Spotlight | Latina Composer Germaine Franco
LATINA COMPOSER GERMAINE FRANCO
HITS A HIGH NOTE ON THE
ANGRY BIRDS RIO SAMBA THEME
Composer and Music Producer Germaine Franco arranges, produces, and performs the Angry Birds Rio Samba Theme for Rovio Mobile and Fox Mobile in conjunction with the release of RIO the film and the Angry Birds Rio application. The Angry Birds Rio app surpassed 10 million downloads just 10 days after its release. Franco collaborated with Grammy Award winning percussionist Luis Conte, Marcos “Gibi” dos Santos (Sergio Mendes), flautist Pedro Eustache, and guitarist Federico Ramos, and musicians from the band Korima on the app music.
Franco was approached to produce the track for Fox Mobile by the Fox Music Department after having worked on the film RIO as an assistant to composer John Powell. Powell scored the film, as well as co-wrote songs with legendary Brazilian music icon Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown, Siedah Garrett, and Jemaine Clement. Franco worked in many capacities during the scoring process, including as liaison between the Fox Music Department and composer John Powell. She bridged the language barrier between the Portuguese-speaking musicians and the English-speaking crew, “I’m bilingual, so I would speak Spanish to Mr. Brown, and he would speak Portuguese back to me. We communicated easily.”
Directed by Carlos Saldanha (Ice Age), screenplay by Don Rhymer (Big Momma’s House 2), the film follows the adventures of a native Brazilian parrot, a spix macaw, birdnapped as a young hatchling and transported to frigid Minnesota, as he travels back to his home country. Mr. Mendes served as Executive Music Producer on the film, with characters voices by Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jamie Fox, George Lopez, Wanda Sykes, Jane Lynch, and Will i am.
Franco also worked as an Orchestrator for live orchestra for the film’s score and served as Score Production Coordinator for Powell. She translated four songs for the film, Real In Rio, Pretty Bird, Hot Wings and Fly Love, for Fox International dubbing in Latin America and Spain. Franco created vocal scores for five songs that were translated into over forty languages. Franco believes the audience will enjoy the colorful animation, the terrific music and songs, and the feel good spirit of the film. She adds, “It is truly a family film that young children and adults will enjoy. My son loved it!”
Franco has become one of the few, leading Latina composer/orchestrators working in Hollywood today. About the experience Franco says, “I am honored to work for such a brilliant composer as John Powell. During the scoring sessions, I was the score reader. I loved being at all of the sessions and hearing the electronic demos come to life by the session players. To have been a part of this project and work with this incredible team of creative people is a boon!”
RIO premiered in Rio de Janeiro in March and opened nationwide April 15th and led the domestic box office with $39.2 million on approximately 6,400 screens. The animated comedy claims the highest-grossing opening weekend of 2011 so far.
Franco is completing work as an orchestrator and assistant to composer for the score to the film KUNG FU PANDA 2, scored by John Powell and Hans Zimmer.