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Jamie Christopherson talks about scoring ‘American Fighter’ film

Composer Jamie Christopherson chatted with Digital Journal’s Markos Papadatos about scoring the film “American Fighter,” which was directed by Shaun Paul Piccinino.

Jamie Christopherson
Composer and artist Jamie Christopherson, Photo Courtesy of Jamie Christopherson.
Composer and artist Jamie Christopherson, Photo Courtesy of Jamie Christopherson.

Composer Jamie Christopherson chatted with Digital Journal’s Markos Papadatos about scoring the film “American Fighter,” which was directed by Shaun Paul Piccinino.

It will be available on digital and On Demand on May 21. The cast features George Kosturos, Bryan Craig, Tommy Flanagan, and Sean Patrick Flanery.

He acknowledged that the film “American Fighter” was a very interesting one to score. “On one hand, it is a sequel to the film ‘American Wrestler’ that I wrote music for a few years prior. But this sequel had another director, Shaun Piccinino, and he brought a much darker/grittier vibe to it than the original film. Now, I love it equally as well,” he said.

“They are two very different films, and the scores required two very different approaches – even though they share the 80s approach. If the original was Rocky / Karate Kid then this one is Scarface,” he added.

On his favorite part of this experience, he responded, “My favorite part of scoring this film was being able to indulge my 80s music tendencies. I grew listening to music in this period. So for this score, I borrowed/rented a bunch of 80s synths and hardware from friends and just went wild.”

“Also, the director and producers seemed to love what I was doing – so I kept diving deeper and deeper into to dark sounds of the 80s while keeping in mind the dramatic tendencies needed for the film. My other favorite part of the experience was working with Max Carl on the original song ‘Highway to Glory’,” he explained.

Regarding his daily motivations as an artist and composer, he said, “Music and art motivate me every day. I love how in art/music the possibilities are endless. What excites and motivates me today can totally change tomorrow. I find the most joy and motivation in constantly trying new things and collaborating with other artists lately.”

On being an artist and composer in the digital age, he said, “I love the fact that living in a digital world we can get instant feedback on our art – but at the same time, you have to take the instant feedback and gratification with a grain of salt. You have to do things that make you excited and inspired. If I lived in a cave, what would make me happy to do musically?”

He collaborated with Max Carl of 38 Special on the song “Highway to Glory.” On this collaboration, he said, “Max used to play in bands with my dad (a rock bass player), and so he has known me since birth. I lost touch with Max for a long time. When I started working on ‘American Fighter’ I saw a scene in the film that needed an original song and I thought to myself, ‘Max would be the perfect guy for this’ and so I reached out to him.”

“We started talking about it, and a few weeks later I was on a plane to go visit and write the song with him. It was literally a song a lifetime in the making,” he added.

On his definition of the word success, he said, “Success to me means making a living at doing what makes me happy and fulfilled. I’m not saying that happiness is key to success. Success comes at a price, even if it makes you feel fulfilled. I like to think I’m successful, but that word/definition is a moving goalpost and always changing.” 

“The film ‘American Fighter’ is a great film with a lot of heart,” he said. “Fans of 80s fighting/action movies will love the style and music I hope in the film. I really hope everyone likes what we did, as it was a big passion project.”

To learn more about Jamie Christopherson, check out his official website.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 20,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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