Germaine Franco is the first Latina composer invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Music Branch and to receive the Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature (Coco). She is the recipient of the Shirley Walker Award at the 2018 ASCAP Screen Music Awards, which honors those whose achievements have contributed to the diversity of film and television music. Franco also received a Top Box Office Film Award for her work on Coco. Univision honored her on International Women’s Day 2018 as one of “15 Latinas Who Are Changing The World As We Know It”, alongside Rita Moreno, Emma Gonzalez, among others.
Germaine composes music and songs that reflect her extensive training as an orchestral musician, her electronic music programming prowess, her multi-instrumental expertise and her love of world music. Franco divides her time working on studio blockbusters and independent features. She has scored and/or written songs for a variety of award- winning and high-profile features, animations, and documentary projects.
Her recent score to Tag (directed by Jeff Tomsic for New Line Cinema and Warner Bros.) is a hybrid of electronica and action music. It is available on Lakeshore Records. Franco also recently created the organic score for Tanya Saracho’s critically acclaimed Vida (Starz), which incorporates indigenous Mexican chant, electronica, and Latin music. Additional film credits include: Little directed by Tina Gordon starring Regina Hall and Issa Rae; DOPE, directed by Rick Famuyiwa (Open Road Films), which premiered at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals; Margarita, directed by Dominique Cardona and Laurie Colbert (HBO Canada, Telefilm Canada); Walk with Me: On the Road with Thich Nhat Hanh, directed by Max Pugh and Marc Francis, and narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, which screened at the SXSW 2017 and the 2017 BFI London Film Festival; Shovel Buddies, directed by Si & Ad for Awesomeness Films, which premiered at SXSW 2016; and Someone Great starring Gina Rodriguez for Netflix. Franco’s opening-title music was featured in the PBS Special “Hispanic Heritage Awards” in both 2015 and 2016, sponsored by The White House under President Barack Obama. Franco’s most recent work includes Universal Pictures’ family animation Curious George: Royal Monkey and the Paramount Pictures feature film Dora and the Lost City of Gold, based on the popular children’s television series Dora The Explorer.
Germaine worked for over four years on Disney Pixar’s Coco with director Lee Unkrich, co-director Adrian Molina, and producer Darla K. Anderson. She co-wrote five original songs with Molina, and arranged, orchestrated and co-produced the Oscar winning song, “Remember Me”. Franco utilized her music and language skills while serving as Coco’s music producer, additional composer, arranger and orchestrator in Mexico City, where she led more than 50 Mexican musicians from multiple ensembles. She worked with producer Camilo Lara (Mexican Institute of Sound) to create an authentic Mexican sound for the film, and worked with composer Michael Giacchino as co-orchestrator of the score.
Franco’s work also includes composing for immersive reality (4D) and theme park attractions. Most recent is DreamWorks Animation and Universal Creative’s Kung Fu Panda – The Emperor’s Quest at Universal Studios Hollywood, directed by Steve Hickner (Bee Movie, The Prince of Egypt), and Gary Trousdale (Beauty and the Beast), and produced by Karen Foster and Friend Wells, which opened in June of 2018. In 2016, she was composer, music producer, and music director for DreamWorks Animation’s MotionGate. The project also featured her music for Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, and Madagascar.
Franco began her ascent in the world of film music production by working alongside some of Hollywood’s top film and TV composers as an additional composer, orchestrator, arranger, midi programmer and/or music producer for John Powell, Hans Zimmer, Randy Newman, Gustavo Santaolalla, and Michael Giacchino. Her credits include more than 30 tent-pole productions, including Toy Story 3, Bolt, Mr. 3000, How to Train Your Dragon (1 & 2), Rio (1 & 2), The Lorax, Happy Feet (1 & 2), Kung Fu Panda (1,2 & 3), The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Supremacy, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and The Italian Job among others.
Franco is a current Women In Film Music Fellow. She was nominated for a Black Reel Award for her work on DOPE, and is the first female composer to be hired by DreamWorks Animation and Pixar. She is also the first female to score an R-rated comedy for Newline Cinema. Franco was featured in the 2016 “Women Who Score” Concert and in the Women Who Score film directed by Sara Nesson. She is a Sundance Music Sound Design Fellow and an Advisory Board Member of Women in Media. Franco holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in music from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music.