John Debney

John Debney
John Debney
Born August 18, 1956 (1956-08-18) (age 55)
Glendale, California, U.S.
Genres Film scores, soundtracks
Occupations Composer, conductor
Years active 1982–present

John C. Debney (born August 18, 1956) is an American film composer. He received an Academy Award nomination for his score for Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. He also composed the score for Cutthroat Island, which has been celebrated by music critics as a notable example of swashbuckling film music.[1][2][3][4]


Life and career

The son of Disney Studios producer Louis Debney (Zorro, The Mickey Mouse Club), John was born and raised in nearby Glendale, California, where he began guitar lessons at age six and played in rock bands in college. Debney earned his B.A. degree in Music Composition from the California Institute of Arts in 1979. Two weeks after graduating from CalArts, he got a job at copying department at Disney. One day, Buddy Baker saw him and had him arrange music that would later be used for different pavilions and rides at epcot (at Disney World in Florida).[5] After three years at Disney, he freelanced for television composer Mike Post. Debney furthered his hands-on training by working with Hanna-Barbera composer Hoyt Curtin. After this, Debney went on to score television projects as diverse as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, seaQuest DSV, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, The Further Adventures of SuperTed, Doctor Who (film) and Dink, the Little Dinosaur for which he won an Emmy for Best Main Title. In the early 1990s, Debney began to score indie films and Disneyland attractions. In 1991, Debney composed the music for Phantom Manor in Disneyland Paris. In 1993, he scored his first studio feature, the Disney comedy Hocus Pocus starring Bette Midler.

Debney has since gone on to have a career composing scores for many films including: Iron Man 2, The Passion of the Christ, Bruce Almighty, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Elf, Sin City, Chicken Little, Liar Liar, Spy Kids, The Emperor's New Groove, The Scorpion King, The Princess Diaries[6] and Predators.[7]

Debney has also recorded scores for the video games Lair and The Sims Medieval. In 2010, he composed the theme music for the Nickelodeon television series Supah Ninjas.


Year Film Director
2012 The Three Stooges
A Thousand Words
Farrelly brothers
Brian Robbins
2011 New Year's Eve
Dream House
The Double
The Change-Up
No Strings Attached

Garry Marshall
Jim Sheridan
Michael Brandt
David Dobkin
Ivan Reitman
2010 Yogi Bear
Machete (Co-composer)
Iron Man 2
Valentine's Day
Eric Brevig
Robert Rodriguez
Jon Favreau
Nimród Antal
Garry Marshall
2009 Old Dogs
The Stoning of Soraya M.
Aliens in the Attic
Hannah Montana: The Movie
A Thousand Words
Hotel For Dogs
Walt Becker
Cyrus Nowrasteh
John Schultz
Peter Chelsom
Brian Robbins
Thor Freudenthal
2008 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Additional Music)
My Best Friend's Girl
Meet Dave
Swing Vote
Rob Cohen
Howard Deutch
Brian Robbins
Joshua Michael Stern
2007 Evan Almighty
Spider-Man 3 (Additional Music)
Georgia Rule
Lair (Video Game)
Tom Shadyac
Sam Raimi
Garry Marshall
2006 Everyone's Hero
The Ant Bully
Colin Brady, Dan St. Pierre, Christopher Reeve
Bryan Barber
Steve Oedekerk
John A. Davis
2005 Sin City (Co-Composer)
Chicken Little
The Pacifier
The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D (Co-Composer)
Cheaper by the Dozen 2
Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story
Keeping Up with the Steins
Robert Rodriguez
Mark Dindal
Jon Favreau
Adam Shankman
Robert Rodriguez
Adam Shankman
John Gatins
Scott Marshall
2004 The Passion of the Christ * (2005 Academy Award Nomination)
Spider-Man 2 (Additional Music)
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Christmas with the Kranks
Raising Helen
The Whole Ten Yards
Welcome to Mooseport
Mel Gibson
Sam Raimi
Garry Marshall
Joe Roth
Garry Marshall
Howard Deutch
Donald Petrie
2003 Bruce Almighty
The Hot Chick
Looney Tunes: Back in Action (Additional Music)
Tom Shadyac
Jon Favreau
Tom Brady
Bobby Garabedian
Joe Dante
2002 The Scorpion King
Snow Dogs
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (Co-Composer)
The Tuxedo
Haunted Mansion Holiday
Chuck Russell
Tom Shadyac
Brian Levant
Robert Rodriguez
Kevin Donovan
Steven B. Davidson
2001 The Princess Diaries
Spy Kids
Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
Cats & Dogs
See Spot Run
Garry Marshall
Robert Rodriguez
John A. Davis
Lawrence Guterman
David Mirkin
John Whitesell
2000 The Emperor's New Groove
The Replacements
Michael Jordan to the Max
Mark Dindal
Howard Deutch
James D. Stern, Don Kempf
Graeme Campbell
1999 End of Days
Inspector Gadget
The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland
My Favorite Martian
Lost & Found
Peter Hyams
David Kellogg
Gary Halvorson
Andrew Fleming
Donald Petrie
Jeff Pollack
1998 Paulie
I'll Be Home for Christmas
John Roberts
Arlene Sanford
1997 Liar Liar
I Know What You Did Last Summer
The Relic
Tom Shadyac
Jim Gillespie
Peter Hyams
1996-Past Carpool (1996)
Doctor Who (1996)
Cutthroat Island (1995)
Sudden Death (1995)
Houseguest (1995)
Little Giants (1994)
White Fang 2: Myth of the White Wolf (1994)
Hocus Pocus (1993)
The Halloween Tree (1993)
Jetsons: The Movie (1990)
Arthur Hiller
Geoffrey Sax
Renny Harlin
Peter Hyams
Randall Miller
Duwayne Dunham
Ken Olin
Kenny Ortega
Mario Piluso
William Hanna, Joseph Barbera


Year Award Result
2005 Academy Award – Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score for The Passion of the Christ (2004) Nomination
1997 Emmy Award – Outstanding Main Title Theme Music for: The Cape (1996) Nomination
1997 Emmy Award – Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore) for: The Cape (1996) Win
1994 Emmy Award – Outstanding Individual Achievement in Main Title Theme Music for: SeaQuest DSV (1993) Win
1991 Emmy Award – Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore) for: The Young Riders (1989) Win
1990 Emmy Award – Outstanding Achievement in Main Title Theme Music for: The Young Riders (1989) Nomination


External links

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