Gunnar Madsen | MCMGM

Film, TV & Theater 2021

The Theatre – In college, Gunnar was the musical director and composer for Epic West (Brechtian Theatre) and the California Shakespeare Festival.  This taste of the stage led to work at companies around the U.S.  It also led to TV and film…

Television – With The Bobs, he appeared on The Tonight Show (w/Johnny Carson), The Smothers Brothers Show, PBS’ Lonesome Pine Special (2 episodes), BBC1, RAI 1 and 3, and a thousand and one “Good Morning [Your Town Here]” shows.

The Cinema – His work in front of and behind the camera has helped keep his bank account full and his health insurance covered.  Click on the titles below for amusing behind-the-scenes anecdotes…


The original ending was a huge musical production number (featuring Me!) with hundreds of extras. You’ll find that, and a bunch of me producing and singing in the recording studio, on the DVD extras. Ms. Aniston thought my name was “Gutter” – it made her laugh.

After auditioning every Sammy Davis Jr. impersonator in the U.S., the movie company called me. It’s not like I grew up hoping to sing Sammy, but I loved the challenge. I took a ton of vocal coaching and ended up providing the singing for Don Cheadle’s portrayal.

Gunnar Sings Sammy


The actors hired to play the indigenous people did not know their ancestor’s songs (they were all from the city), so the ethnomusicologist Marlui Miranda came to the U.S. to re-create the tribal musics for the film in post. I did some thrilling duets with her, and helped gather voices for the bigger tribal choruses. I can’t tell you what we were singing about, we learned the words phonetically 🙂

Richard Bob and I wrote songs for this, and I was supposed to come coach the singers on location. The director had given me his pager number so I could find the location, but I’d never used a pager. I called over and over, wondering why no one ever answered. When I arrived, the director was in a bad mood, complaining about some idiot that had been buzzing his pager all morning…

The music supervisor for Sex and the City was browsing in Tower Records in New York when he heard them playing “Spinning World”. I got a call from HBO, and they licensed 4 cuts for use in the show’s 2nd season. Lady luck…

No big story here. The music supervisor who licensed my music Sex and the City did the same for this film, and I get a steady trickle of royalties from around the world. More, I say, more!

For 5 years at the turn of the millennium, my brother was helping to run a farm for disabled people outside St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2000 I journeyed there and shot 30 hours of footage, and then spent the next several months making a movie from it. It played at the Ojai Int. Film Fest, and at the Fine Arts Theatre in Berkeley for a one-week run.


Here is the full Svetalana Village video:

And here’s a link to all animations by Gunnar Madsen: