Michael Kamen talks The Iron Giant (1999)


Credit to Warner Bros.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

At the close of the old century, Warner Bros. Studio released The Iron Giant. The feature starred Eli Marienthal as Hogarth Hughes, Christopher McDonald as Agent Kent Mansley, Harry Connick Jr. as Dean, Jennifer Aniston as Hogarth’s mother and Vin Diesel (yes, THAT Vin Diesel) as the voice of the Giant. This film marked the directorial debut of Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol).

The composer, Michael Kamen, was initially given a temp score of science-fiction music composed by Bernard Herrmann, but the music “scared him completely.” As a result, Kamen traveled to Prague for inspiration and eventually found it listening to the Czech Philharmonic.


Rather unusually, Kamen not only recorded the score over a single week (as opposed to a month), it was also recorded without synchronizing the music to the picture. By that I mean, Kamen did not have a visual of the film present during the recording process (very unusual). Kamen visualized the score as something that could be recorded and listened to as a single piece of concert music.

The score went on to win an Annie Award for Music in an Animated Feature Production on November 6th, 1999.

The interview is broken into three parts (hence the three links) and I hope you enjoy Kamen’s talk about creating the score for this adorable film.

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See also:

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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