Academy Award


Many consider the Academy Award to be the most prestigious accolade in all of entertainment. The famously bald, slender, golden statuette forever-after confers Hollywood gild upon its recipients. Oscar-winner implies craft mastery and peer acclaim at the highest level. It is exclusively a film industry honor, awarded annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

I have never won an Academy Award for Best Music in a film. However, it was my fabulous good fortune to be a crucial member of a small team that won an Oscar together at the 75th Annual Academy Awards. The victory was Best Animated Short Film for The ChubbChubbs!, released by Columbia Pictures and produced by Sony Pictures Imageworks. 

For this film I composed, orchestrated, and conducted the original score. I also arranged and produced the R&B songs. Finally, I contracted the sound design and Foley services through my company HUGEsound. I even added a character voice to the final dialog track. Though I was not singled out for a personal Academy Award, I contributed substantially to the team win.  

Working on The ChubbChubbs! turned out to be a watershed professional undertaking, loaded with important career lessons and charming stories...

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Jacquie contracted Dorian Holley and Darryl Phinnessee to sing the vocals for Why Can’t We Be Friends.They were superstars to me, having sung with Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Ritchie, and many more top recording acts. Both arrived with plenty of swagger, charisma, and drop-dead drip. They LOOKED like they sounded great, even before I heard a single note. 

Standing beside the two singers, I was essentially invisible as they jawed with Jacquie about the project. Eventually, Holley asked, “So where’s the music producer?” I answered, “I’m right here,” and they took notice of me for the first time. 

Each sized me up and down, hands on their hips, eyebrows raised. “You?” Phinnessee offered, incredulously. 

I reached out and shook their hands, “Yes, I’m Chance Thomas, composer of the film’s original score and music producer for the songs in this project.” I continued, “Let’s take a look at your parts,” and passed around some sheet music. They looked at the charts, glanced at each other, then looked back at me in disbelief. “Man, we knew those guys from War. They were all drunk when they recorded this song. They didn’t use no sheet music...”

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"An empowering career guidebook wrapped around a personal retrospective. A professional how-to manual woven into a memoir."