Jessica Weiss recently finished co-composing the score for Amazon’s new adaptation of beloved fairytale Cinderella starring Camila Cabello, with veteran composer and Oscar-winner Mychael Danna — but make no mistake, this is no sudden rags to riches story, as it was for Cinderella herself. New Yorker Weiss spent many years perfecting her craft as a composer and music editor, until a chance meeting with Hans Zimmer saw her commencing work at his famous Remote Control Studios. Headliner speaks with her about working on this hit film, the long road it took to get there, and why she sticks with Genelec speakers.
“Growing up, I became more interested in music; I joined bands and was doing a lot of songwriting,” Weiss says. “Then I assisted a film composer in New York for a couple of years. I knew that film composition was what I wanted to be doing so I moved to London and got a job working at Warner Brothers – Hans Zimmer and his team came over to London to dub Sherlock Holmes 2, and I got to meet them.
"They were there for a few months and I made it clear what my goals were and at the time, I was doing everything from serving coffee there to patching in cables and writing music on my own.
“Then I was a very, very lucky lady and got an email from Remote Control asking if I'd be interested in coming to L.A to work with Hans and the team. So I packed my bags and moved to Los Angeles.”
Some of the biggest names in film composition have walked through Remote Control Studios’ doors, including James Newton Howard, John Powell and Lisa Gerrard. Weiss explains she had a slightly different approach:
“My main gig there was music editing. I worked with Hans exclusively, and I also worked with Lorne Balfe (Black Widow, Mission Impossible: Fallout), Steve Jablonsky (The Island and the Transformers films) and just all these fabulous composers. I really learned through osmosis. It was really about being a fly on the wall and absorbing all this incredible talent and creativity.”
Since venturing out solo from the haven of Remote Control, Weiss has got some pretty impressive credits together: the Netflix animated feature film Dog Gone Trouble, the drama Everything I Ever Wanted to Tell My Daughter About Men featuring a collaboration with pop sensation Sia, and Nicol Paone’s comedy Friendsgiving, produced by Ben Stiller.