Tag Archives: Michael Giacchino

Michael Giacchino scoring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, was a first in several ways for Star Wars. Not only was it the first anthology film, telling the story of how the Death Star plans were stolen by the Rebel Alliance, but it was also the first Star Wars film to be scored by someone other than John Williams. Instead, scoring duties went to Michael Giacchino (after Alexandre Desplat had to pull out), which had me excited but very nervous. While I’m a big fan of Giacchino’s work, the music of Star Wars has always had a special place in my heart and I was very nervous that the soundtrack wouldn’t live up to the high bar set by John Williams in the past.

 

I shouldn’t have worried because, as the scoring session linked above shows, quite a bit of care went into putting the score for Rogue One together. Giacchino was careful (for the most part) to interweave Williams’ famous music with his own creations, creating a sound that is definitely Star Wars, but also new. I’ve always enjoyed watching videos of scoring sessions, I have a goal that someday I’ll be able to watch one (or at least part of one) in person. I hope you enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at the scoring of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Let me know what you think about Rogue One in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Michael Giacchino talks The Incredibles (2004)

Michael Giacchino talks Mission: Impossible 3 (2006)

Michael Giacchino talks Ratatouille (2007)

Michael Giacchino talks Up (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Super 8 (2011)

Michael Giacchino talks John Carter (2012)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

Michael Giacchino talks Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World (2015)

Michael Giacchino talks Zootopia (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

I’ve been suffering from franchise fatigue as of late, which is why I didn’t go see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom when it came to theaters in the summer of 2018. However, I have heard good things about Michael Giacchino’s score for this film (he’s one of my favorite film composers since he is almost incapable of composing a bad film score). In looking through the behind-the-scenes videos linked at the top of this post, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Giacchino took inspiration from the scores that Bernard Herrmann wrote for several Ray Harryhausen films (among them Jason and the Argonauts and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad). Given that those are some of my favorite film scores, I almost feel bad that I didn’t give this film a chance.

Behind the scenes of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Part 1

Behind the scenes of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Part 2

Behind the scenes of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Part 3

Michael Giacchino also discusses how he pushed the envelope in how little he could get away with musically. The best film composers can do a lot with minimal music and Giacchino is good at drawing you in with a series of low, minimal notes before suddenly BOOM! the music explodes and you’re literally jumping in your seat. While I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about the Jurassic World franchise as a whole, I do think they made the right choice in picking Michael Giacchino as the composer. His scores retain the sense of wonder (and extreme danger) that John Williams established with the original Jurassic Park film. I hope you enjoy watching these behind-the-scenes videos looking at the score of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Let me know what you think about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Michael Giacchino talks The Incredibles (2004)

Michael Giacchino talks Mission: Impossible 3 (2006)

Michael Giacchino talks Ratatouille (2007)

Michael Giacchino talks Up (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Super 8 (2011)

Michael Giacchino talks John Carter (2012)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

Michael Giacchino talks Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World (2015)

Michael Giacchino scoring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Zootopia (2016)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Michael Giacchino talks John Carter (2012)

Few Disney films have flopped harder in the last decade than John Carter, an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burrough’s Barsoom novel A Princess of Mars. The film follows the titular character, a Civil War veteran, as he finds himself flung to the dying planet of Barsoom (Mars) and the conflicts taking place therein. The film was meant to be the first of a trilogy, but when John Carter bombed at the box office (costing Disney $200 million in the process), all future sequels were cancelled.

The score for John Carter was composed by Michael Giacchino, who routinely turns in good work, including for this film. While many aspects of the film were criticized, Giacchino’s score was praised for sounding “fresh and adventurous.” In this interview (I apologize for the audio cutting in and out), Giacchino discusses a few details of how the score came together, including the director’s desire to express emotions through the music and which characters should get their own themes. I’d really hoped to find some scoring sessions from this score, and if I ever find some I’ll make sure to attach the links, because it sounds like some good music.

