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MAKING IT HUGE IN VIDEO GAMES

Memoirs of Composer Chance Thomas

Chapter 11 - Sneak Peek Excerpt

ACADEMY AWARD 

As Robin and Pamela spent more time together, Ken and I eventually came up in their conversations. You can imagine how the dialog might have unfolded.

Robin: “So tell me about your husband.” 

Pamela: “Oh, he’s a struggling composer, mostly writing music for video games. What about yours?” 

Robin: “Oh, he’s a five-time Oscar winner, multi-millionaire, lord-of-all-he-surveys, genius filmmaker.” 

Professional contacts can come from anywhere, and I’ve never been picky, let them come from wherever they may. But I was especially thrilled to discover these unexpected details about Ken Ralston. Even better, Pamela had given Robin a copy of my Quest for Glory V soundtrack on CD. 

In process of time, Robin and Ken both listened to Quest for Glory V and truly enjoyed it. With a genuinely good impression from my music, and a little encouragement from Robin, Ken invited me to Culver City, California to show me around Sony Pictures Imageworks, where he worked as VFX Supervisor and company President. 

Ken Ralston strikes an imposing figure. It’s not that he’s overly tall, ripped, or dauntingly handsome. But he does come across as steely, possibly stern, slightly aloof, and markedly superior – much like Khan does in Star Trek: Into Darkness, but with better hair and a well-trimmed beard.  

Ken and I had lunch together on the Sony Pictures lot, then walked around Imageworks to meet some of the artists, producers, and coordinators who worked there. Everyone was super friendly, and not just because their boss was introducing me. There was a genuine sense of happiness, imagination, and frolic in the air. Many had that Doc Brown wild-genius look in their eyes. It was intoxicating! I felt like I’d stumbled into a dream factory.

When I left Imageworks that day, I left hoping, yearning really, for any possible opportunity to collaborate with these creative people on anything they were doing.  

Weeks later, on an especially hot summer afternoon, my phone lit up with an incoming call from Culver City. A gregarious Welshwoman named Jacquie Barnbrook was on the line and greeted me by name. She was calling on Ken’s recommendation and had a proposition for me. Imageworks was gearing up to produce its first feature-length animated movie. In order to test their production pipeline, they planned on first producing an animated short. Would I be interested in auditioning to compose the score?  

I could hardly believe my ears. Where do I sign up? Yes, yes, absolutely yes!