Ashton Gleckman is an nineteen-year-old filmmaker and composer from Carmel, Indiana, USA. He is the founder of the Indianapolis-based production company, Blackbird Pictures.
An accomplished musician, Ashton began his musical career at age six. Since then, he has had a number of achievements in the audiovisual arts. To date, he has released a feature-length documentary film, three albums, written and directed five short films, composed scores for a number of productions, and has also produced over thirty hours of online video tutorial content. Ashton released his debut solo album ‘Fragments’ on November 6th, 2018, and his second album ‘Discovery’ on March 19th, 2019. Between 2017 and 2019, Ashton hosted the series “Behind the Score” in which he examined and deconstructed various film scores. The series explored the elements that make up a film score, including the themes, harmony, orchestration, process of the composer on the given project, and more. Each episode also featured a suite of music from the film arranged and recreated by Ashton. In addition, Ashton co-founded the Global Composers Network. With over 5,000 international members, it is one of the most prominent online communities for composers. Through the GCN, Ashton has conducted interviews with composers such as Oscar-nominated composer Marco Beltrami, Grammy-nominated composer Benjamin Wallfisch, Dominic Lewis, The Newton Brothers, Charlie Clouser, and more.
Before cultivating his interest in filmmaking and composition, Ashton had a rock n’ roll calendar that featured frequent gigs with three different bands, participation in music camps, and performances for children’s non-profit organizations. Ashton was the lead guitarist and vocalist in the Rising Gravity Experience, who recorded their debut EP in Nashville at the Dark Horse Institute when Ashton was only 13 years old.
At the age of 14, Ashton set his sights on the world of film scoring and music composition, exploring both classical and modern methods. Instructors have included JJay Berthume, a successful video game composer and YouTube personality, and Dr. Michael Schelle of Butler University, who has had his music preformed all around the world. Ashton has also studied the craft of classical and baroque composition with Sim Christian Nilsen of Oslo, Norway.
In 2018, Ashton’s work was discovered by Hans Zimmer. Ashton has worked for Zimmer’s companies Remote Control Productions and Bleeding Fingers Music, and in 2019, continues to compose independently.
In 2016, Ashton began to work with cinematographer Alex Raaen and co-writer/producer Samantha Maynard. Ashton has directed five shorts, including the multi-award winning film The Soldier, a drama created for Memorial Day. The Soldier took home four awards including Best Young Filmmaker at the Los Angeles Film Awards. Other films include Immolation, which was nominated in the LA One Reelers Short Film Festival; Purge: 2024, based on the franchise from James DeMonaco; and the dark thriller Eldritch, which was shot in the famous Central State Hospital in Indianapolis. Ashton also wrote and directed a documentary film about the music of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which was released in March 2019.
In March 2019, it was also announced that Ashton was directing a feature length Holocaust documentary film titled “We Shall Not Die Now.” Ashton filmed over twenty-five interviews throughout the US, UK, and Poland. In addition to directing and shooting the film, Ashton also edited and co-scored the film alongside Grammy-nominated composer, Benjamin Wallfisch, and Austria-based composer, Michael Frankenberger. The film premiered at the 28th Heartland International Film Festival on October 12th and won the audience choice award for the Indiana Spotlight category.