: (updated 2009-05-22)
Michael Giacchino (pronounced 'Jyah-kee-noh') was born 10th October 1967 in Riverside Township, New Jersey. He started venturing into music at the age of ten, where he spent his time between the cinema and his basement. Creating his own stop motion animation films on his brothers pool table, he found the most enjoyable part of the process was putting music to the pictures.
This later led him to join the School of Visual Arts in New York where he received a major in film production and a minor in History. After graduating, Giacchino began studying music at the Juilliard School at the Lincoln Center. During this time he worked day jobs at the publicity offices for Disney and Universal in New York. Two years later he moved to Disney Studios in Burbank, LA where he started working in their feature film publicity department. Shortly after this he moved again to Disney Interactive, becoming an assistant producer. He continued to study music in the evenings and at weekends.
His first major composition came in 1997, when newly formed DreamWorks Interactive asked him to score their flagship PlayStation game, The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Based on Steven Spielberg's hit movie of the same name, the console game became the first to have a live orchestral score.
In 1998, Giacchino was commissioned to write a symphonic piece to celebrate the new millennium. His 25 minute score, named Camden 2000 was performed by the Hattonfield Symphony on May 13th 2000, and helped raise money for the redevelopment of the city.
Giacchino continued his career writing music for games such as Chaos Island, Warpath: Jurassic Park, and the hugely popular Medal Of Honor series. Rising director J.J Abrams, a fan of the Medal Of Honor scores hired Giacchino to write music for his new show, Alias, opening the door to Giacchino's hugely successful career in TV scores.
After composing scores for other video games such as Call Of Duty and Secret Weapons Over Normandy, three series of Alias, and Abrams' second hit show, Lost, Giacchino was offered his first big film prospect - Disney and Pixar's The Incredibles. Writing a highly praised Barry-esque Bond score for the film, Giacchino firmly showed he had what it took to be in the big league.
Giacchino's relationship with J.J. Abrams continued into the area of film, where he scored Abrams' first feature film Mission: Impossible III. He has also continued to work closely with Disney, writing music for the Space Mountain rides at Disneyland, scoring movie Ratatouille for The Incredibles director Brad Bird, and also several Pixar shorts such as One Man Band and Lifted.
Video game and TV scores continue to be a large part of Giacchino's career. His more recent credits include Turning Point: Fall Of Liberty and 'Medal Of Honor Airborne, as well as writing main themes for Black and Mercenaries: Playground Of Destruction, handing the main scoring duties over to his former assistant, Chris Tilton. He also scored the pilot episode of Fringe (also by Abrams), before handing this over to his current assistant, Chad Seiter and Tilton.
More recent credits include Abrams' latest feature film, Star Trek, adventure movie Land Of The Lost, and Pixar's Up, with the sixth and final season of Lost still to come in 2010.