I hope you enjoyed this short interview about the music of John Carter. Let me know what you think about John Carter in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Michael Giacchino talks The Incredibles (2004)

Michael Giacchino talks Mission: Impossible 3 (2006)

Michael Giacchino talks Ratatouille (2007)

Michael Giacchino talks Up (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Super 8 (2011)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

Michael Giacchino talks Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World (2015)

Michael Giacchino scoring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Zootopia (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Michael Giacchino talks Super 8 (2011)

Michael Giacchino talks Super 8 (2011)

What do you get when J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg collaborate together on a film? In the case of Super 8, we got a science-fiction thriller film about a strange alien invading a town in Ohio while a group of kids are shooting a movie on Super 8 film. The film did well (despite some comparisons to E.T.), though I didn’t watch it myself (I was distracted by graduating from college at the time). As with all J.J. Abrams films (except for The Force Awakens), the score was composed by Michael Giacchino, who talks with us in the behind-the-scenes clip for the making of the score of Super 8.

What’s cool about this clip is that we get to hear Giacchino talking about his memories of shooting home movies on Super 8 film back in the day, and we even get to see a few clips from said films.

It’s always great to listen to Michael Giacchino discussing his work, and I hope you enjoy his talk about Super 8.

I know this is shorter than what I usually do, but I’m still recovering from a really busy weekend and I really wanted to give you something to enjoy until tomorrow 🙂

And speaking of…Disturbing Disney returns tomorrow with my first entry from Bambi (1942), a film that pioneered the “horrifying death of a parent” decades before The Lion King ripped our hearts out with the death of Mufasa.

Also, I wanted to share that Film Music Central has gained 2,000+ hits in a month for the first time ever and I wanted to say thank you to everyone who comes to visit the blog, this is a milestone I’ve been hoping to hit for a long time 🙂

See also:

Michael Giacchino talks The Incredibles (2004)

Michael Giacchino talks Mission: Impossible 3 (2006)

Michael Giacchino talks Ratatouille (2007)

Michael Giacchino talks Up (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks John Carter (2012)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

Michael Giacchino talks Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World (2015)

Michael Giacchino scoring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Zootopia (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

You can become a patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Michael Giacchino talks Zootopia (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Zootopia (2016)

While I am still profoundly irked that Zootopia beat out Kubo and the Two Strings for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, I cannot deny that the film has a pretty good musical score. Composed by the talented Michael Giacchino, the music of Zootopia features a world-music vibe to cover the vast array of species (and ways of life) highlighted in the story.

 

If you haven’t seen Zootopia, the film follows bunny Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) as she becomes the first rabbit on the Zootopia police force, in a city where (in theory) any animal can become anything they want to be, regardless of whether they are considered “hunter” or “prey” species. This notion is tested when Judy is put on a (seemingly hopeless) case that she must solve in a very short time or lose her job, and to complicate matters, she must work with Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), a fox with a history of being a con-artist.

In this behind the scenes clip, Giacchino takes us to the recording studio and introduces five percussionists who helped create Zootopia’s unique sound.

ZOOTOPIA

While the main orchestra is best recognized in any film score, often the percussion is overlooked (or worse, lost in the sound mix), so it’s great to see not only how they used percussion instruments in the score, but also how the percussion ties everything together at key moments.

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My thanks to Michael Giacchino for giving us this inside look into part of the scoring process for Zootopia, which really is a great film despite my grumblings. I hope you enjoy the video and if you haven’t tried Zootopia before, please take a chance and check it out 🙂

See also:

Michael Giacchino talks The Incredibles (2004)

Michael Giacchino talks Mission: Impossible 3 (2006)

Michael Giacchino talks Ratatouille (2007)

Michael Giacchino talks Up (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Super 8 (2011)

Michael Giacchino talks John Carter (2012)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

Michael Giacchino talks Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World (2015)

Michael Giacchino scoring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

You can become a patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

“Jyn Erso and Hope” from Rogue One, my thoughts…

I can’t believe it’s been nearly two months since I saw Rogue One. Since then, I have been turning over portions of the score in my mind, particularly “Jyn Erso and Hope”, the main theme for our badass heroine.

From the moment I first heard it, something wiggled in the back of my mind and said “I’ve heard something like this before.” But for the longest time I couldn’t think of what that something was.

Then I went back and listened again, and finally it dawned on me: I know EXACTLY where I’ve heard this melody before (granted it wasn’t the exact same, but the core is still intact).

