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A film composer’s strength lies within their overall musical range and their ability to create a score that supports and furthers the vibe of the cinematic story they are working on. With a range so diverse that it set the tone for a remarkable and award-winning career, esteemed French composer Guy-Roger Duvert has showcased his originality and extraordinary musical talents time and time again for the past two decades.
Over the years Duvert has composed the scores for countless Hollywood movie trailers, hit television series, stageplays and video games, as well as for leading international brands such as Blackberry, Reebok, Ermenegildo Zegna and several others.
He also composed the scores on many award-winning films, such as the powerful Moroccan drama “Cry No More,” which screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and won Best Screenplay at the Marrakech International Film Festival, and the 2014 fantasy flick “Cassandra,” which Duvert also directed, earning more than 50 awards and 100 nominations worldwide, among which several for the directing and several others for the score specifically.
Along with his brilliant track record as a composer, Duvert is an established filmmaker in his own right; and his dynamic triple-threat skillset as a screenwriter, director and producer was the driving force behind the 2016 award-winning Sci-Fi flick “Virtual Revolution.”
Set in Paris in 2047, the futuristic film follows shadow agent Nash Trenton, played by award-winning actor Mike Dopud (“The Predator,” “Deadpool 2”), who is hired by a multinational virtual reality company to track down killers in both the virtual and real world.
The individual roles of screenwriter, director, producer and composer are all challenging on their own, so being able to take on all of them simultaneously is a massive feat, yet Duvert accomplished just that, and he did it with flawless skill.
“It actually was pretty easy, as the activities were pretty compartmentalized. I did something that I like to do when I compose for my own projects; I first composed the last scene of the film,” he says.
“It’s from there that I define the identity of the score. So I did that, before shooting. Afterwards, I didn’t think much about the music until the film was fully edited. Then, I started composing.”
Considering the film took place across multiple realms, he used an eclectic array of exotic instruments, such as the South African Vuvuzela to emphasize the diverse nature of the worlds depicted.
With his creative outside-the-box approach, he broke down the entire score into three parts, and then formulated a strong contrast between the realistic, the medieval and the post-apocalyptic worlds present in the story.
“The instrumentation was based on electronic sounds for the sci-fi feeling, mixed with orchestra, in order to keep a Hollywood high quality vibe,” he says. “I also used a recurring sound based on a transformed vuvuzela, which became the sound gimmick of the film.”
The film was a resounding success, winning big at numerous prestigious award ceremonies from around the world, including the Best Sci-Fi Feature at the Berlin Independent Film Festival, the Grand Jury Award at Dance With Films, Best Feature film at Dragon Con and the Best Score Award at the FilmQuest Film Festival.
He adds, “I am very proud of the result, being able to create a full universe from the images to the sound. The fact that the movie won more than 50 international awards was a very nice recognition of the work done.”
Growing up on iconic composers such as Ennio Morricone, Beethoven, Bach and Mozart, Duvert’s musical range derives from a strong classical background. After learning the piano at the age of six, he went on to study at Paris XII Conservatoire.
“Bach is probably the one who influenced me most. I love contemporary composers such as Poledouris, John Barry, Goldsmith, but I probably feel closer to Hans Zimmer and other composers from his roster,” he says.
Prior to establishing a dazzling musical career, Duvert actually worked in finance. Thankfully for cinema fans around the world though, the talented composer left it behind to pursue his passion which, suffice to say, became the indisputable right move.
He shares, “When I was a teenager, I was already contemplating the idea of becoming a film music composer, but that’s only once I finished my studies and started working in finances that I strongly considered my options and decided to drop everything to start a career in music.”
His outstanding musical forte is a solid reflection of the sheer dedication he brings to every role. This, among many other notable qualities, is the reason why he remains in constant demand across the bustling modern entertainment industry.
“My clients tend to work again with me, and I enjoy working with them again too,” he says. “I also like ambition. If a project is in some way unique, that brings my attention.”
Being a strong melodist while carrying out many roles behind the scenes, his humble balance between wearing the director's hat and composing anomalous sounds have made him a powerful force in the industry.
“I can make memorable themes.. a lot of the music in the market right now is very professionally produced, but often generic, as it often lacks strong melodies,” he says,
“Also, as I have directed myself, this gives me a better understanding of the situation of film directors, which allows me to adapt better to their expectations.”
A truly remarkable musician, Duvert has also self-composed 10 albums throughout his career, drawing the attention of some of the world’s most prominent production companies.
“10 years ago, I got contacted by Disney, as they had listened to a pirates music album and were considering buying the rights for their video game Pirates of the Caribbean,” he says. “The deal didn’t happen, but that opened several doors to me at that time.”
Adapting to new projects while spinning his flair for musical creativity comes naturally to Duvert. With such a staggering list of achievements to his name, there’s no question that he was born to be a composer.
From finance to films, his undeniable passion and one-of-a-kind musical range has established him as one of the leading composers in today’s industry.
“I love composing music. I would compose even if there were no one to listen or to pay me,” he says. “But the best part is once you’ve composed it, when it’s done. You listen to it, enjoy it, you feel pride, the best feeling ever, it is a part of you that becomes music.”
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
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