Hans Zimmer, Extreme Expand into Custom Scoring of Reality TV Series

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Hans Zimmer

Bleeding Fingers Custom Music Shop will focus on creating libraries for unscripted, reality, documentary and light drama television productions.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing’s production music arm Extreme Music has partnered with composer Hans Zimmer and his business partner Steve Kofsky to create the joint venture Bleeding Fingers Custom Music Shop.

The Bleeding Fingers Custom Music Shop will focus on creating bespoke show-specific libraries and score for unscripted, reality, documentary and light drama television productions. Bleeding Fingers, based in Santa Monica, has worked on more than 30 shows over the last 12 months while the company was in a proof of concept phase.

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“We're not scoring to picture, but we’re creating tones for the characters and cues for different areas -- heartbreak, disappointment,” Extreme Music CEO Russell Emmanuel, who is taking on the role of Bleeding Fingers CEO, tells Billboard. “We create a number of tracks specifically for that show and hand over a package of stems and drones, giving the music editor a tool box to self-score the show. Then they are creatively invested.”

Emmanuel and Remote Control co-owner Kofsky, who will be Bleeding Fingers’ chairman, are beginning to staff the operation by hiring a creative manager and an assistant with an eye to add two more. Jacob Shea, who has been in the Remote Control camp for almost six years, has been hired as the lead composer. The Bleeding Fingers studio is under construction next door to the homes of Remote Control and Extreme in Santa Monica and once it is up to speed, Emmanuel and Kofsky figure it will have 16 composers working there. That figure owes to the building’s configuration of 14 writing rooms and two recording studios.

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Bleeding Fingers was created after Extreme kicked the tires on a few production houses that offered scoring services. The impetus was requests from television production companies requesting custom tones and cues. Ultimately, Russell and Kofsky say in different ways, Bleeding Fingers brings a unique level of seasoned composers, studio production and infrastructure to a business that, when it comes to music, is short on time and money. Kofsky says it is as close to hiring a composer as a reality show might do. “But it’s done in an affordable way,” he says, “ and they’re going to get more for their money” than using library tracks or hiring a single composer. “We have brands we want to protect. We know how to (provide music) effectively and efficiently, but maintain the integrity of both our brands.”

Adds Emmanuel: “Essentially, it’s a lane of business that has been booming because of reality companies and it splits nicely between our two companies. Both companies are trusted, diligent about copyright, and there’s a quality level.”

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