“Jyn Erso and Hope” is, to put it simply, a variation on “Across the Stars”, the love theme for Padme and Anakin from Episode II/III. Here, let the music speak for itself:

Here is “Jyn Erso and Hope”

and here is “Across the Stars”

To my ears, it sounds like Giacchino took components from “Across the Stars” and rearranged a few notes. But if enough of a similarity remains, the mind will remember and try to supply the missing parts (that’s how I knew I’d heard the theme somewhere else).

I don’t think there’s any hidden symbolism behind this, as it makes no sense for there to be any connection between Anakin/Padme and Jyn (though part of me does wonder if Jyn’s mother was a Jedi, she DID have a kyber crystal after all).

I’m not particularly surprised that Giacchino borrowed from another piece of Star Wars music; this is a practice that dates back to the dawn of film music (they don’t really talk about it, but everyone knows about it), but a part of me wishes that he had done a better job of disguising the theme if he wanted to do something like that.

I’m interested to hear what all of you think about this: do you hear the similarity? Or do you hear a connection to another piece? I love discussing film music like this 🙂

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

See also:

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, My Thoughts!!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), My Thoughts!!

Warning!!! This review spoils EVERYTHING about Rogue One, if you haven’t seen the film and DON’T want to know, stop reading NOW!!!

Still here? Okay, continue!! (But remember, you were warned!!)

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, OH.MY.GOSH!!! Thursday night, 9:45 p.m., the long wait finally ended and I saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first stand-alone Star Wars film in the Anthology series. And oh boy did it deliver!! The film does have one flaw, but I’ll get to that after a bit, let’s start with one of the best parts of the film…

DARTH VADER IS BACK!!!

Let’s all be honest, I think most of us who have gone to see this film did it because Vader was showing up (I know that certainly helped to sway my decision). This is the first time Vader (in all his armored glory) has graced the cinematic screen since Revenge of the Sith in 2005 (though granted that was a very short appearance). In Rogue One, Vader is at the height of his power and general nastiness. Believe it or not, he’s in the film for not quite ten minutes (split into two appearances): his first scene takes place on the lava planet Mustafar where he’s since built an imposing castle-fortress to reside in when he’s not on some mission for the Emperor. I THOUGHT I recognized the planet, but I wasn’t sure until a YouTube review from @StupendousWave (my favorite source for Star Wars news) confirmed my suspicion. Not only do we see this amazing fortress, we also see Vader, briefly, as we’ve never seen him before: completely armorless in a bacta tank. It’s only a few glimpses, really, but it was more than enough to show how little remains of Vader’s human body before he re-armors in order to greet Director Krennic properly.

Speaking of Krennic, he’s the main antagonist for most of the film, or at least he tries to be. Krennic comes across as one of those villains who assigns to himself more importance than he actually has. For instance, a major sticking point (with Krennic) is that he receive the proper credit for developing the Death Star for all these years. When this credit is about to be taken away from him (by a certain character that I will discuss shortly), Krennic dares to whine about this to Vader, who Force chokes him for his troubles.

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I really thought that Krennic would meet his ultimate fate at Vader’s hands, but what really happened was almost as good. The film’s climax takes place on the tropical planet of Scarif, where the Death Star plans are stored in an archive. The Rebels, led by Jyn Erso and company, infiltrate the base, and Krennic (arriving around the same time) moves to stop them. Ultimately, the Death Star arrives and after a long engagement with the Rebel fleet, the Death Star is ordered to fire on the base, destroying it. Krennic, badly wounded from a blaster shot, is trapped on the base’s communication tower and witnesses the weapon he helped create firing on the planet, knowing there is no way he can escape the shock wave in time. Talk about irony!!

And who orders the Death Star to fire? Who is taking the credit for this great achievement away from Director Krennic? Why, Grand Moff Tarkin of course! You know, the villain portrayed by Peter Cushing in the original Star Wars film in 1977? Yes, him!!

RogueOneCGI

But wait, I hear you all say, didn’t he die back in 1994? Yes, yes he did! And yet, here he is! I confess, I did NOT see this moment coming. I partially blame this on being buried in dissertation work, but also on a slight misunderstanding on my part. I, of course, heard the news very early this year that Disney was working on a CGI replication of Cushing’s character. However, when the main villian was announced to be Director Krennic, I was under the impression that they had scrapped the CGI-Cushing idea. It never dawned on me that they were going to do both!

