Tim Greiving

Miloš Karadaglić was eight when he noticed the dusty guitar sitting on a shelf in his house in Montenegro.

"I think my father had this guitar when he was young, and when he tried to seduce my mother — and once he got her, I don't think he played it ever again," Miloš says, laughing. "Typical sort of behavior. I got this guitar and, seriously, the moment I held it in my hands, I felt I found my best friend."

In some ways, making a movie isn't too different from running a business: At the end of the day, it's just a set of relationships. Financial interests clash with creative ones. The mission depends on who's in charge. And when new management comes in, sometimes people further down the chain find themselves suddenly out of a job, too.

Kris Bowers' film-scoring career started, strangely enough, with a word of praise from the Queen of Soul — Aretha Franklin.

The 31-year-old composer has been tickling the ivories since he was a little kid, growing up in the Mid-City neighborhood of Los Angeles. He always loved film scores (E.T. was a heavy favorite), and he was one of the few Black students at his arts high school. He studied at Juilliard, and in 2011 he won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition.

James Newton Howard has composed the music for thrillers, Disney animation, and big fantasy series — more than 100 films — a remarkable feat considering that he didn't start doing it until 1985. His latest is a western starring Tom Hanks called News of the World.

But before he was an A-list film composer, Howard was a rock and roller. He played in bands in Los Angeles, near where he grew up the son of a milkman, and where everyone called him "Jimmy."

The 2000 film Requiem for a Dream celebrates its 20th anniversary this fall, and in that time there's at least one part of its legacy that's never faded: the music. The movie's haunted original score spawned a kind of breakout hit that would ripple through media for years to come, while also kickstarting a new career for its British-born composer, Clint Mansell.

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