Stanley Clarke Pens Music Score for This Weekend’s Hit Movie, The Best Man Holiday

Share Article

Film Composer and legendary jazzman Stanley Clarke has written the musical score for the hit Universal film, The Best Man Holiday. Immediately jumping to #2 in film revenues for its opening weekend, the film was released nationally November 15.

Film Composer Stanley Clarke attends the premiere of The Best Man Holiday at Hollywood's Chinese Theatre November 5.

The music in a film is essential and always has been. It is the glue that holds the film together.

Film Composer and legendary jazzman Stanley Clarke has scored more than 65 film and television scores in his career. The newest addition to his film scoring credits is the hit Universal film The Best Man Holiday. Immediately jumping to #2 in film revenues for its opening weekend, the film was directed by Malcolm D. Lee and released nationally November 15. The Best Man Holiday is a sequel to 1999 hit The Best Man, which was also directed by Malcolm D. Lee and scored by Clarke. The main cast of the two movies is the same, which include Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard, Regina Hall, Morris Chestnut, Nia Long and Harold Perrineau among others.

“As always, working on this film with Malcolm Lee was a joy,” Clarke remarks. “I’ve worked on several films with him in addition to the two Best Men movies. We tend to work together seamlessly at this point. I am extremely happy with the final product!”

It was interesting for Clarke to work on a sequel project with a 12-year interval. The cast has matured as actors and Clarke’s score has matured with them. The director and stars are at the top of their game and the score reflects Clarke being at the top of his game as well.

A challenge to composing The Best Man Holiday score was working with the music from the standpoint of an ensemble cast as opposed to the individual character themes of most films. Clarke was challenged to develop a “friends” theme central to the score. From that theme he worked outward to reflect the actors’ emotions and behaviors throughout the script.

“The music in a film is essential and always has been. Even in the days of silent films, they were accompanied by live music in the theater. It is the glue that holds the film together. It enhances the emotions of the characters, augments the action and helps lead the audience on their journey through the story,” says Clarke. “I feel a great responsibility to the craft of film scoring for these reasons.”

A third of The Best Man Holiday’s score was done with an orchestra and recorded at The Bridge Recording Studio in Glendale, CA. Conducting and working with a live orchestra is something that Clarke especially enjoys. Another third of the score was done with a band of several musicians and the final third was done using a digital MIDI setup. Combined together with mastery the final film score is superb.

Clarke has put together a video of his Best Man Holiday scoring experience. It can be viewed on YouTube: In an effort to share the job of film composer to a broader audience, a longer video project is in the works.

Clarke is gratified to see the box office weekend results of The Best Man Holiday debut. Entertainment Weekly stated, “this weekend The Best Man Holiday unwrapped an outstanding $30.5 million on opening weekend from 2,024 theaters, yielding an excellent $15,115 venue average — the best in the top-10. The film…opened with $10.7 million on Friday, and then ticked up 15 percent on Saturday to $12 million — a rare boost on a film’s opening weekend that signifies great word-of-mouth. Audiences, which Universal reports ... issued the film a rare 'A+' CinemaScore grade.”

Film and television composing and scoring has become an essential part of Clarke’s career. Perhaps best known as a performer and Grammy Award-winning bass legend, Clarke came to composing film music in the 1980s and has never looked back.

Clarke’s composing career also includes films such as Academy Award winning What’s Love Got To Do With It (Tina Turner biopic), Boyz’n the Hood, Transporter and Romeo Must Die to name just a few. He has been nominated for three Emmy’s including one for “PeeWee’s Playhouse” and won a BMI Film Music Award for Boyz’n the Hood.

Summarizing his film composing career, Clarke says, “Film has given me the opportunity to compose music not normally associated with myself. It has given me a chance to conduct orchestras and arrange music for various types of ensembles. It’s been a diverse experience for me musically, utilized all my skills and making me a more complete musician. As a side, I also tend to enjoy the minutiae of film scoring, which is a must.”

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Diane Hadley

+1 (310) 729-1484
Email >
since: 06/2013
Follow >
Visit website