By Sean Chaffin
His fingers jump across the keys, hoping for the perfect sound. It’s been a breakneck couple of weeks for Pedro Bromfman (pictured). He received a script only a few weeks earlier and has been composing melodies and songs for an upcoming film. It’s a career that suits him well. He grew up playing music in his home country of Brazil, and plays piano and just about every string instrument.
Once his new arrangements are finished, they’ll be recorded by a full orchestra and then incorporated into his latest film project. It’s a perfect career for Bromfman, complementing his lifelong passion for music.
“I write on piano, but I’m not a great piano player,” says Bromfman, who sits among the field in the Gardens Poker Championship on Day 1A. “I compose the music, and if it’s an orchestral score, then we go and hopefully replace it with a real orchestra. We record either here [in the U.S.] or in Europe.”
Bromfman’s resumé includes films like Robocop (2014) as well television series like Netflix’s popular Narcos and The Panama Papers documentary for Epix. He’s also scored the Elite Squad films, some of the biggest box office successes in Brazil.
What is his composing process like? It can vary widely depending on the project.
“Usually I get a first cut,” he says. “If it’s a TV show, the show runner will probably interview a bunch of composers and decide who the right guy is for the gig. And then they’ll bring me in. TV is fast paced, so usually they’ll have a rough edit. We meet and spot the episode, which is seeing what scenes need music and what we need to accomplish with the music.
“Then I go home and I write the music. A lot of times I’m writing themes or coming up with first ideas while they’re still shooting. Hopefully they hire me early enough where I can start creating the music and see if the producers like it, and narrowing it down from early on.”
Other projects can be more challenging. A producer may call requesting a score in three weeks for a film that is being released in two months – with faster pace required to meet the demand.
Bromfman grew up in Rio de Janeiro, but moved to the U.S. over 24 years ago to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. After graduation he headed to the West Coast and has now lived in the L.A. area for 20 years. The award-winning producer/composer got his start with commercials and trailers before branching out to feature-length films and television shows.
Video games are also now a major source for his work and he scored the new Need for Speed Heat game. The score for Narcos was mostly his playing with a few percussion players he brought in to add to his sounds.
Now married with two children, Bromfman is now working on becoming a U.S. citizen. Along with music, poker has become a passion for Bromfman in recent years. The 43-year-old has $114,253 in live tournament winnings and began playing just before the Moneymaker boom. No Limit Hold’em was his game of choice in those early days, but he now mostly plays mixed games.
Last summer Bromfman took sixth at the World Series of Poker in the $10,000 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship for $41,897. In the four tournaments he played last year, Bromfman made two final tables.
“I’ve been into music my whole life,” he says. “It is a passion and I love it, and now my passion, my hobby, where I take my mind away from music – is poker.”
With that in mind and music always on his mind for much of his day, does Bromfman ever put on headphones while playing?
He says: “Maybe audiobooks, that’s about it.”
Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and his work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.