20th May 2021, 5:30-6:30pm
15: Interview with media composer Christopher Willis
(The Death of Stalin, The Personal History of David Copperfield, Veep)
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Christopher Willis (b. 1978) is a composer and songwriter, currently residing in Pasadena, CA. Originally from the UK, he attended Clare College at Cambridge University in England, earning a PhD in Musicology, and he trained as a concert pianist at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
He is the recipient of multiple honors from the International Film Music Critics Association for his scores to The Death of Stalin and The Personal History of David Copperfield. Both films won Best Original Score for a Comedy Film in their respective years, and Copperfield was named 2020’s Film Score of the Year. His TV work includes HBO's Veep, Disney Junior’s The Lion Guard, and the much-loved Disney Mickey Mouse shorts. For the latter, he is a five-time winner of the Annie Award for Outstanding Music for a Television/Broadcast Production, and a two-time Emmy nominee for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics (2017) and Outstanding Music Direction and Composition (2019).
Christopher recently composed the soundtrack for the Walt Disney World ride-through attraction, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. The ride centers around “Nothing Can Stop Us Now,” an original song co-written with his wife and songwriting partner, Elyse Willis. Current projects include scoring the newest iteration of Mickey Mouse cartoons on Disney+, The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse; Lamya’s Poem, an independent animated feature set in Syria; and Schmigadoon!, a musical comedy series coming to Apple TV+ in Summer 2021.