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Deborah Lurie

Deborah Lurie Composer

Deborah Lurie
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Composer
Is Musician Composer Film score composer
From United States of America
Type Film, Television, Stage and Radio Music
Gender female
Birth 9 March 1974, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Age: 46 years
Deborah Lurie
The details


Deborah Lurie is an American composer, arranger, and music producer. She is best known for her scores for director Lasse Hallström’s films, Dear John and Safe Haven, Paramount’s 2011 version of Footloose, and the all-time highest-grossing concert movie, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. She has also written additional music for many scores by Danny Elfman, including Wanted, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Alice in Wonderland, and has provided string arrangements on hits for The All-American Rejects, Hoobastank, Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, and more. In 2015, she received the ASCAP Shirley Walker Award.

Life and career

Deborah had the sudden realization that she wanted to be a composer during her high school music theory class in Palo Alto, CA. Everything mathematical and theoretical about music that she was learning in class was essentially what she had been learning intuitively on her own since before she could talk. However, in her mind, it all made sense according to her perceived patterns and relationships of color. Deborah was born with a combination of perfect pitch and synesthesia, which causes her to identify every note she hears by seeing a corresponding color in her mind’s eye. Her experience in the arts until that theory class consisted of modern dance, musical theater, choirs, garage bands, and a few life-changing family trips to Disneyland. Though she was studying piano in a traditional classical setting, her ability to musically mimic, accompany, collaborate, and her joy of playing anything and everything by ear proved to be a much stronger force in her life. For her final music theory project, she chose to stage a scene from Romeo and Juliet, using student actors and her sister’s choreography, accompanied by an Elizabethan consort, which led to composing the score for her high school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. While earning her bachelor’s in Music Composition and Film Scoring at USC, she scored many student films and was hired to transcribe pieces of pop music for plagiarism-related court cases for her professor who worked as a legal expert. Her reputation for her remarkable ears landed her a job with Mark Snow on The X-Files movie as a transcriber, while her scoring work on student films led to the viral short film, George Lucas in Love, directed by her college friend and frequent collaborator, Joe Nussbaum.

Deborah went on to score Joe’s feature films Sleepover, Sydney White, and Disney’s Prom, and they are currently headed towards a second season of the wildly successful Amazon show, Just Add Magic, which she scores with her longtime friend and collaborator, Zack Ryan. She has also worked prolifically as a music arranger and producer for a number of live productions including the original Hudson Theater production of the cult hit musical, bare, and the star-studded Pussycat Dolls live at The Roxy. Her work on bare caught the attention of film composer John Ottman (The Usual Suspects), for whom she arranged and wrote additional music on a number of his films, and ended up scoring Imaginary Heroes based on his themes. At the Pussycat Dolls show, she was introduced to music mogul Randy Spendlove, while he was heading the music department at Miramax, later moving to Paramount. This alliance led to her scoring Paramount films including Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Katy Perry: Part of Me, Footloose (2011), and producing/arranging musical numbers for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. Also stemming from Randy’s support and guidance at Miramax, Deborah met director Lasse Hallström, first scoring An Unfinished Life starring Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman, and then moving on to the popular Nicholas Sparks romances Dear John and Safe Haven. Having always been a collaborator at heart, some of her other favorite musical endeavors include arranging and producing Joss Whedon’s original score for his critically acclaimed film Much Ado About Nothing, and arranging Harvey Mason, Jr.’s score for More Than a Game - the celebrated documentary about LeBron James.

Deborah has brought her dramatic musical sensibilities and orchestral prowess to the radio waves through a longtime collaboration with rock hit-maker Howard Benson. Her string arrangements can be heard in hits by The All-American Rejects, Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry, Papa Roach, and with producer David Hodges on the Christina Perri song "A Thousand Years" for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1. Other highlights of her career so far include bringing Danny Elfman’s themes to life on the Thea Award winning theme park ride Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland, as well as scoring the Tim Burton produced animated film 9, recorded at the famous AIR Studios in London.

Throughout her career, Deborah has kept a balance between work on the highest budget mainstream movies, albums, and shows, to the most art house, labor-of-love indies. While forever fascinated by musical trends, technology, and sounds of the present and future, she has developed a voice that combines modern innovation with the timeless human emotion of melody. Whether in an action sequence, an ironic dark comedy, or a sweeping romance, for Deborah, music always comes back to emotion and storytelling.



