MXDX: Empire, Dietland | Composer Fil Eisler on his career and scoring Empire, Dietland and The Titan
In this episode, I speak with composer Fil Eisler on his career and scoring Fox’s Golden Globe-nominated drama "Empire", the new series "Dietland" on AMC and the Netflix sci-fi thriller, "The Titan".
Fil Eisler is one of today’s busiest and most diverse composers, with projects that range from big studio action pieces and comedies, to gritty independent films and hit television shows. Eisler recently scored Warner Bros.’ comedy film, “Life of the Party,” starring Melissa McCarthy, Netflix’s sci-fi thriller “The Titan,” starring Sam Worthington, and Sony’s action thriller “Proud Mary” starring Taraji P. Henson. Eisler is currently scoring AMC’s new comedy series, “Dietland,” starring Joy Nash and Julianna Margulies, premiering June 4.
Eisler’s inventive scores and signature themes enliven some of TV’s most popular series and notable films. He composes for Fox’s Golden Globe-nominated drama series “Empire,” where his tension filled orchestral cues provide a powerful contrast to the show’s hip-hop soundtrack, as well as Lifetime’s Peabody-winning series “UnReal,” Bravo’s hit comedy drama series “Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce,” and Showtime's Emmy-winning “Shameless.” Eisler was also both the composer and conductor for ABC’s breakout hit drama “Revenge.” In addition, In 2017 Eisler completed the scores for Netflix’s drama “To The Bone” starring Lily Collins and Warner Bros.’ hilarious film reboot of the fan-favorite series, “CHIPS,” starring Dax Shepard, Michael Peña and Kristen Bell.
Eisler has recently composed music for such varied films as MGM and New Line Cinemas’ People’s Choice Awards-nominated “How To Be Single,” starring Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson, and the Peabody-winning documentary, “Newtown.” He composed the main title theme and acted as co-composer and music director for the documentary, organizing and leading an all-star line-up of over a dozen Hollywood composers, who each donated a piece of music for the film.
In 2008, Eisler was among a select group of up-and-coming composers invited to the Sundance Film Composer's Lab, and in the years since his projects have garnered critical acclaim on the film festival circuit and beyond. As part of his ongoing commitment to independent film, he returned to Sundance in 2011 with the Inupiaq-themed thriller “On the Ice,” scored the Sundance-backed documentary “Whatever It Takes” and Jonathan van Tulleken's BAFTA-nominated horror thriller “Off Season.” Eisler won the Best Film Score Award for his work on Robbie Pickering's “Natural Selection” at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival. The film was the most decorated of the festival, also winning the Grand Jury and Audience Awards. He continued his work with Pickering on the 2015 Sony feature “Freaks of Nature.”
Eisler, a Czech-born, English-raised composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, has worked with ensembles of all shapes and sizes to help bring his scores to life. Variety described his music as "smoky, elaborate film noir-inspired compositions", while Beatweek Magazine praised him for making “beautiful music” that “…almost acts as another character further enveloping the audience in its grasp.” Eisler has been nominee and recipient of numerous awards including the World Soundtrack Awards New Discovery, SXSW Best Soundtrack Award and multiple BMI awards.