Mark Dunnett grew up in Mississauga, Canada. His parents were immigrants from Scotland and moved to Canada in their early 20s. His Father was a very talented Artist and driven businessman. He would later open one of Toronto’s premiere Graphic Design companies. One of his Father’s clients was Columbia House Records. He would do all their mail orders for the member clubs. At 14 Dunnett was impressionable. He would go to his Father’s work during the Summer and would be inspired by all the Artists he would see on the Columbia House Record flyers. He would bring home many different CD’s and listen to them. They were mostly rock, but also a variety of classical music.
He discovered his love for music at 12-years old when his Father bought him a guitar and he started taking lessons. MTV was big at new at the time and the music video was all the rage, so like so many kids of the time, he wanted to be a Rock Star.
His first break into composing came in 2006 when he had submitted music to Harpo and they picked all the tracks. He submitted music for “Oprah’s Oscar Specials” and one of the tracks was used as the main theme and for bumpers. They decided to use it for a few years at the Oscar show specials it was then that Dunnett started to receive royalties.
What is unique about your style?
“I think each Composer is unique in their own way due to their likes and dislikes musically and also their life experiences. Musically, I personally love the classical, romantic periods and the impressionist period to name a few. I like Composers like Brahms, Ravel, and Prokofiev which all have influenced my style. I am a big fan of the string section and string writing due to the power of emotion they can bring out to a scene, I tend to use them a lot.”
“Papa” won “Best Original Music.” Dunnett worked closely with Producer and Director, Emilio Roso and Director, Dan Israely. “It was a great experience! Great story and a superstar all-star cast including Paul Sorvino Daryl Hannah, Mischa Barton David Proval, Ann-Margret, and Michael Madsen. “The best part is when they heard the final mocked up score and loved it. I had told them we need to record this full orchestra as it will be 100 times better. They agreed and we went to the scoring stage in Macedonia with a full 76 piece orchestra. They were overjoyed with the result and the score went on to win 3 best original music awards and 3 nominations.”
What do you believe is the greatest misnomer about Composers? “That we can compose a full feature film score, that is the equivalent to composing a full symphony in a week’s time frame. (not kidding )”
His first TV feature thriller film, “Fanatic” will be out in February 2019. The movie is produced by Paul D. Hannah Overflow Production with whom, Dunnett has worked with on several feature films including “The Sin Seer” which is currently playing on Netflix. “Fanatic” is being distributed by powerhouse Viacom Entertainment. “It’s always great working with Paul as he really gives you creative freedom.”
What is the best advice you can offer a Director who wants to work with you?
“I think the best advice is to trust your Composer’s skills to bring out the vision the Director has in his mind. It’s always collaborative and giving the composer some space to make that happen always works best.”