‘Avatar’ videogame score composer comes to campus


Utah Native Chance Thomas, the composer of music for “Avatar: The Game,” will be speaking of UVU. Lyndi Bone/UVU Review

The epic science fiction film, James Cameron’s Avatar, became the highest grossing film of all time worldwide after its release in 2009. It is the first film to gross over $2 billion. The music composer for Avatar: The Game, Chance Thomas, is coming to speak on campus March 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ragan Theater. Ubisoft Montreal developed the film’s action videogame prequel in partnership with Cameron as he simultaneously directed the movie. The game used the same stereoscopic 3D technology (creating an illusion of depth) and was released the same year as the film. In 2010, the game sold 2.7 million copies. Chance Thomas is known as a premier composer for the videogame industry. His score for Avatar: The Game was yet another successful entertainment property to add to his talented list. Thomas has composed and produced original videogame music for Star Wars, King Kong, Lord of the Rings and Avatar, to name a few. The Avatar videogame score was nominated for Music of the Year, given special recognition for Best Score and given an honorable mention for Best Game Score.

A BYU graduate and currently homebound in Bountiful, Utah, Thomas loves the Utah music community.

“None of these big productions that I’ve done are a one-man show,” Thomas said. “In order to pull off a world-class music score for one of these big, big games, it takes a lot of talented people to help out. There are a handful of talented people here in Utah that I’ve used again and again.” The presentation will touch on opportunities that currently exist and will exist in the future.

“I’m going to give them (the audience) an insider’s view of the videogame industry,” Thomas said.

Thomas will also describe the process of creating the game music, which he refers to as, “the epic tale of the Avatar videogame experience.”

“I use the term ‘epic tale’ because it’s like a great novel,” Thomas said. “The contract, the ridiculous hurdles, the crazy time constraints, the massive amounts of music, producing the score in three cities — it was quite the journey.” Along with sharing information and experience, Thomas will teach principles that can be applied to any high stake pursuits in life – in business and in education.

“Great entertainment is recession-free,” Thomas said. “When times are good, people want to go to the movies and play games. When things are bad, people want to go to the movies and play games.”

Thomas has brought his Avatar score to New York City, Hollywood and San Francisco. This is the first time in Utah.

“It’s fun to test it on the road and bring it back to the home crowd,” Thomas said.

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