The History and Future of Hollywood Film Music - Highlights form the event with Michael Giacchino and Randy Newman

If you've seen a Pixar movie (of course you have) then you've experienced the musical compositions of Randy Newman (Toy Story 1-3, A Bugs Life, Cars, Monsters, Inc.) or Michael Giacchino (The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up, Cars 2).


Of course there have been more composers for Pixar films that just Randy and Michael, but these two gentlemen, in addition to David Newman and Trevor Rabin are the panel of experts who are fielding questions about their careers and the history and future of hollywood film music (as presented by 89.3 KPCC radio).


Below is a summary of the responses of Randy and Michael's comments - I hope you find them useful to get a little more insight into the movie making process of Pixar films.

  • Michael mentioned that when composers get the animated storyboards or the first cut of the movie, they have a temp track associated with them. The temp track is a temporary track of music that the director and editor have attached to the scenes - this music is music from other movies that have already been released. The director/editor do this to try and test the scene when a base level of music to see if the scene is feeling like it works like they intend. Michael noted that he works very closely with directors and they often tell him to turn off the temp track and create what he feels, but there are times where they will say, "listen to this moment - that's the feeling we're very specifically trying to get here".
  • The panel all mentioned that they get involved with the film process quite early. Michael mentioned that he wants to get involved with the movie as early as possible and will sometimes go to the production set (or screening room) to get the early feel.  In true, quirky, somewhat dark fashion, Randy Newman mentioned that he would never go to a movie set even if it was in his back yard - he will wait until the first cut is done.
  • They talked about the current trend of rock musicians pairing up with a composer to score a movie (after Trent Reznor scored The Social Network soundtrack). They said it's took early to get a real feel if this will stay or if it is a passing trend, but Randy noted that it's a big talking point in the industry right now. He compared it to how rock musicians always banter about what is "real rock", the classical and movie composers are also asking who are "true composers". He thinks it's a bunch of snobbery and it will take time to see how the industry moves on this.
  • Michael went out of his way to praise the live musicians that he works with. He noted that he uses the same full team of musicians on all of the live recordings he does - he feels this gives him a more family feel for his compositions and allows for more emotion to come out while they're recording.
  • The panel all agreed that you have to "feel" the scene in order to compose music that contains emotion behind it. Michael mentioned that he was really connected with the opening scene in Up and said that he cried when he was solely viewing the storyboards because he was thinking to himself, "oh my gosh, this is something we're all going to have to go through".
In my opinion, Michael was a complete class-act at the event and definitely seemed the most upbeat of the four panelists. He provided the most insight into composing for film and presented his information in a professional manner.

Pixar Post - T.J.

