Movies music

14 Questions with Multi-Award Winning Film Composer, Michael Vignola

Michael Vignola is a multi-award winning composer who was born in Staten Island New York. He is fueling his creative passion in an upcoming Sci-fi Film, “Torches” and 3 Feature Films including a Sci-fi fantasy TV series, “A World of Worlds.” Michael has over 20 years in the industry. He is recognized for soundtracks and trailers for film, TV, and media.

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  • Tell us a little bit about your background.

I grew up in a Middle-Class family on Staten Island New York I have a younger brother and sister, my parents divorced when I was seventeen. Music was always something I was drawn to. The earliest thing I can remember is this old electric organ that had been down in our basement. My father never approved of my passion for music, but my mother would always say that I should do what I loved. My Father wanted me to work in the family Home Remodeling business which I did do for many years. I would play music in bands after work and play at venues all over the Tri-State area I also was on major tours across the country. My Father’s disapproval of what I considered everything that I am was challenging to accept when you are a young man trying to make your mark in the world. But I would use this as fuel for the fire that burned very deep in my soul.

  • You recently won the NASA Cinespace completion. Can you tell us about this award?

This is a World Wide Completion that NASA holds every year along with the Houston Cinema Arts Society. They offer filmmakers around the world a chance to share their works inspired by — and using — actual NASA imagery, with over 700 entries from over 55 different countries we came in 3rd place. It was a very proud moment for me and the crew. Being that I love astronomy and the wonders of space it was surreal.

  • How did your music career begin?

My music career began when I was about 8 years old, I started taking piano lessons at the age of 10. But then started learning by ear which I preferred.

  • Your music career spans over 20 years what have you learned?

What I have learned is, you need to be committed, consistent and patient all at the same time. Always look ahead for your next step, next film, next client, no matter how “busy” you may be.

  • Which project was your favorite to compose? Why?

I don’t really have a favorite they are all special in their own way. I have learned so much from all of them, I could never pick a favorite.

  • What do you mean by, “all Things are POSSIBLE WHEN one MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR SOMEONE ELSE?”

I mean, that we are all in this together. No one gets anywhere alone, there is always someone there that is helping you, giving you the chance you need, believing in you. You should not take that for granted. Be grateful for the people around you that encourage and take the time. It’s so very important.

  • Do you enjoy collaboration? Who have you collaborated with?

I love collaboration that is what life is all about; building on ideas and creating. I have collaborated with people all over the world. It’s an amazing experience.

  • Tell us about your upcoming projects.

I have an upcoming Sci-Fi Film called “Torches.” I will start working on it at the beginning of May. I will start working on 3 new Feature Films in the coming months. I’m working on a Sci-fi fantasy TV series called “A World of Worlds. Also I also just wrapped-up a Short Film called “Walk Away” and another one call “Emily” which made it into the Cannes Short Film Corner this Year.

  • What is your favorite film?

Right now I would say some of my favorite films are Arrival, Terminator, and Interstellar. I also love Drama, Mystery, and Thrillers.

  • What do you believe is the greatest misnomer of being a film composer?

That anyone can do it and that all film composers like hearing Temp Music on the rough cuts. I think it can place a production in a box when it comes time to score the film.

  • Which instruments do you play?

Piano/Keys and Guitar, use to play the clarinet, but not some much these days.

  • What is your favorite instrument? Why?

The Piano, because as a composer I feel it’s a great starting point to develop ideas. But with that said, it really depends on what’s going on in the film.  I consider myself more of an Artist than a Musician. The process for me is similar to painting on a blank canvas and seeing where it takes you as you color and move through that space.  It’s a very intimate process for me.

  • What is your favorite genre of music?

Right now my favorite which is always changing is Minimalist Music and Ambient Music. I do also love music that is in your face and aggressive. So, it’s definitely a mix of a lot of things.

  • Would film exist without music?

Let just say, a film would not be the same without music.











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