Year Title Director Studio(s) Notes
1997 The Promise Matthew Barry N/A Short film
1998 Hercules: The Animated Series Phil Weinstein Walt Disney Television Animation
Buena Vista Television
Additional music
1999 Evil Hill Ryan Schifrin N/A Short film
1999 George Lucas in Love Joe Nussbaum MediaTrip.com Short film
1999 Best Man in Grass Creek John Newcombe N/A N/A
2001 Bubble Boy Blair Hayes Buena Vista Pictures
Touchstone Pictures
Additional music
2003 View from the Top Bruno Barreto Brad Grey Pictures
Miramax Films
2004 My Baby's Daddy Cheryl Dunye Miramax
Brillstein-Grey Entertainment
Immortal Entertainment
2004 My Name Is Modesty Scott Spiegel Miramax Films N/A
2004 Sleepover Joe Nussbaum Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer N/A
2004 Imaginary Heroes Dan Harris Sony Pictures Classics N/A
2005 Drop Dead Sexy Michael Philip Lionsgate N/A
2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Tim Burton Warner Bros. Pictures
The Zanuck Company
Plan B Entertainment
Village Roadshow Pictures
Additional music
2005 An Unfinished Life Lasse Hallström Miramax Films
Revolution Studios
2005 Mozart and the Whale Petter Næss Millennium Films
Nu Image
2006 Deep Sea 3D Howard Hall Warner Bros. Pictures
IMAX Corporation
Composed with Danny Elfman
IMAX film
2006 Whirlygirl Jim Wilson All the Way Round Inc. N/A
2006 The Year Without a Santa Claus Ron Underwood N/A Television film
2006 Charlotte's Web Gary Winick Paramount Pictures
Kerner Entertainment Company
Walden Media
Nickelodeon Movies
Additional music
2006 Dreamgirls Bill Condon Laurence Mark Productions
DreamWorks Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Additional music
2007 Sydney White Joe Nussbaum Universal Pictures
Morgan Creek Productions
2007 The Little Traitor Lynn Roth Westchester Films Inc. N/A
2007 Spider-Man 3 Sam Raimi Columbia Pictures
Marvel Entertainment
Laura Ziskin Productions
Additional music
2008 Wanted Timur Bekmambetov Universal Pictures
Spyglass Entertainment
Relativity Media
Marc Platt Productions
Kickstart Productions
Top Cow Productions
Additional music
2008 Hellboy II: The Golden Army Guillermo del Toro Universal Studios
Relativity Media
Lawrence Gordon Productions
Dark Horse Entertainment
Additional music
2008 The Betrayed Amanda Gusack Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer N/A
2009 Dance Flick Damien Dante Wayans Paramount Pictures
MTV Films
Wayans Brothers
Additional music
2009 Spring Breakdown Ryan Shiraki Warner Premiere N/A
2009 9 Shane Acker
Prod: Tim Burton
Focus Features
Relativity Media
Starz Animation
Tim Burton Productions
2009 More Than a Game Kristopher Belman Lionsgate Additional music
2010 Dear John Lasse Hallström Screen Gems
Relativity Media
2010 Alice in Wonderland Tim Burton Walt Disney Pictures
Roth Films
The Zanuck Company
Team Todd
Additional music
2011 Justin Bieber: Never Say Never Jon M. Chu Paramount Pictures
MTV Films
Scooter Braun Films
L.A. Reid Media
AEG Live
Island Def Jam Music Group
2011 Prom Joe Nussbaum Walt Disney Pictures
Rickshaw Productions
2011 Footloose Craig Brewer Paramount Pictures
Spyglass Entertainment
MTV Films
2012 One for the Money Julie Anne Robinson Lionsgate
Lakeshore Entertainment
Sidney Kimmel Entertainment
2012 The Dictator Larry Charles Paramount Pictures
Four By Two Films
Additional music
2012 Katy Perry: Part of Me Dan Cutforth
Jane Lipsitz
Paramount Pictures
Nickelodeon Movies
Perry Productions
AEG Live
EMI Music
Columbia Pictures
Imagine Entertainment
2012 Fun Size Josh Schwartz Paramount Pictures
Nickelodeon Movies
Anonymous Content
Fake Empire Productions
2013 Safe Haven Lasse Hallström Relativity Media
Temple Hill Entertainment
2014 Murder of a Cat Gillian Greene
Prod: Sam Raimi
Seine Pictures N/A
2015 Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List Kristin Hanggi Quiver N/A
2015 The Astronaut Wives Club Prod: Stephanie Savage ABC Studios
Fake Empire Productions
Groundswell Productions
10 episodes
2015 Invisible Sister Paul Hoen Disney Channel Television film
2016 Urban Cowboy Craig Brewer 20th Century Fox Television N/A
2016 The Deal Daniel S. Kaminsky
Prod: Joss Whedon
Circadian Pictures Short film
2016 Just Add Magic Joe Nussbaum Amazon Studios
Pictures in a Row
Grasshopper Lane Entertainment
Season 1: 13 episodes, with Zack Ryan
Season 2: 13 episodes, with Zack Ryan
2016 Newtown Kim A. Snyder N/A Additional music
2017 Speech & Debate Dan Harris Sycamore Pictures N/A


