Songwriters from Frozen 2, Rocketman, Breakthrough and Harriet spoke to students about their most memorable career moments and how they’ve succeeded in this business

Cynthia Erivo, Bernie Taupin, Diane Warren, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez spoke on the Oscar-Nominated Songwriters Panel at The Los Angeles Film School this week. Their music careers have made them legends in their own right, and their songs are forever engrained in entertainment history (and stuck in our heads). We have the husband and wife team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez to thank for Frozen’s 2013 megahit, Let It Go. The duo rejoined the songwriting team for Frozen 2, which received a Best Song Oscar nomination this year for Into the Unknown.

Kristen Anderson-Lopez said when she got the call to do the soundtrack for Frozen 2, she was excited to take the score into a more mature direction. Lopez and her husband worked on Into the Unknown almost every day to create a song that lived up to the legacy of Let It Go.

Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez

Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

Cynthia Erivo made her debut on Broadway as Celie in The Color Purple, which landed her a Tony and Grammy. Now, she adds two-time Oscar-nominated actress to her resume for her starring role in Harriet.

“I came to New York four years ago to do a Broadway musical, and if you would have told me four years ago that I would be sitting here with two Oscar nominations, I would have laughed in your face and told you that you were crazy,” said Erivo.

Paul Williams

Left to Right: Journalist Jon Burlingame and Composer Paul Williams

Paul Williams joined the panel for the second year in a row and had this to say about songwriting.

“Writing songs and making music is a holy mission, said Williams. “You wake up and you are born into this world and all of a sudden you realize you’ve got this yearning in your chest.”

Oscar-Nominated Songwriters

2020 Oscar-Nominated Songwriters Panel at LAFS