Everything Aaron Fullan, a young musician from Iowa, undertook to enter movie scoring did not look very hopeful, until one day he got a message from producer of the new Star Wars trilogy.
Aaron grew up in a small Midwestern town of Clinton, and took a keen interest in music since the young age. When Aaron was 8, parents encouraged him to take up piano lessons. The boy fell in love with the sound of the instrument.
Fullan continued to practice piano 4-5 hours a day, even in college, where he pursued double major in Biblical Studies and Technology. Pinballing between the instrument and theology classes was not that hard for Aaron.
What he really struggled with was a question: where to put his talent and love of music?
One night in 2008 countered all Aaron’s concerns. He went to see the concert of John Williams, the author of the iconic soundtracks of the XX century, like Jaws and Star Wars series. Fullan spent years collecting and listening to Williams’ scores, and could not miss the opportunity to see him live.
The show exceeded all expectations.
“Simply put? I was floored. Overwhelmed. Moved. I knew I was going to become a composer,” Aaron wrote in his blog.
After a few months of hands-on training with a local music instructor, Aaron got totally absorbed with composing.
The chances of a small town boy from a river town in Iowa were dim, but Aaron could not imagine his future without creating music:
“My stubborn nature (my parents affectionately refer to me as their “strong-willed child”) refused to let those slim chances to dampen my hopes and deter my pursuits.”
By 2016, Aaron started to build himself a name as a composer. He wrote music for vocalists, string quarters and SATB choirs, and later went to audio dramas and full orchestras. Fullan, however, dreamt of making film scores, like his icon John Williams.
For the 85th birthday of the renowned composer, Aaron recorded a special video to thank Williams for influence he had on Fullan’s musical journey.
When Aaron released these videos, he did everything he could to get it through to Williams himself. The composer got a lot of positive feedback, but his aspirations of reaching his inspirer remained unrealized.
As a last call, Aaron sent the links to Ram Bergman, producer of the Last Jedi. The musician did not really expect any response because Bergman was one of the hundred major players in the industry Fullan tried to contact.
About a week later, Aaron discovered a response from Bergman in his mailbox:
I sent it to his (John Williams’) people. Very nice piece. Wishing you all the best.”
The message was short, yet extremely uplifting for Aaron:
“Not only did he watch or listen to my work himself, but he bothered to pass it along to John Williams’ “people” (whoever they may be)!”
Their correspondence did not end there. Bergman emailed Aaron again, and provided him with some tips regarding how to enter the film scoring industry.
Fullan still doesn’t know if John Williams saw the video, but Bergman’s tips helped him to make the right decisions. By the end of 2017, Aaron was known for his work in Stargate Origins, Mount Hideaway and Summer of ’67.
“Sometimes, the kindness of a stranger comes from the most unexpected places,” Aaron concludes.