Germaine Franco is the first Latina composer invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, music branch. She composes music and songs that reflect her extensive training as an orchestral musician, her electronic music programming prowess, her multi-instrumental expertise and her love of world music. Franco divides her time working on studio blockbusters, independent features, and VR and immersive reality projects.
She has scored and/or written songs for a variety of award-winning and high-profile feature, animation and documentary projects, including DOPE, directed by Rick Famuyiwa (Open Road Films), which premiered at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals; Margarita, directed by Dominique Cardona and Laurie Colbert (HBO Canada, Telefilm Canada); and most recently Walk with Me: On the Road with Thich Nhat Hanh, directed by Max Pugh and Marc Francis, and narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, which screened at the SXSW 2017 and the BFI London Film Festival 2017; and Shovel Buddies, directed by Si&Ad for Awesomeness Films, which premiered at SXSW 2016. Franco’s opening-title music was featured in the PBS Special Hispanic Heritage Awards 2015 and 2016, sponsored by The White House under President Barack Obama.
Franco’s work on the Disney•Pixar’s Coco is multifaceted, encompassing more than four years of creative collaboration with filmmakers. Franco wrote several songs with co-director Adrian Molina that can be heard throughout the film. In addition, she arranged, orchestrated and co-produced “Remember Me,” written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. Franco utilized her music and language skills while serving as music producer, additional composer, arranger and orchestrator in Mexico City where she led more than 50 Mexican musicians from multiple ensembles. She worked with producer Camilo Lara (Mexican Institute of Sound) to create an authentic Mexican sound for the film, and worked with composer Michael Giacchino as an orchestrator during scoring sessions.
Franco’s work includes composing for immersive reality (4D) and theme park attractions. Her music is featured in the upcoming COCO VR experience for Disney and Pixar. On “Motiongate” for DreamWorks Animation, Franco worked as composer, music producer and music director. The project featured her music for Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar attractions. She collaborated with animation directors Gary Trousdale (Beauty and the Beast) and Steve Hickner (Bee Movie, The Prince of Egypt), and producer Karen Foster (How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five). Additionally, Franco composed music for DWA’s Dreamplace Christmas attractions, which premiered in the U.S. and London.
Franco is a current Women In Film Music Fellow. She was nominated for a Black Reel Award for her work on Dope, and is the first female composer to be hired by DreamWorks Animation. She is a Sundance Music Sound Design Fellow and a Board Member of the Alliance for Women Film Composers. Franco holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in music from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.
Franco began her ascent in the world of film music production by working alongside some of Hollywood’s top film and TV composers as an additional composer, orchestrator, arranger, midi programmer and/or music producer for John Powell, Hans Zimmer, Randy Newman, Gustavo Santaolalla, Jeff Russo and Michael Giacchino. Her credits include more than 30 tent-pole productions, including Toy Story 3, Bolt, Mr. 3000, How to Train Your Dragon (1 & 2), Rio (1 & 2), The Lorax, Happy Feet (1 & 2), Kung Fu Panda (1,2 & 3), The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Supremacy, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Italian Job and Fargo, among others.