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Composing the Soundtracks of Our Life

How composer Lionel Fabert designs award-winning trailer soundtracks for movies and TV.

By Susan ScavaPublished 27 days ago Updated 26 days ago 3 min read
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Lionel Fabert is an award-winning composer known for bringing movie trailer soundtracks to vibrant life. Fabert has always loved music, beginning when he picked up the guitar at 9 years old. This love of music inspired Fabert to quit a great-paying job in corporate Paris and strike out as a freelance music composer and sound designer.

His move to music wasn’t completely wild, to be fair. After moving from the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe to Paris at 18 to pursue a degree in Information Technology Engineering, Fabert worked as a data and IT project manager. A chance meeting with a film producer in 2013 set Fabert on his current path. The producer was impressed with the music Fabert and his team, The Stormz. He was offered the chance to score parts of the movie “La Cité Rose” and compose the soundtrack alongside renowned French artists. Fabert had always been interested in music, but the experience of scoring a film altered his direction to the film and TV industry, leading him to quit his IT job in 2018 to focus on composing full-time.

Thankfully, this first taste of composer and sound designer wasn’t the last. Fabert has composed scores for many movie trailers and brand spots. For “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” he composed a trailer remix – known as trailerization – of “Crazy on You” by Heart. Disney liked the initial version and requested another with a more pronounced climax, which was used in two movie trailers.

The movie trailer for “Argylle” gave Fabert the challenge of creating an energetic remix of Elvis’s “Suspicious Minds.” His final product was so successful that he had dozens of people reaching out to him for the full song. Unfortunately, he lacks the rights to distribute it, though that song remix was amazing.

Fabert loves creating music in collaboration with the movie’s scenes, the cut of the trailer, and using music to set the tone and vibe of a movie. Often, the trailer’s score clues an audience to what they can expect from the full movie.

Following his approach, Fabert composes in three main sections. The introduction is crucial, often teasing the song with engaging rhythms, melodies, and sound design. The middle and climax sections share importance, and Fabert focuses on amplifying the “wow” effect using percussion, an orchestra, and a lot of sound design.

Fabert has also scored for television and streaming trailers. “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Season 3” was unlike other trailerizations he’d done. Fabert collaborated closely with several music supervisors, and his final efforts were integrated into the trailer house edits, which were later showcased to the team at Prime Video. Fabert has composed music for many trailers, brands, and games, which you can discover on his website.

Fabert is an award-winning composer and sound designer. Most recently, Lionel Fabert was awarded The 2023 Production Music Award for Best Hip Hop / Rap Song for the song “Know My Name” and the 2023 Golden Trailer Award for Best Music TV Spot for his work on the music of “The Gray Man” TV spot. In 2022, Fabert was part of the team that won the Bronze 2022 Clio Award for the music of “The Gray Man” TV Spot on Netflix. The Clios are perhaps the most notable awards available for his industry. In 2016, Fabert and his group, The Stormz, earned an honorable mention at the Los Angeles Film Awards for the score of “Alternatum.”

Lionel Fabert is currently based in Paris, France. He is working on an album for the trailer world that will be released under his music label, “Cooking Noise,” which specializes in music for brands, trailers, and sports.

About the Author

Troy Bailey is a freelance arts and entertainment writer from Oregon. When not writing about film and TV, he is watching films and TV.

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