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|The Bungie Employee featured in this article is a Grizzled Ancient.|
“All the rumors about him are true, including the one about the jelly.”
~ Anelf3 on Marty O' Donnell
“At times he's pulling out, uh... you know, Enya... Oh no, I didn't say that!”
~ Jay Weinland (Man Behind the Man) on Marty O' Donnell
“Yes, I suck at Halo...but I'm rich!”
~ Marty_O'Donnell on himself
Born: May 1, 1955 - West Chester, Pennsylvania
Marty O'Donnell (who enjoys calling himself "The Maestro") is the Audio Director at Bungie Studios. He worked the music for Myth, Oni, and Halo. His recording studio at Bungie Towers is affectionately known as The Ivory Tower (not to be confused with the Halo 2 map, Ivory Tower).
Nickname: Marty the Elder, Lance
Classification: Grizzled Ancients
Current Job: Audio Director, Bungie Studios
Origin: Vienna, Austria
Hair: Flaxen, waxen
Talent: Beyond years
First Job: Outdoor Department Manager, Abercrombie and Fitch
Hobby: Etch-a-Sketch Master.
Ultimate Halo Match: Sidewinder, Two Player Lan only, Snipers
Ultimate Snack: White Cheddar Cheez-Its
Ultimate Website: www.TotalAudio.com
Mode of Transport: Friday night wine & cheese at the O'Donnell's featuring Bungie Iron Chef
Fake Weapon: Jenga Death-Ray
One of only three people still at Bungie to have done solid work on titles as far back as Myth: The Fallen Lords, Marty O'Donnell has composed music, directed voice talent, created sound design, and wowed artists with Etch-a-Sketch skills. Obviously the oldest and wisest member of the Bungie team, Marty also has the most stable family life, celebrating 30 years of wedded bliss to his long-suffering wife Marcie, and fathering two wonderful children (now adult size) Alison, and Christine. Little known factoid, both daughters are part of the singing children's choir for the Flintstones Vitamins commercials, which Marty wrote.
O'Donnell began working in television/film. In his early career, O'Donnell wrote the jingles for Mr. Clean and Flintstones Vitamins, and owns the rights to the melodies. According to O'Donnell, after fifteen years of doing TV and radio commercials, he decided he wanted to do game soundtracks.
The composer's first foray into game-related work was working as a sound designer for the video game Riven, the sequel to Myst. His company, TotalAudio, also produced the music for Bungie Studios' Myth: The Fallen Lords in the same year. TotalAudio later composed the music for Valkyrie Studio's Septerra Core, Legacy of the Creator; O'Donnell met Steve Downes while working on the game, and the composer would later recommend the voice actor to Bungie for the role of the Master Chief.
Soon after producing the music for Myth II, Bungie contracted O'Donnell for several of Bungie's other projects, including Oni and Halo: Combat Evolved (which at the time was code-named Blam!) In 1999, Bungie wanted to re-negotiate the contracts for Oni, and the negotiations resulted in O'Donnell joining the Bungie team, only ten days before the company was bought by Microsoft; he is one of only a handful of Bungie employees who remain working at the company since then. While O'Donnell worked at Bungie, Michael Salvatori handled the business side of TotalAudio. After producing the music for Oni, O'Donnell was tasked with composing the music for Bungie's next project, which would be unveiled at E3 2000. After talking with Joseph Staten, O'Donnell decided the music needed to be "big, exciting, and unusual with a classical orchestra touch to give it some weight and stature. We also wanted it to have some sort of 'ancient' feel to it." The music was recorded and sent to New York the same night the piece was finished; the resulting music became the basis for the Halo series' "highly recognizable" signature sound.
The music for Halo 3 contained refinements and revisions to previous themes heard in the series, as O'Donnell stressed the importance of using previous motifs in the final installment of the trilogy. O'Donnell also introduced a distinctive piano theme which had never been heard before, and first made its appearance in the Halo 3 announcement teaser. In an interview, O'Donnell stated that he has always approached music from the keyboard, and that at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (where the trailer would first be shown) he had a feeling that "no [other announcement] would start with a piano." In addition to composition, O'Donnell has also arranged his work; a special arrangement was used for a Halo 3 segment of Video Games Live in London, England, after which O'Donnell appeared.
O'Donnell described his upbringing as "typical"; he received piano lessons and wanted to start a rock band when he reached junior high school. he liked to play and do crazy things. Despite his interest in progressive and fusion rock, O'Donnell studied the classical component of music and composition and received his Masters of Music Degree in composition with honors from the University of Southern California in the early 1980s. He has been married for 30 years to his wife, Marcie, and has two daughters, Alison and Christine. His children were part of a singing choir for the Flintstones Chewable Vitamins commercials, which O'Donnell wrote. O'Donnell is a self-described political conservative, and his fellow co-workers at Bungie described him as the most right-leaning employee at the company.
- Marty O' Donnell is the leader of the group; The Marty Army.
- Both of his daughters are part of the singing children's choir for the Flintstones Vitamin commercial which Marty wrote.
- Marty has a constant desire to slap Anelf3.
- He was born on May 1st 1955 and is 58 years old.
- His favorite movie is Ben-Hur.
- He drives an electric blue Acura TLS.
- He is the oldest member of Bungie.
- He has a Bachelor's Degree of Music in composition from the Wheaton Conservatory of Music.
- He has a Master's Degree of Music in composition from the University of Southern California.
- He was the arch enemy of Frank O'Connor.
- His father is Bob O'Donnell, who voiced a prophet for a brief moment in the opening cutscene of Halo 2, Dr.Kerr in Oni, and the Surley Dwarf in Myth.
- Marty and Joseph Staten, on one of their many trips to LA for dialog recording, went to the theater to see 28 Days Later which inspired them later, while sharing a hotel room, to start discussing the idea of a Halo movie. However, the discussion quickly ended when the night was soured by something that shall forever be known as "The Spectravision Incident."