We had the good fortune of connecting with Amit May Cohen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amit, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
As a composer for film and TV you’re hired to add another dimension to the film through music. What most outsiders don’t know is that the process is very collaborative. The composer must work and communicate with the director, producer, music editors, and music supervisors, in order to realize the music to its fullest. Sometimes the director has specific instructions and preferences, and on other occasions they’re not sure what they want. All of this has to be communicated throughout the writing process.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a composer for film and TV with a BA from Berklee College of Music, with a jazz guitar and classical piano background. One of the greatest achievements I’m most proud of is co-composing the score for the Disney Channel movie – ZOMBIES 2. The film was released in February 2020 and was a huge success. Since then we have released the soundtrack on streaming services and were featured on several playlists. I was asked to co-compose it with my long-time mentor, composer George S. Clinton (known for Austin Powers, The Santa Clause, and more) who I met at Berklee College. That experience opened up doors I could never imagine and I’ll forever be grateful for it. Being a freelance composer in Los Angeles has its struggles, and one must stand out and develop their own voice to be noticed. With my music I always try to experiment and bring something fresh and original to the table, as long as it supports the narrative of the film. In some of my recent projects with director Maya Newell, I was able to use breath, mouth percussion and humming. On another project, Hollywood Fringe by Wyatt McDill and Megan Huber, I used an experimental jazz band to describe the emotional state of the main character throughout the film. These opportunities for full creative freedom are not available in every project, and I cherish the confidence and trust the collaborators had in me and my creative abilities. Just like myself, my music is always evolving and maturing. There’s always room to grow and I always strive to learn and improve.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
It’s always fun to show friends around town since there’s so much to do in LA. The trip would have to start with a hike to the Hollywood sign, or Fryman Canyon. We’d go out to bars like Tam O’Shanter, The Edison, and Good Times at Davy Wayne’s. And eat at Sage, The Hummus Bar & Grill, and El Coyote. I think that the best part about LA is the diversity of the community. There are people from all over the world and you can find anything here.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As cheesy as it may sound, it is impossible not to dedicate a shoutout to my mom who worked very hard for me to have everything I need in order to succeed. Growing up in Israel in a single-parent family without a lot of money, my mom always made sure I got the highest level of music education, and had access to musical instruments. She truly believed in me and my artistry. Observing her struggles and toughness to make ends meet taught me a lot about working hard and smart and achieving my goals.