Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Paraskevas.
Michael, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up in a musical family, with my dad being a great orchestra teacher, and have always enjoyed playing new instruments, learning different styles, and being completely immersed in music. I’m also an avid lover of movies and have always been fascinated by film’s incredibly rich history. Having been raised on a steady diet of everything from the Coen brothers and gratuitous action flicks to Star Wars and Disney animated classics, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in music composition and film scoring. This led me to the University of Tulsa, where I learned from professors Dr. Joseph Rivers and Dr. Roger Price, before going to the Seattle Film Institute to study further with Dr. Hummie Mann. After graduation, I moved down to Los Angeles where I now score feature films and work for composer Christophe Beck.
Has it been a smooth road?
There have definitely been some struggles but I’m also conscientious about being a white dude in the entertainment industry and recognize that I don’t face the same systemic hurdles as many of my close friends and colleagues. That being said, the first several years out here were difficult, as there were many times I thought I had found a big break only to get burned. However, I am now thankful for becoming comfortable with rejection because it pushed me to continue developing my craft, maintain an honest perspective, and cultivate a relentless work ethic. I’m excited to keep building on each collaborative opportunity and am also optimistic that we can do more to support and engage with many diverse artists and unique voices in the film scoring community.
Tell us about your business/company. What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of as a company? What sets you apart from others?
My biggest strength is my musical versatility. My stylistic fluency allows me to explore each story’s particular sonic language and craft a singular musical vision. Just in the past year, I’ve drawn upon influences such as iPhone sounds, Argentinian tango, Stravinsky-esque orchestration, surf rock, bubbly electro-pop, dark electronic minimalism, and more. I genuinely enjoy listening to every kind of music and am always trying to expand my own listening boundaries by going to a billion concerts and being one of the remaining 12 people on this planet that still actually buys CDs.
While I’m happy to compose for any medium, my true love is writing music for feature films. I am fascinated with the ways that cinema has intersected and shaped our cultural perspective throughout its brief but rich history, and I embrace the challenge of discovering each film’s inherent sound. Everyone brings their unique voices, perspectives, ambitions, and aesthetic tastes to combine into this crazy beautiful and empowering medium that we can share all over the world. I love how movies draw people together, from enjoying ridiculous Nicolas Cage performances* to the sharp social commentary of Parasite and everything in between. The best part of filmmaking to me is the innate spirit of collaboration that connects us as storytellers and listeners.
Can we please discuss his epic June of 1997? Both Con Air AND Face/Off in the same month. Legendary.
I owe my success to being completely surrounded by inspiring people who challenge me creatively and intellectually every step along the way (special shoutout to Alan Michnoff for these awesome headshots and Madison Boutilier for sculpting this badass instrument). That and eating a lot of Dodger Dogs.
- Website: www.paraskevasmusic.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan Michnoff, Alberto Rodriguez