Composer/editor/director and California native John Ottman's passion for music and film began at a young age in San Jose. Years spent making short films in his parents' garage eventually led the young auteur to USC, where he graduated from the university's prestigious School of Cinema-Television and met future collaborator Bryan Singer. With Singer, he would go on to compose the music for and edit films including The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil, Superman Returns, and multiple entries in the X-Men franchise. Ottman's first feature film credit was 1993's Public Access, which was directed and executive produced by Singer. It was also the musician's first in the rare dual role of composer and editor. Though the score featured the ominous orchestral sound he would soon become known for, it was, according to Ottman (having a history of lighter fare in several film shorts), the darkest tone he had adopted to date. It was also synthesized on various electronic equipment.
The breakthrough for the careers of both Ottman and Singer came two years later on the independent sleeper hit The Usual Suspects, which offered a full orchestra. Ottman quickly found work with other directors, composing music for Ben Stiller's The Cable Guy (1996), John Badham's Incognito (1997), and Steve Miner's Lake Placid (1999), just to name a few, before composing, editing, and directing the horror film Urban Legands: Final Cut (2000). Meanwhile, his collaborations with Singer continued, with their first X-Men collaboration coming on 2003's X2: X-Men United. Ottman went on to write scores for movies such as Gothika (2003), House of Wax (2005), and Fantastic Four (2005), establishing himself in the horror and action genres. Films like 2009's Orphan, 2011's The Resident, and the Liam Neeson vehicle Unknown, also from 2011, followed, as did Singer works including 2013's Jack the Giant Slayer, 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past, and 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse. ~ James Christopher Monger & Marcy Donelson