I mentioned that the film has one flaw, and, please don’t be upset, but that flaw is Tarkin. Don’t misunderstand me, the character as he appears on screen is a remarkable achievement. Digital creations of a human character have come lightyears in terms of appearance and believability and Tarkin is so realistic it’s scary. But…it doesn’t quite work. The first time we see Tarkin, he has his back to the audience (though you know instantly who he is). The big reveal comes when he turns around, and the moment I saw him, I KNEW what they had done. You can see the CGI elements in the way Tarkin moves his head and speaks. The “uncanny valley”, as it were, is still in effect. I WAS able to suspend my disbelief some of the time though, so for me it wasn’t a fatal flaw. I am curious to know what you all thought of seeing Tarkin brought back to life again.

rogue1

Moving on to the rest of the story and our heroes, Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor and K-2SO make a great trio. Jyn is the daughter of Galen Erso, a brilliant scientist forcibly returned to the Death Star project by Krennic, and also the man responsible for placing the fatal flaw inside the Death Star that leads to its destruction in Episode IV. Jyn, his only child, has lived on her own for years, and loves her father very much. She is initially recruited to the Rebellion because the Alliance is searching for her father, and a Rebel extremist named Saw Gerrera has in custody a defecting Imperial pilot who came from the installation where Galen works (it’s a little complicated, but still good!)

Outside of Jyn, K-2SO might be the best character on the side of the heroes: he’s an Imperial droid reprogrammed by Cassian and he has the snarkiest sense of humor you’ve ever seen, but his loyalty to Cassian (and the Rebellion) is unquestionable. He and Jyn do not get along for most of the film, but by the end, they’ve earned each other’s respect.

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My other two favorite characters are Chirrut and Baze Malbus. They were formerly Guardians of the Whills (they served at the local Jedi temple on the planet Jedha, they can feel the Force, but can’t actively control it the way a Jedi could) before the Empire, and now they are inseparable. Chirrut still believes in the Force after all this time, while Baze has become more of a skeptic. Chirrut has this habit of praying over and over “I am one with the Force and the Force is with me, I am one with the Force and the Force is with me, etc.” He’s actually blind, but is so in tune with the Force that he can fight as well as any sighted person.

And speaking of the end, deep down, I think I knew this was going to happen, but I was secretly hoping at least one of them would get out alive. Yes, you heard right, in the end, none of them make it off Scarif. Jyn, Cassian, K-2SO, Chirrut, Baze, even Bodhi (the defecting Imperial pilot who has been helping them), one by one, they all die. Jyn and Cassian are the last, they successfully transmit the Death Star plans up to the fleet, but immediately afterward, the battleship fires on the planet. It’s not enough to break up the planet itself (the weapon isn’t quite finished yet), but it is enough to destroy the base. The blast is set out in the nearby ocean so it takes a few minutes for the destruction to reach the pair. Jyn and Cassian have just enough time to reach the beach, reflect on what they’ve done and embrace before they meet their end in a fiery cloud of death. It’s terrifying to me because as they sit meeting their end, Jyn is facing the shockwave as it comes, and you can’t help but wonder what she’s feeling, knowing her death is seconds away.

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And the Easter eggs in this film boggle the mind, simply because there are so many of them! Let me see if I can name more than a few: there’s several sightings of Senator Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits reprising his role from the prequel trilogy); Jyn and Cassian (literally) bump into the pair that tries to assault Luke in the cantina on Tatooine (“He doesn’t like you, I don’t like you either…”); R2 and C-3PO pop up for a split second at Yavin base; in possibly one of the best Easter egg moments, the characters of Red Leader and Gold Leader are featured, briefly, in the climactic battle over Scarif in a clever re-use of some footage from Episode IV; and there are several references to the Star Wars Rebels series (listen for the page asking for “General Syndulla”). There’s more, but that’s most of them.

Lastly, I have to talk about the music. I was so nervous about Michael Giacchino composing the score for this film, and I was terrified it wouldn’t be any good. While I still need to go back and analyze the score, my first impression was very favorable. It definitely helps that Giacchino re-used several of Williams’ themes at key points in the story (particularly the Imperial March, I would’ve been furious if he’d left THAT out). The music definitely isn’t bad, but how GOOD it ultimately is I can’t say just yet (I need to listen to the soundtrack separate from the film before I can give a definite opinion).

