After graduating with a degree in Music Composition from New York University, James Dooley moved to Los Angeles to study film composition with such prolific composers as Christopher Young, Elmer Bernstein and Leonard Rosenman.
In 1999, he joined Media Ventures and collaborated with award-winning composer Hans Zimmer as his Chief Technical Engineer on Gladiator, and as an additional composer, arranger and orchestrator on such features as The Time Machine, Pirates of the Caribbean, and King Arthur, as well as Ridley Scott's Hannibal, Black Hawk Down, and Matchstick Men.
His collaborations with Hans Zimmer have continued through such projects as the DreamWorks animation feature Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, the haunting score for Gore Verbinski's The Ring, Jerry Bruckheimer's adrenaline-packed Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Antoine Fuqua's emotional Tears of the Sun, and Jonathan Frakes' adaptation of the beloved 60's television series, Thunderbirds.
Dooley has also composed scores for several short films, including the Sundance Film Festival selection, Bit Players, the award-winning short films Untitled: 003 Embryo and Agua Dulce, as well as the cutting-edge short film Things Fall Apart for director Yaniv Raz. Dooley has also scored the widely acclaimed documentary, Rebels of Oakland, for HBO. This project was the highest rated sports documentary for HBO since the year 2000.
James's music can be heard in the theatrical trailers for Elf, Tony Scott's Man on Fire, Antoine Fuqua's King Arthur, Ron Howard's The Da Vinci Code, and even Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Additional advertisement projects include an emotional spot for the United States Marines, Time-Warner RoadRunner, overseas spots for Porsche, as well a special promotional spot for Mercedes-Benz's ultra-luxury sedan, the Maybach.
In the video game arena, James scored the 2004 sequel to the smash hit from Namco, Dead to Rights 2, as well as the Sony Playstation flagship game, SOCOM III: U.S. Navy SEALs, using a live orchestra recorded in London.
Last year, James scored the documentary The Mars Underground, which focuses on a grassroots push to put a human on the red planet. He also teamed up once again with Hans Zimmer to write music for the smash hit Dreamworks Animation film, Madagascar. This resulted in James scoring the animated short film The Madagascar Penguins in A Christmas Caper, which appeared in front of the hit Dreamworks / Aardman Animation feature film, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-rabbit - for which James also contributed additional music.
James has just finished work on Impy's Island, a German computer animated film whose orchestral score was recorded in Bratislava, as well as the thrilling Screen Gems remake of When A Stranger Calls, which was recorded in Seattle with the Northwest Sinfonia Orchestra.
Currently James is working with Hans Zimmer on The Da Vinci Code, for award-winning director Ron Howard.