Simon Franglen scores Avatar: The Way of Water
Posted on February 24, 2023 by Dan Goldwasser
Last fall, composer Simon Franglen scored the highly anticipated sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water. Directed by James Cameron, the film’s music was recorded at the Newman Scoring Stage at Fox Studios, and 20th Century Studios has provided us with photos from the sessions for a gallery to share with our readers!
Composer Simon Franglen was enlisted by James Cameron to create a new musical voice for Avatar while paying homage to the legacy the late composer James Horner established for the first Avatar film, released in 2009. That film went on to be the top-grossing international film of all time, raking in $2.9 billion globally. The sequel, which was in the works for over a decade, has smashed through the box office like a behemoth, and is currently ranked as the #3 top-grossing international film of all time.
Simon Franglen conducts the Hollywood Studio Symphony on Avatar: The Way of Water
Composer Simon Franglen, director James Cameron and scoring mixer Simon Rhodes listen to the music from the Newman Scoring Stage control room
Franglen worked closely with Cameron during the filming process, originally tapped to write source cues for the Na’vi that would be performed in the film, and given his previous collaboration with James Horner, as well as his work on the Avatar theme park at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, it made sense that Franglen would be tapped to score the film. A studio was set up for Franglen at Stone Street Studios in Wellington, New Zealand, where he could be close to the production and work on the project as Cameron locked down his cut of the film. Scoring took place at the Newman Scoring Stage at Fox Studios in Los Angeles, with long-time Horner scoring mixer Simon Rhodes at the console.
Composer Simon Franglen conducts his score to Avatar: The Way of Water
Inside the control room at the Newman Scoring Stage during the Avatar: The Way of Water sessions
Avatar: The Way of Water is still playing in theaters today, and two soundtrack albums are available from Hollywood Records.
Composer Simon Franglen in his studio at Stone Street Studios in Wellington, New Zealand, while working on the score for Avatar: The Way of Water
Photos Courtesy of 20th Century Studios. Special thanks to Costa Communications.