Final thoughts:

Rogue One is a worthy addition to the Star Wars canon, though it treads dangerously close to the line with its use of CGI to recreate certain characters. The Easter eggs make this film a fun watch for any Star Wars fan.

It was WEIRD having no opening crawl (and no Star Wars fanfare), I almost wish they would go back and recreate the opening to have a crawl anyway.

It was cool (and a little freaky) to see Peter Cushing’s Tarkin walking and talking again, they’ve almost nailed recreating a human character in full CGI (but NOT QUITE)

Ending the film moments before Episode IV begins was a nice touch, though I am somewhat not okay with how they recreated Princess Leia. I would have preferred seeing her from the back only.

I am so happy we got to see Vader use his lightsaber!!!!! After the first scene, I was terrified that we weren’t going to get any more Vader, not even with his lightsaber, so seeing that at the end was fantastic!

And those are my thoughts on Rogue One. What did YOU think of the film? Loved it? Hated it? Already in line to see it again? Let me know in the comments below (first chance I get I’m going to see this film again, that’s for sure).

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

See also:

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

My Thoughts on: Star Wars (1977)

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

My Thoughts on: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)

A Random Thought on “The Force Awakens”

My Thoughts on: Solo: A Star Wars Story (with spoilers!) (2018)

My Thoughts on: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World (2015)

I’m probably stretching things just a bit because this is from a red carpet interview, but he does speak about how he got the job of scoring Jurassic World, which is exciting.

Jurassic World was the long awaited sequel to Jurassic Park (it ignores the events of The Lost World and Jurassic Park 3, essentially erasing them from continuity), set over twenty years after the original story. Isla Nublar is now home to a massively successful dinosaur theme park, based on the original dream envisioned by John Hammond, who has sadly passed on and left the park in the charge of Simon Masrani.

hero_JurassicWorld-2015-1

Business couldn’t be better, but the corporations that ultimately control the park want to see even bigger profits. To that end, they commission a new dinosaur to be created using various strains of dino DNA. All of this is overseen by Claire Dearing, operations manager for the park. As the new dinosaur, dubbed “Indominus Rex” becomes prepped for its debut to the public, concerns are raised by Owen Grady, an ex-Navy SEAL and expert on Velociraptors (his job is to train the raptors to obey human commands).

As Owen sees it, breeding regular dinosaurs is dangerous enough, but creating a NEW one from scratch is opening up a whole new world of problems. To complicate matters, Dr. Wu refuses to disclose which strands of DNA were used to create Indominus Rex, meaning Owen initially has no idea what sort of abilities the dinosaur will have. During an inspection of the enclosure, Indominus Rex manages to escape, and Claire is suddenly faced with a rampaging dinosaur loose on an island full of thousands of unsuspecting guests…

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According to Michael Giacchino, he was offered the job of scoring Jurassic World after he created some music for The Lost World video game and Steven Spielberg contacted him (after hearing the music) and said “This is great, when can you score this?” Spielberg was in fact so impressed with what Giacchino created that when the time came to pick a composer, he was the first person considered.

That being said, since John Williams score for the original film is so iconic, there are a number of references to the main theme of Jurassic Park throughout the film (this serves to tie the two films together musically). I think it’s really cool that Giacchino got the opportunity to score the film because he worked on the music for a video game first.

This little interview is pretty short, if I find a longer one I’ll be sure to add it, but for now, enjoy!

See also:

Michael Giacchino talks The Incredibles (2004)

Michael Giacchino talks Mission: Impossible 3 (2006)

Michael Giacchino talks Ratatouille (2007)

Michael Giacchino talks Up (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Super 8 (2011)

Michael Giacchino talks John Carter (2012)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

Michael Giacchino talks Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Michael Giacchino scoring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Zootopia (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

And don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

 

Michael Giacchino talks Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Michael Giacchino talks Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Oh Jupiter Ascending….if I could describe this movie in one word it would be potential. This movie had the potential to be so incredibly awesome. Think about it: in a world where reboots, remakes, sequels and franchises are the norm in Hollywood, it’s very rare to find a film with a wholly original concept.

And the concept sounds great on paper: the galaxy is ruled by a group of alien royal dynasties, who harvest the life forces of evolved planets in order to remain perpetually young themselves.