  • The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (song arranger)
  • Annie (additional arranger)
  • Mystic Manor (arranger, music by Danny Elfman)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (arranger/producer, score by Joss Whedon)
  • Fame (song arranger)
  • Bad Santa (song arranger)
  • Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (song arranger)


  • Men in Black 3 (score by Danny Elfman)
  • The X-Files: I Want to Believe (score by Mark Snow)
  • The Curse of El Charro (score by Rich Ragsdale)
  • X2: X-Men United (score by John Ottman)
  • Urban Legends: Final Cut (score by John Ottman)
  • Crazy in Alabama (score by Mark Snow)
  • Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (score by John Ottman)
  • The X-Files (score by Mark Snow)
  • Dexter's Laboratory (add. orch., score by Thomas Chase and Steve Rucker)
  • The Day Lincoln Was Shot (score by Mark Snow)
  • Barney's Great Adventure (add. orch., score by Van Dyke Parks)

String Arranger


  • Gabriel Mann, Tug of War
  • The Buzzhorn, Disconnected


  • Hoobastank, The Reason
  • Adema, Unstable
  • Cold, Year of the Spider


  • The All-American Rejects, Move Along
  • Vendetta Red, Sisters of the Red Death


  • Daughtry, Daughtry
  • Hoobastank, Every Man for Himself
  • Hoobastank, DVD - Live at La Cigale
  • Papa Roach, The Paramour Sessions
  • Caleb Kane, Go Mad
  • Three Days Grace, One-X
  • Peter Bradley Adams, Gather Up


  • Paul Freeman, You and I
  • The All-American Rejects, When the World Comes Down
  • Third Day, Revelation
  • Theory of a Deadman, Scars & Souvenirs


  • Adam Lambert, For Your Entertainment
  • All American Rejects, Soundtrack 90210
  • Allison Iraheta, Just Like You
  • Kelly Clarkson, All I Ever Wanted
  • Daughtry, Leave This Town
  • Creed, Full Circle
  • The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Lonely Road
  • Katy Perry,Thinking of You live on Ellen and MTV Unplugged
  • Halestorm, Halestorm


  • Bon Jovi, "What Do You Got?"
  • Hawthorne Heights, Skeletons


  • 3 Doors Down, Time of My Life
  • Theory of a Deadman, The Truth Is...
  • Kelly Clarkson, Stronger
  • Christina Perri, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Soundtrack


  • Brandi Carlile, Safe Haven Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


  • Theory of a Deadman, Savages


  • Theory of a Deadman


  • Simple Plan, Taking One for the Team


  • 2000 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Distinguished Achievement in Music Production - bare
  • 2000 LA Weekly Theater Awards Musical of the Year - Music Producer/Arranger - bare
  • 2011 ASCAP Film & Television Music Awards for Top Box Office Films - Dear John
  • 2012 ASCAP Film & Television Music Awards for Top Box Office Films - Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
  • 2014 ASCAP Film & Television Music Awards for Top Box Office Films - Safe Haven
  • 2015 ASCAP Film & Television Music Awards The Shirley Walker Award
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