January 23, 2021

Encore Interview with Anthony Willis, Film Composer for Promising Young Woman

In this “Encore Episode” we are replaying Bryan’s interview with film composer Anthony Willis, who scored the film Promising Young Woman, recorded in February of 2020 at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Promising Young Women recently made its theatrical (streaming) debut. We are pleased to re-release Anthony’s interview so listeners can hear about his creative process and how he used music (and silence) to set the tone and feel of such a important, powerful, compelling, and sometimes dark film. 


Film composer Anthony Willis has worked on Hollywood films such as How to Train your Dragon, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jason Bourne, Wreck it Ralph, & Despicable Me 2. Anthony’s most recent film is Emerald Fennell’s drama/thriller Promising Young Woman starring Carey Mulligan which premiered at Sundance 2020. He has also scored video games such as Fortnite. Willis grew up in London, and studied composition at Marlborough College, Wilshire and the University of Bristol, before earning a graduate degree from the University of Southern California Film School.

Anthony Willis Headphones


Promising Young Woman Movie Poster











What you will learn:

  • What early childhood experiences influenced him creatively.
  • How training as a chorister as a young child helped prepare him for broader musical challenges.
  • Why he decided to move to the United States to pursue film school.
  • How he works with film directors at various stages of production.
  • How he made transitioned from film school into the the world of scoring films professionally.
    What mentors helped him learn the craft, trade, and art of film composition.
  • What it was like working on big budget productions like How To Train Your Dragon, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Despicable Me 2.
  • The challenges involved in scoring a feature film like Promising Young Woman, which crossed genres from comedy to drama to thriller.

Resources Related Anthony Willis:

Check This Out:

Composer Anthony Willis on How To Train Your Dragon and Promising Young Woman

Encore Interview with Jeff Orlowski, Director of The Social Dillema (Now on Netflix)

Talking with NPR Morning Edition Theme Song Composer BJ Leiderman

Actress Naomi Grossman on American Horror Story, One Woman Shows, and Loving Your Work

How to Tell a Good Story & Trajectory of Lives, with Bettina Gilois

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