Remote Control Productions (American company)
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|Predecessor||Media Ventures Entertainment Group|
|Founded||March 29, 1989|
Remote Control Productions, Inc. is a film score company run by composer Hans Zimmer and based in Santa Monica, California. Originally known as Media Ventures Entertainment Group, which was conceived and founded by Jay Rifkin and Hans Zimmer, the company changed its name after the partners both filed lawsuits against each other. Today, Remote Control is home to a large group of composers mentored by Zimmer, many of whom have had successful film scoring careers as part of the company or on their own.
Remote Control Productions has been responsible for the scores for a number of successful live-action films including the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Iron Man, Gladiator, Mission: Impossible 2, The Last Samurai, Transformers, Hancock, Kingdom of Heaven, The Da Vinci Code, Inception, Sherlock Holmes and its sequel, and The Dark Knight Trilogy, along with successful animated films such as the Shrek series, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, The Lion King, and more. Many composers from Remote Control Productions have also worked on the scores of successful video games such as the Metal Gear and Skylanders series, The Sims 3, Gears of War 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, its sequel, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Crysis 2, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, and Assassin's Creed III. Harry Gregson-Williams was the first Media Ventures composer to work in the video game industry on Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty in 2001. Klaus Badelt, Stephen Barton, Steve Jablonsky, Lorne Balfe, and Hans Zimmer joined a few years later.
Composers of Remote Control Productions who are working or have worked in the video game industry:
- Klaus Badelt (MotorStorm: Apocalypse)
- Lorne Balfe (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Crysis 2, Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, Skylanders: Giants, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Assassin's Creed III)
- Stephen Barton (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Titanfall)
- Justin Burnett (Unit 13, SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation, SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike, Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain)
- David Buckley (Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Shrek Forever After, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Batman: Arkham Knight)
- Ramin Djawadi (Medal of Honor, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Gears of War 4, Gears 5)
- James Dooley (Epic Mickey, SOCOM 3: US Navy SEALs, SOCOM: US Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo, SOCOM: US Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 2, SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Combined Assault, Infamous, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Infamous 2)
- Harry Gregson-Williams (Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare , Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare , and Plasma Pong)
- Steve Jablonsky (Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3, The Sims 3, Gears of War: Judgement)
- Pinar Toprak (Ninety-Nine Nights)
- Hans Zimmer (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Crysis 2, Beyond: Two Souls, Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure)
Numerous members of the International Film Music Critics Association have attributed Remote Control Productions of being partly responsible for a supposed degradation in mainstream film score production. Christian Clemmensen of Filmtracks frequently questions Zimmer's constant use of ghostwriters and writing music using a "lowest common denominator" approach. James Southall of Movie-Wave commented, "Zimmer’s way of writing scores goes pretty much like this – he comes up with some “ideas” at an early stage, these ideas are then turned into a suite of music (sometimes with the assistance of Lorne Balfe), and when the actual scoring begins, the film is split into chunks and each chunk gets allocated to a team at Remote Control, who take music from the suite and apply it to their scenes...but there is always the danger that with so many cooks having a go at the broth, they want their own part to stand out, seem like the most important, and in the end nothing seems important".  Jonathan Broxton of Movie Music UK remarked, "What I hate, however, is the way in which the company has virtually taken over the upper echelons of the film music world, to the detriment of other, independent composers who can’t catch a break. Five of the 15 highest grossing films at the US box office in 2009 and seven of the 15 highest grossing films in 2008 were scored by Zimmer or someone who used to work for him. Such is their utter dominance of the “blockbuster sound” that producers and directors wanting a piece of the box office pie return time after time to the studio, not for new or innovative music, but for another variation on the last hit movie’s score, one which won’t upset the film’s target demographic, and creativity be damned." In hindsight, Remote Control Productions and Zimmer have been accused of having a monopoly in film music, where filmmakers hire members of Remote Control to create music that sounds similar to Zimmer's style instead of hiring independent composers for their own styles.
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- Munoz, Lorenza (January 6, 2004). "Hans Zimmer Files countersuit". LA Times. Retrieved October 31, 2008.
- Shprintz, JAnet (December 4, 2003). "Music ends as Rifkin sues Zimmer $10 mil". Variety. Variety Media, LLC. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
- "Remote Control Productions Unofficial Site".
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