2020 Film Scoring Judges

Pinar Toprak

Pinar Toprak.jpg

Pinar Toprak is one of the most refreshing voices in music composition today
with a diverse body of work spanning across film, television, and video games.
She has composed for major superhero sagas like Marvel Studios’ Captain
Marvel, DC’s Stargirl on The CW, and SY-FY’s Superman prequel series
Krypton. She also scored HBO’s six-part docuseries McMillions, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, as well as Epic Game’s massively popular online video game Fortnite. Away from the big screen, Toprak crafted the new main theme for Walt Disney World’s iconic EPCOT theme park and wrote music for Christina Aguilera’s 2019 Xperience show in Las Vegas.


Toprak was the recipient of the 2019 ASCAP Shirley Walker Award and also won
the 2019 IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association) Award for “Best
Original Score for a Documentary Film” for her score to The Tides of Fate. She
had previously won two other IFMCA Awards for her work on The Wind Gods
and The Lightkeepers which was on the Academy Award shortlist for “Best
Original Score” in 2011.


Toprak was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey where she began her classical
music education at the age of five. After studying composition and multiple
instruments at the conservatory, she moved to Chicago to study jazz before
continuing on to Boston for a degree in film scoring from Berklee College of
Music. She then moved to Los Angeles, earned a master’s degree at CSUN in
composition at age 22, and has quickly become an active and reinvigorating
composer in Hollywood.


She resides in Los Angeles and when not composing, loves to sail the Pacific

Michael Stein

Michael Stein.jpg

Over his nearly decade-long career, Michael Stein has proven himself adept at many different elements of musicianship. As a composer, producer and mixing engineer, Michael Stein has played a significant part in influencing the sound of acts such as S U R V I V E, Boan, SleepOver and many more. 


It is for his work with fellow S U R V I V E bandmate Kyle Dixon on the soundtracks for three seasons of hit Netflix show Stranger Things that Stein has received much praise in recent years. The iconic theme tune for the show garnered a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music, as well as two Grammy nominations for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media, an ASCAP Composers’ Choice Award nomination for TV Composer(s) of the Year, and a World Soundtrack Award nomination for TV Composer(s) of the Year. 


Stein’s branch out into soundtracks has been adventurous, and 2018 saw him and Dixon explore the world of Virtual Reality with the Darren Aronofsky-produced VR series Spheres, written and directed by Eliza McNitt. 

In 2019, Stein and Dixon scored their first feature-length film: Rashid Johnson’s highly acclaimed directorial debut Native Son. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and was quickly sold to HBO. As well as returning to the studio to work on SURVIVE’s third album, Stein has been producing a new album for Texan electronic duo, Boan, which is soon to be released.

Jonathan Hylander

Hailing from the punk rock mecca and the Los Angeles suburb known as “The South Bay,” Jonathan’s early influences include local heroes Black Flag, The Minute Men, and The Descendants. These bands inspired a deep seeded DIY ethic in him from a young age, and moved him into becoming a multi-instrumentalist for various bands since 1997. As a “musical hacker” Jonathan finds pleasure in rebuilding instruments and musical equipment to suit his needs. 


In 2016, He was nominated for an Annie Award in Outstanding Achievement in Music in an Animated TV/ Broadcast Production for his work on Sanjay and Craig. In 2014, he was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in Outstanding Sound Editing in Animation for his work on Sanjay and Craig. And last, but certainly not least, he was nominated for a Golden Reel Award in Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing- Sound Effects, Foley, Music, Dialogue, and ADR for Non-Theatrical Animated Long Form Broadcast Media in 2020 for his work on Invader ZIM: Enter the Florpus.

Jonathan’s credits as a composer consist of The Casagrandes, The Loud House, Sanjay and Craig, Listen Out Loud podcast, The Casagrande's Familial Sounds podcast, The JoJo and Bow Bow Show Show, A Kid Called Mayonnaise, Ben and Thomas, and Pee Stains and Other Disasters.

Daniel Ciurlizza

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Music producer and founder of Outlier Studios, a production company working on custom music for visual media, the creation of musical sound design, and the development of artists.


Known for:

  • Music for the marketing campaigns on The Handmaid's Tale, Won't You Be My Neighbor, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and others

  • His work with sample library software company, Output, and sample production for use by artists like Kanye West, Drake, and others in pop and songwriting

  • Music for 2021 sci-fi feature Norman, and other films.


His last name is pronounced "Chur-Leet-Zuh"

Tiffany Murray

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Tiffany is a Los Angeles-based Camera Assistant, Cinematographer, and Director. Tiffany attended Middle Tennessee State University outside of Nashville and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Film Production. After 5 years in Nashville, she moved to Los Angeles where she's been working as a union 1st AC and non-union DP and Director. 

The short film entitled, No Cleaner Threads, was Tiffany’s directorial debut and went on to screen at numerous festivals across the country winning multiple awards along the way. Other recent directing work includes Panasonic-sponsored documentary short, Backbone, and an upcoming short based on Alice Paul’s fight for women’s right to vote.