So what does a small town musician have to do to land a gig in a multi-million dollar Hollywood movie? …Be Brandon Gilliard for starters. Brandon Gilliard’s bass work is featured throughout the entire soundtrack of the new Fox and Blue Sky Studio Movie, Ferdinand.
Bassman Brandon Gilliard, an Anderson SC native has been going on great musical exploits right under our noses for awhile now. Whether it is being a primary band member of Janelle Monet to playing with Lecrae and Lalah Hathaway on the Jimmy Fallon Show…Whether it is Saturday Night Live, Austin City Limits…Well, the list goes on and on. Just check out his credentials on IMDb and please go check out his new website as well (www.mybassplayer.com).
If you ask Brandon in person how he accomplished this and even how any musician could achieve this for themselves, one of the first things he would emphasize is to join a Music Union. “Music unions always make sure you are paid fairly and in a timely manner, ” says Brandon.
Music Unions are also great for networking and exposure. Yet, there is way more to Brandon than a Music Union. Brandon is an expert in music theory, a great score reader, and more importantly has the kind of strong character and integrity that foster long-lasting working relationships. This is evident by consistent call backs with brilliant minded multi-millionaire producer, composer, and songwriter, John Powell.
John Powell has written soundtracks for the infamous Bourne Identity movies as well as for Transformers, Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, and over 50 other big budget films. The first movie that Brandon collaborated with Powell in was Rio 2. Earlier this year, he was called back to California to play his bass for a recording session of another band Powell produces.
Brandon indicates that John Powell composes every note straight from his mind to sheet music and usually knows exactly what he wants before hearing the music is performed.
“He writes with a specific player in mind,” Brandon says as he recalls Powell giving him music based on his own interpretation of Gilliard’s playing style.
“You are the closest thing to James Jamerson since James Jamerson,” is what John Powell said to Brandon. The late James Jamerson was a prominent MoTown bass player who played on at least 30 #1 Billboard hits (Wikipedia) ,was listed in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, and also happens to be a bassman who Brandon himself has great admiration for.
Some of the other Ferdinand cast and crew members include John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Anthony Anderson, Nick Jonas, Daveed Diggs and many others.
The release date of Ferdinand is December 15th. There will be a Meet and Greet at the Amstar movie theater in Anderson, SC where you’ll be able to get a movie poster autographed by Brandon and view Ferdinand, the movie, for the first time.