hasn’t always worked out for the best, but he has as many punches as bombs. And he didn’t look back, because not only did he compose each of his own films, but he also composed the films of other directors, including Kill Bill vol. 2. It Will Be Interesting To Hear The Soundtrack If Rodriguez Leads The MCU Bladetoo.

John Charpentier

Despite being the start of one of the worst horror movie franchises, the original Halloween is iconic. But Carpenter is as much a composer as he is a director, as his film scores are almost more timeless than his horror classics. Halloween wouldn’t be what it is today without “Halloween Theme,” the haunting piano medley that marks the film. However, Carpenter only became a composer after a negative response from a studio executive.

According Medium, after a woman watched the film without music, she wasn’t scared off by the film, leading Carpenter to compose an entire score for the 1978 horror film. So it was thanks to a studio director that fans have so many iconic music tracks. And what’s more impressive is that he completed the score in just two weeks.

Anthony Hopkins

In an interview with The Guardian, Anthony Hopkins revealed, “I’ve been composing music all my life and if I had been smart enough in school, I would have liked to go to music college. In fact, I had to just be an actor.” While perhaps best known for his iconic role as Hannibal Lecter, the best horror villain of the ’90s, Hopkins’ obvious passion was music.

Although viewers may not know it, Hopkins has also directed and composed several films. Not only is Hopkins an Oscar-winning actor, but he’s also a great musician. Hopkins’ most recent composition was for Elysiumand while the film wasn’t very well received, it has a stellar soundtrack.

Charlie Chaplin

Given that most of Charlie Chaplin’s films are silent films, and he even continued to make mostly silent films when films with sound were an option, it’s no surprise that actor and director Charlie Chaplin is a composer. Although he was a great comedian with incredible comedy timing and a director with a keen eye for detail, he had to have some kind of musical understanding to make these silent movies work so well.

And that’s something Chaplin was a master at. Most of his films featured epic orchestral soundtracks, and Chaplin composed every note of every instrument himself. Even with movies that had sound, like the incredible war satire the great dictatorChaplin always took the music as seriously as the film.

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