JUPITER ASCENDING

An ordinary human girl, Jupiter Jones, finds out that due to her genetic makeup, she is actually the heiress to the planet Earth. However, the alien Balem, one of the sons of the previous owner of the planet, wants Earth for himself, as Earth is meant to be harvested next.Jupiter finds herself plunged into interstellar intrigue with the fate of planet Earth at stake.

It sounds really good, it SHOULD have been really good, and yet….despite amazing visuals and a gorgeous score from Michael Giacchino (more on that in a minute), this film fell FLAT and I mean really flat!!! Portions of the dialogue were cringe-worthy, and the performance of several actors was criticized as wooden, flat and generally not as good as it could have been. In other words, Jupiter Ascending launched into theaters and then was quietly never heard of again.

Jupiter Ascending Soundtrack

One of the few bright spots in this film was the score, written as I said by Michael Giacchino. In this interview that I discovered, Giacchino explained that when the Wachowskis approached him about scoring this film, they actually asked him to write the music BEFORE the film had been shot, so they could edit the film around the music.

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This is rarely seen in the world of film music, as normal practice is to make the film first and THEN create the musical score. In effect then, the Wachowski’s were asking Michael Giacchino to create a “symphony” for Jupiter Ascending that would then be edited into a proper film score.

JUPITER ASCENDING

While I can’t necessarily recommend the film itself, I do recommend checking out the soundtrack to this film (see the link above) and take a few moments to enjoy the music that Giacchino worked so hard to create. It always hurts when a great score is attached to a less-than-stellar film. But, such are the risks of being a film composer. Enjoy the interview!

(I apologize for the background noise, it sounds like they filmed in a restaurant)

See also:

Michael Giacchino talks The Incredibles (2004)

Michael Giacchino talks Mission: Impossible 3 (2006)

Michael Giacchino talks Ratatouille (2007)

Michael Giacchino talks Up (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Super 8 (2011)

Michael Giacchino talks John Carter (2012)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World (2015)

Michael Giacchino scoring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Zootopia (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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*film poster is the property of Warner Bros. Pictures

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

I’m still not sure what J.J. Abrams was thinking about when he was working on this movie. Everyone who knows about Star Trek knows that Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is considered to be the greatest film in the classic franchise, and that it would be downright suicidal to tamper with it in any way. Well…tamper they did, because Into Darkness, the follow up to Star Trek (2009) is nothing less than a poorly disguised remake of Wrath of Khan, and suffice it to say it did not improve on the original. To sum up the plot in brief: Kirk and his crew must stop the brilliant Khan, along with a renegade Admiral, from causing a full-scale war to break out between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. This includes engaging the superior USS Vengeance and stopping Khan from using it as a means to destroy Starfleet Headquarters! This is also the final film to feature Leonard Nimoy in his role as the original Spock (also known as Spock Prime).

To be fair, Benedict Cumberbatch turns in an excellent performance as the villain, and the main cast performs admirably, but still, the fact remains that the producers chose to rehash old territory, instead of making something new. But I digress…

(for my full thoughts on this film, see: On this day in Film History: Into Darkness? More like a rip-off of Khan )

I was beginning to despair of ever finding an interview for this film when suddenly, out of nowhere, I spotted a video with Giacchino’s name and Into Darkness put together. It seems that while promoting the film, Giacchino gave an interview on the film for a German media site/group (I’m not sure which), and the best part is the interview is nearly ten minutes long! It is so rare to find any lengthy interviews with film composers, so I knew I had to share this one with you.

Giacchino is asked several questions about the process of creating the score for Into Darkness (I apologize in advance because the displayed questions are in German), whether certain characters have their own theme (he discusses Khan’s theme in particular) and what it was like to work on such a legendary franchise. This is not just a regular interview though, there are cuts to footage from the film to show certain themes that the composer is talking about, which makes this interview even more valuable.

See also:

Michael Giacchino talks The Incredibles (2004)

Michael Giacchino talks Mission: Impossible 3 (2006)

Michael Giacchino talks Ratatouille (2007)

Michael Giacchino talks Up (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Star Trek (2009)

Michael Giacchino talks Super 8 (2011)

Michael Giacchino talks John Carter (2012)

Michael Giacchino talks Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World (2015)

Michael Giacchino scoring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Zootopia (2016)

Michael Giacchino talks Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Like Film Music Central on Facebook here