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James Hannigan:

On being a screen composer for games, television and audio drama

4 October 2023   8:00 PM - 10:00 PM BST


Zoom Event

Having gained a worldwide reputation for his work composing  games music (Harry Potter, RuneScape, Command and Conquer and more), BAFTA winner James Hannigan transitioned into television series and audio drama including Audible’s The Sandman and Alien series. This refelective discussion centres on Hannigan’s experiences in the various entertainment industries, which serve as the foundation for his exploration of the distinct narrative demands, production methods, and audience responses across these diverse mediums.

In this session, James will discuss

  • His career path into games, then television and audio drama.
  • The various roles music plays in different entertainment media.
  • The nature of his collaboration with creative teams.
  • Why do these forms rely on music? Have his ideas changed about the types of scores he composes and their role in a specific medium?
  • The cultural differences he’s been made aware of while composing for productions that are sold and experienced all around the world.
  • The various composing methods he uses for each medium.

2 hours including Q&A

Each ticket includes free access to a recording of the event for 6 months.

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James Hannigan is a BAFTA Award Winning Composer with a career straddling several entertainment industries – from AAA video games to prime time television.  His distinctive musical touch can be found in numerous realms of entertainment, from full-cast audio drama such as the Alien series and Webby Award winning The Sandman (DC/Audible), through to entries in the Harry PotterDead SpaceEvil Genius and Command and Conquer game series, among numerous others. 

Represented by the COOL Music agency in London, Hannigan’s diverse credits include RuneScapeSteelrising, Discworld, Red Alert 3 (including its parodic Soviet March), Freelancer, Nintendo’s Art Academy (also heard within the Super Smash Bros. series), Dead Space 3Primeval (Season 3, BBC America), video game film tie-ins such as Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (BAFTA Nomination, Music; International Film Music Critics Award, Best Original Game Score) and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs; entries in the Transformers, The Lord of the RingsWarhammer, Grand Prix and EA Sports franchises; the BAFTA nominated titles Evil Genius and Republic: The Revolution (designed by Google DeepMind co-founder, Demis Hassabis), Theme Park World and more.

An innovator in the field of interactive music, Hannigan’s clients have included Electronic Arts, Origin, Digital Anvil, Frontier Developments, Bullfrog Productions, Jagex, Ubisoft, Microsoft, Mindscape, Microprose, Re-Logic, Eidos, Elixir Studios, Amazon, Audible, ITV, and the BBC in a career spanning over thirty years.

A frequent radio interviewee, Comic Con and conference panelist, Hannigan has also written articles for Classic FM and other outlets – once penning DEVELOP Magazine‘s first ever audio-related cover feature – and, in 2012, was made a subject of BAFTA’s Conversations with Composers series held at the Royal Albert Hall. He is also co-founder of sold out London-based conferences, Game Music Connect and Screen Music Connect.

jameshannigan.com   James Hannigan on IMDB


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