Aside from film and television scores, Zanelli also works with recording artists, writing arrangements for Steve Martin, Edie Brickell, Robbie Williams, The Webb Sisters, Mest, and Story of the Year. He is credited as a guitarist/bassist/synthsist on the song "I'm Not Dead" from recording artist Pink. He is the recipient of a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie, or Special.
Life and work
After graduating from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, Zanelli began his musical career as a guitar player and songwriter for local acts in Southern California. While attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music on scholarship, Zanelli dual majored in Film Scoring and Music Production or Engineering. He was the recipient of both the Doug Timm Award in recognition of his film scoring work and the Music Production and Engineering Scholar Award.
In 1994, Hans Zimmer met Zanelli. Believing him to be a promising young talent, Zimmer invited him to Los Angeles to join his group of film composers. Zanelli earned a reputation as a workhorse while working as an engineer on the debut album from Goldfinger as well as Zimmer's Oscar Award-nominated score for The Preacher's Wife.
Zanelli's experience and desire to collaborate led him to work with British composer John Powell on his first Hollywood feature, Face/Off. Throughout the following years he built the foundation for his scoring career, composing with Powell, Hans Zimmer, Harry Gregson-Williams and Steve Jablonsky on many feature films, including: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Rango and the Golden Globe-nominated scores for The Last Samurai and Pearl Harbor.
One of his earliest solo works, Steven Spielberg's miniseries Into The West, earned him an Emmy. In approximately one year, Zanelli scored the films Disturbia, Hitman, Outlander, Delgo, Ghost Town and Gamer. Harking back to his days as a songwriter, he co-wrote the song "Don't Make Me Wait" for Disturbia. He currently writes at Hans Zimmer's Remote Control Productions.
In early 2013, influential film blog Ain't It Cool News called his score for The Odd Life Of Timothy Green the best score of 2012. In 2017, he composed the score of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, picking up the mantle from long-time series composer Hans Zimmer. In June 2018, he composed the score, with Jon Brion, of Christopher Robin. In 2019, he composed the score of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.