An interview series with leading Motion Picture & Television Industry Composers 
Film & Television Composers score music to accompany a motion picture for film or television. This could include dramatic underscore as well as popular songwriting. The traditional role of a film composer is to provide the orchestral dramatic underscore, and only more recently has the popular soundtrack begun to stand on its own.
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Pictured (Under): "The Wrecking Crew"

Alf Clausen | Composer *

Alf Clausen: The Simpsons' Secret Weapon

What would a normal "Simpsons" work schedule be like for you?

quote-leftWhen we're on a week-to-week schedule, what I will normally do is spot an episode on Friday afternoon. The music editor will prepare my timing notes on Saturday and Sunday and then I'll start writing, usually Monday morning if it's a "normal" episode of "30 cues or less." If it's more than that, I'll sometimes start on Sunday to get a jump on things and then I'll put in probably four long days—Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday—of maybe nine in the morning until 11:30 or midnight every day. And then we spot the next week's episode Friday afternoon again and I'll record the cues that I've composed during the past week on Friday night starting at seven. We usually have anywhere from a three to a three-and-a-half hour recording session to do those 30 cues. Every week is different on "The Simpsons" as you know. It really is dependent on whether it's straight underscore type of recording that I have to do or if I have to record vocals—if I have to do orchestral sweeteners of songs that I've written in the past. So, it's never a dull moment.

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 18:02
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Brian Tyler | Composer

Brian Tyler - On "Constantine"

How did you first get involved with Constantine?

quote-leftOriginally I was called in to meet with Francis Lawrence (the director) and editor. Apparently Frailty had been used to temp a few key scenes in the rough cut, and the director found it really interesting. He was new to the world of film scores, but he knew what he liked when he heard it, so we met and he showed me the film. At the time I saw it, it was a bit longer, but it still felt tight and it really knocked me out. So I gave him my vision about what I thought the score would be - something that emphasized the reality of the world, very dark, and makes the audience feel uncomfortable. That was the approach in the beginning - we took a "darker is better" direction on the score. It was still thematic, but very low-register, brooding - and unapologetic in the way that there was no "winking" with the audience. Even though the film is based on the graphic novel Hellblazer, it's not a "comic" in a "comical" way. I think that people tend to mistake the two - "comic" doesn't mean "comedic"! And that's where the road forked. Initially we wanted to emphasize the "Hell" in Hellblazer - it's a story about a guy who has only a few months left to live, because he's dying from cancer, and he's battling the devil, and trying to save a girl from Hell. Hellboy is an example of something that's a bit more tongue-in-cheek, and our film was dark and gritty - it was shot that way, too.

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 17:06
John Altman | Composer

All's Welles, that Ends Welles An interview with John Altman

How did you get involved with RKO 281?

I had just done Vendetta for HBO, which is about the worst mob lynching in American history. It's a really interesting story that takes place in New Orleans in the 1890's, and it didn't involve blacks, which surprised me. I had also worked with (RKO producer) Ridley Scott a lot on commercials - I have done virtually all of his big commercials over the past few years. Additionally, I do a lot of 1940s style big band stuff, so my name was coming from five different directions, and it just gelled. I came aboard at the script stage, since there was a lot of music that needed to be pre-recorded - the radio music, newsreel music, and of course the Bernard Herrmann stuff.

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 07:02
John Corigliano | Composer

Mastering The Red Violin - Interview with John Corigliano

The Red Violin was only the third film score you've written - you are primarily a concert composer. What drew you to this particular film?

"I had a disappointing experience on Revolution. It wasn't Hugh Hudson's fault; but neither the production nor the music came out the way I thought it would, and the film wasn't a success. I'd still had many offers, but I was just going to leave the film music scene and not come back until Peter Gelb from Sony came to me with the script for The Red Violin.

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 04:58