Jerkins Tries His Hand At Film Scoring

Excerpted from the magazine for

Rodney Jerkins is among the growing number of music producers and hit songwriters venturing into the world of film scoring with his work on Universal Pictures' "Honey," which opened Dec. 5 in U.S. theaters.

The Grammy Award winner has worked with many of the top names in the business, including Destiny's Child, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Mary J. Blige.

"In the music industry, I'm well-known," he says, "but in the film world, I'm dealing with people I've never talked to before in my life."

He says the move is part of his plan to expand business for his production company, Darkchild Entertainment. He also wrote and produced several songs for the "Honey" soundtrack, released Nov. 25 on Elektra Entertainment.

The set features Blaque's "I'm Good" (the album's first single), Yolanda Adams' "I Believe," Missy Elliott's "Hurt Sumthin'," Fabolous' "Now Ride" and Tweet's "Thugman."

"Honey," directed by music-video veteran Bille Woodruff, stars Jessica Alba as a dancer/choreographer trying to make it big in the entertainment industry. Several R&B/hip-hop stars have roles in the film, including Elliott, Lil' Romeo, Ginuwine, Tweet and Jadakiss. Jerkins also has a cameo in the film.

"The biggest adjustment was the pressure of writing music which had to be ready the next day," Jerkins says of the scoring work. "I had to be on point. There was no room for making mistakes, but I was up for the challenge."

Jerkins says he landed the job of scoring "Honey" largely thanks to Paris Davis, the music supervisor for "Honey." Davis and Jerkins previously worked together on hits for R&B/pop singer Brandy. Grammy winner Mervyn Warren also provided the film-score music for "Honey."

Now that he has gotten a taste of the movie industry as a film composer, Jerkins says he is hooked: "A lot of times in movies, they'll just license old songs. But I want to be the guy they call to bring something new to the table."

Next up for Jerkins: He has been tapped as executive music producer for Miramax Films comedy "My Baby's Daddy," scheduled to open Jan. 9, 2004, in U.S. theaters.

Jerkins has written songs for the film, and he says he wants the "My Baby's Daddy" film soundtrack (whose artists will include Snoop Dogg and Joe Budden) to be released on his Darkchild record label. Jerkins tells Billboard he is in discussions to find a distributor for the label.

Excerpted from the Dec. 20, 2003, issue of Billboard. The full original text of the article is available in the Premium Services section.

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