Paul Hertzog is an American film composer. In his brief career in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Hertzog composed the soundtracks for two Jean-Claude Van Damme movies, Kickboxer and Bloodsport. Currently, Hertzog works as a teacher at Hart High School in Santa Clarita, California, where he teaches English and Music Theory.
"I think fans of film music seem to think that it’s easy for composers to get work or that composers even get to choose which films they want to do. Well, maybe John Williams gets to choose. My career stopped because no one would hire me. I did a demo for a film not long after Breathing Fire, a film that the director wanted to choose a composer for before filming. He got demos from all sorts of composers around town, and he chose me. Then the financing for the film fell through, and the film never got made. Then the phone stopped ringing altogether. At one point I was about a month away from seriously having to consider bankruptcy. Fortunately some large royalty payments from Bloodsport and Kickboxer came through in the nick of time, but I had had enough.
I went back to school, qualified as a high school teacher, and got a job. Teaching is not easy, but the pay is steady, and I’ve been good at it. I’m in my 18th year now, and I teach English and Music Theory.
And no, the phone didn’t start ringing again. It rang once, about two years into teaching. One of the producers from Street Justice called me and asked if I wanted to score a low budget film he was working on. Well, I couldn’t. I was now married with a daughter. I needed the health insurance and the steady paycheck. One low budget film was simply not enough to make me consider stepping out onto the wild blue edge again."