GRANADA - Shortly after Dann Saxton graduated from Granada-Huntley-East Chain High School in 1999, he headed to California to become an actor and musician.
Now, along with managing a famous Los Angeles nightclub, he is part of a music-writing team that is becoming the go-to group for Hollywood movie and television productions.
Currently, Saxton and his song-writing partner Barry Pointer have a song featured in the hit movie "Godzilla."
Former Granada resident Dann Saxton, right, and his song-writing partner Barry Pointer attended the Godzilla movie premiere. The duo wrote and recorded a song featured in the blockbuster.
"I uploaded a picture of our names in the credits to my Facebook account," Saxton said. "It's the scene where Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad is in his apartment in Tokyo, and his son has come to bring him back to the States. Our song is on the radio in the background."
This new adventure for Saxton comes after having his own band, Kill The Complex, and writing his own music. But in recent years, Saxton has opened himself to doing more work with others.
"I'm realizing it's OK to collaborate with and write for other artists. It used to be more about my music, my band."
But how he ended up on the Godzilla soundtrack began with Sunday night bowling.
"There's a club right next to the Dolby theater, where the Oscars are held," Saxton said. "They have bowling there, and the club workers said they were always slow on Sundays. I told them that if they could give me and my friends free bowling, then we would make up for it in drinks. So I started rounding up people, and about 50 to 70 people come out every Sunday night and it turned into an industry night ... The general manager of this place said he wanted to meet with me, and he knew I managed the Roxy. That manager was Barry. So from there, we started making more plans and became friends ... He also works for a company called Bridge Compositions, which is one of the go-to places for music in Hollywood. They write and record whatever the client wants. They've done the theme for the Ellen Show and the Kris Jenner show, and several others."
As it turned out, they needed another rock artist, and when Saxton gave them a CD of his band, he was in.
"Five hours later, I got a call and they were wanting us to write a song for the Godzilla soundtrack," Saxton recalled. "It was a Saturday, and the deadline was at 1 p.m. Monday. Barry wrote the music; I wrote the lyrics and harmony in about an hour and a half, mixed it ... Then it went on up the ladder all the way up to the director, they all loved it. Finally, it was the family and friends viewing, and we were told, 'If it gets through this, then it's in.' Two weeks went by ... And then we learned we made it."
Since then, Saxton's song-writing team - now named LikeWize - has taken on even more projects, such as creating music for Playboy's online content.
"That's pretty much every dude's dream there," Saxton said with a laugh. "What's better than being the music guy for Playboy? Everything I've sent to them, they've used."
Saxton is proving that in Hollywood, it's who you know.
"In these situations, I've found opportunity," he said. "I've gone from wanting to be an actor and musician to doing whatever comes my way. I'm like a jack of all trades."
But he still remembers where he came from.
"It's tough because my parents moved to Rochester shortly after I left," he said. "When I come back, I still drive by my old house and wonder what it's like now. And I always visit my grandma in Fairmont."