COMMENTS

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A Bug's Life,3,Aaron Hartline,2,Adrian Molina,3,Alan Barillaro,8,Albert Lozano,1,Alex Mandel,1,Andrea Warren,2,Andrew Gordon,3,Andrew Stanton,49,Angelique Reisch,3,Angus MacLane,32,App Review,6,Art,33,Art of Animation Resort,5,Artists Help Japan,8,Austin Madison,4,Awards,52,Beth Sullivan,1,Bing Bong,2,Blu-Ray,42,Bob Peterson,17,Bob Whitehill,2,Bobby Podesta,1,Book Review,43,Brad Bird,14,Brave,142,BREAKING News,35,Brian Fee,5,Buzz Lightyear,10,Car Toons,2,Cars,63,Cars 2,17,Cars 3,16,Cars Land,34,Cars Toons,11,Chris Chua,1,Chris Sasaki,1,Christine Freeman,1,Coco,17,Contest,11,Craig Foster,1,Custom Pixar Gear,6,D23,23,Dan Scanlon,67,Daniel Arriaga,2,Danielle Feinberg,4,Darla Anderson,4,Dave Mullins,1,Deleted Scene,2,Denise Ream,5,Dia de los Muertos,7,Dice Tsutsumi,7,Die Cast Cars,21,Director's Commentary,9,Disney California Adventure,25,Disney Cruise,3,Disney Infinity,43,Disney Infinity 2.0,6,Disney Infinity 3.0,15,Disney Infinity Next,1,Disney Interactive,1,Disney Movies Anywhere,4,Disney World,24,Disneyland,18,Disneyland Paris,8,Easter Eggs,32,Ed Catmull,26,Enrico Casarosa,20,Erik Smitt,1,Everett Downing,1,Exclusive,11,Fan Art,30,Finding Dory,92,Finding Nemo,23,Forum,3,Fun Facts,4,Galyn Susman,6,Giveaway,3,Google Hangout,2,Hawaiian Vacation,2,Hidden Items,2,Imagineering,3,Inside Out,147,Interview,25,James Ford Murphy,12,Jamie Roe,1,Jason Deamer,1,Jason Johnston,2,Jay Ward,5,Jeff Danna,2,Jerome Ranft,1,Jim Capobianco,3,Jim Morris,3,John Lasseter,57,Jon Reisch,1,Jonas Rivera,25,Jonathan Pytko,2,Josh Cooley,18,Juliet Roth,1,Kelsey Mann,12,Kevin O'Hara,1,Knick Knack,2,Kori Rae,13,La Luna,18,Laura Meyer,2,Lava,18,Lee Unkrich,23,Lighting McQueen,8,Lindsey Collins,6,Lou,1,Luxo Jr.,2,Mahyar Abousaeedi,1,Marc Greenberg,1,Marc Sondheimer,1,Mark Andrews,36,Mark Walsh,34,Matt Jones,3,Matthew Luhn,2,Merida,13,Michael B. Johnson,2,Michael Blackmon,1,Michael Giacchino,16,Michal Makarewicz,6,Mike Venturini,1,Monsters Inc,40,Monsters University,173,Motorama,2,Movie Review,12,Mychael Danna,4,Newt,1,Party Central,11,Partysaurus Rex,45,Patrick Lin,2,Paul Abadilla,7,Pete Docter,98,Peter Sohn,32,Piper,10,Pixar Animation Studios,79,Pixar Archives,2,Pixar Canada,14,Pixar Concept Art,29,Pixar In A Box,1,Pixar Minute,4,Pixar Pipeline Project,8,Pixar Post Book Club,12,Pixar Post Record,1,Pixar Shorts,104,Pixar Studio Story,2,Pixar Toys,41,Pizza Planet Truck,1,Podcast,52,Presto,1,Products,174,Products - A Bug's Life,6,Products - Brave,29,Products - Cars,20,Products - Cars 2,7,Products - Finding Dory,9,Products - Finding Nemo,5,Products - Inside Out,14,Products - Monsters Inc,15,Products - Monsters University,22,Products - Ratatouille,6,Products - Shorts & TV Specials,45,Products - The Good Dinosaur,7,Products - The Incredibles,7,Products - Toy Story,19,Products - Toy Story 2,5,Products - Toy Story 3,3,Products - Up,7,Products - WALL-E,7,Radiator Springs,7,Ralph Eggleston,5,Randy Newman,4,Ratatouille,20,RenderMan,4,Review,13,Ricky Nierva,4,Riley's First Date,5,Rob Thompson,1,Robert Kondo,5,Ronnie Del Carmen,6,Sandra Karpman,1,Sanjay Patel,12,Sanjay's Super Team,17,Saschka Unseld,30,Sharon Calahan,4,Shawn Krause,1,Small Fry,3,Soundtrack,36,Steve Jobs,5,Steve Purcell,18,Store - Amazon,42,Store - App Store,9,Store - Best Buy,1,Store - Disney Store,25,Store - eBay,5,Store - Hallmark,1,Store - iTunes,41,Store - Target,9,Store - Toys R Us,1,Tales From Radiator Springs,4,Teddy Newton,2,The Blue Umbrella,39,The Good Dinosaur,93,The Incredibles,15,The Incredibles 2,13,Thomas Newman,3,To Protect and Serve,4,Tony DeRose,1,Tony Fucile,1,Toy Review,18,Toy Story,76,Toy Story 3,2,Toy Story 4,21,Toy Story of Terror,37,Toy Story That Time Forgot,24,Trailer,84,Type - Books,6,Type - Clothing,2,Type - Collectibles,17,Type - Holiday,2,Type - Pins,1,Type - Plush,6,Type - Toys,15,UP,13,VanArts,5,Victor Navone,1,Video Games,44,Vinylmation,9,Wall-e,17,
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Pixar Post: The History and Future of Hollywood Film Music - Highlights form the event with Michael Giacchino and Randy Newman
The History and Future of Hollywood Film Music - Highlights form the event with Michael Giacchino and Randy Newman
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