Feature Filmmaker

Ep. 71 - Lessons Learned from Hans Zimmer

March 25, 2022 Anna Thalman
Feature Filmmaker
Ep. 71 - Lessons Learned from Hans Zimmer
Show Notes Transcript

Creativity is creative problem-solving. You can’t have creativity without problems to solve. Every problem or obstacle you face is keeping your creativity alive and allows you to improve. Your limitations in your career allow you to make something that nobody else can make because nobody else has your specific limitations.

In the words of Hans Zimmer, the subject of our podcast this week:

“Anybody’s got access to something that they can go and make a great score with…In a funny way, the more money you have available, the less of an achievement it becomes to make an impressive sound. You don’t need anything. You can compose in your head. You can compose on the piano. You can compose with anything. Open yourself up to the possibility that that could be really interesting. It’s not a problem, it’s a HUGE advantage to work with the bare minimum of available things.”

Check out this episode for more of his amazing wisdom.

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Hi, everyone. Welcome to this episode of feature filmmaker. And today we are going to be talking about something a little new. Yeah, we are starting a new series. We love doing these series on topics that are, we think really helpful and relevant to our audience. And so this series is called lessons learned. And this particular one is lessons learned from Hans Zimmer. And the idea behind the series is that there is so much. Good education out there in the form of courses books and podcasts all these different avenues where you can learn about film from experts at the craft. And we are going to highlight our favorite things that we're learning from these people and share. The highlights from books that we read or courses that we take with you, some of our biggest takeaways, and hopefully that's helpful to you. If you have time to do the course or money to do the course or not, you can still get some big takeaways and it can give you an idea of is this something I'm really interested in that I would benefit from? And maybe you'll find some great books or courses from listening and learn either way. Obviously in this short podcast, we're not gonna be able to cover everything we learned in these things. It's a summation of the things that we found most interesting or helpful. But, today we're actually covering the N the masterclass course that Hans Zimmer teaches on masterclass.com, which if you're not familiar with masterclass.com, they didn't sponsor this episode of the podcast. However, we are subscribers and just personally, I, I think I would highly recommend it for. Most human beings, especially filmmakers because there's some really high quality direct education on masterclass from really big filmmakers and people in the film industry. Including directors, writers, composers, et cetera. It's pretty rare. I think to find people that caliber. Creating educational content for filmmakers. Whereas YouTube has tons of more, specific content and education, but most of the time, it's not from people making really big blockbusters and such. And so this Hans Zimmer one was really valuable. And what's interesting is I think we chose to, to, to do this one because we are entering that scoring phase, which we'll talk more about our composer. Probably in the future. We're really excited. We've already selected him, but, com. The actual composition has only just begun. So we took Hans Zimmer's in hopes to learn a little bit more deeply. Kind of what the role of a composer is and how we can best work with our composer. Who's in throes of this world of film composition, and he actually has sort of his roots and, Hans Zimmer's genealogy of proteges. Which is kind of exciting. He's, he's trained under people who've trained under. I realize that. That's cool. Yeah, this is an interesting one. So his course on masterclasses specifically for people who want to be film composers. So some of it I probably won't use specifically, but it's still very valuable. to understand. All of the various facets of your craft, and hopefully will help me be able to approach working with a composer. Understanding a little bit more about that process. So. Those of you who, I mean, I'm sure you all know who Hans Zimmer is. He has composed everything from lion king to. Batman. And lumpy treasure island is the one that I feel like everyone should know. Sure. Lock homes was one of the case studies he uses in the course. He's composed everything. He has done tons of work. And if he didn't do it, one of the people he taught did it. I mean, his protege include. Harry Gregson Williams. Uh, Claus, but dealt. John Powell. Uh, people have composed, you know, also they've also had their own like huge careers composing major scores. So, yeah. And just to give a quick little backstory on his life, he kind of grew up surrounded by music. His parents took him to symphonies and. Operas. Frequently. He didn't really feel like he excelled at anything else. They. His parents believe that. Television was going to be the end of culture and did not allow it in their home, but he did sneak into a theater once with his brother and listened to annual morricone. Who. Did the score for once upon a time in the west, which was the film that he snuck in and saw. And was inspired by to do storytelling with music. And, I personally love morricone as a composer as well from Cina. My part of the, so it was where I first fell in love with his work. Oh man. So good Marconi. His work is super amazing, but. When I heard that Zimmer's first, like film, composer experience, like film score experience was watching the film once upon a time in the west. Uh, it just made total sense to me. I was like, wow. Yeah. I mean, if you've listened to. Zimmer's music it's like, it couldn't have been any motor Coney film. Right? Like it had to be that one. I feel like if you, if you've heard both that film score. And seeing how that music works with the movie and then watched a bunch of movies that were scored by. Hans Zimmer for some reason that just, just make sense, his approach to theme and his approach to simplicity and everything. So we'll get into some of the things we learned and took away. Yeah. He also was in small pop group. You might recognize his song. Video killed the radio star. I couldn't believe. I couldn't believe it. I can't believe. It's so funny that he, you know, Made it. I made it big and radio with that song and then goes into video. But. He says, that's what he was really interested in all along. So let's get into the course. What. What was one of your biggest takeaways, Kent, we're going to try to do a couple biggest takeaways each. Yeah. I'll say the first one is so something I think some people have criticized for, for, and I'm, I'll just admit that I'm probably one of those people. Is sometimes just, music's a little simple for me because I grew up on Amblin movies. Right. And so I grew up watching. Steven Spielberg films were composed by John Williams. And John Williams is like super romantic, very complicated themes sometimes. And I loved melodies, by, Anyway. I love listening to melodies by people like Goldsmith. And like star Trek, Voyager rhino is like a, kind of a silly example, but there's just a beautiful. French horn melody. And it plays all by itself, but the melody just keeps progressing and progressing. But then when you listen to Hans Zimmer music, it's really. Like four to eight chords that repeat over and over and over and over again. And then they just build and build and build. Now he's written some amazing themes, but, most of his films are just, they're very repetitive themes or motifs that are really simple. And even though I kind of scoffed at that because I hung out with a lot of musical nerds growing up that were like this music isn't very complex. He's not necessarily. Trying to write symphonies. He's not writing symphonies. Is that specifically in these. Yeah. He says that was really, Scott was, he was like, he'd heard that really. Scott fired a lot of composers before he ever did a movie with Ridley. And so he said, what do I have to do to not get fired? And he said, Don't write me a symphony. And he's like, okay, I can do that. And so basically he, he didn't want anything complex going on in the score he wanted to score. To just be helping and accenting the movie and Zimmer does that really well. And I, I just rewatched. Again, one of my favorite movies of all time, which is Sean Milan's signs. And I love signs and, Newton who scores that film and who actually goes on to score a film with. Zimmer on Batman. Scores this so simply, and it's almost like an, like a glass score or something it's just super repetitive. And it's really just a motif of three ascending notes that Bubba. The boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. And. I even made fun of that score growing up. Right. Because it's like, come on, what is this? It's just three notes. And yet watching the film this time, I'm like, yeah. But the way he like works with that, and all those themes is so effective, it's so effective when you're watching the movie and experiencing the story. So. No, I'm not going to listen to a lot of it in my car, even though I'm definitely listened to a lot of Hans Zimmer music in my car growing up. Most of the scores are, are really best experienced with the movie and he knows his job and he knows his role. So I guess it kind of helped me really appreciate that the value of simple themes. And he talked about that, how it does not have to be complicated with the Batman example. And he talked about those two notes. Those two notes. And how he was able to work with just that, but one of the reasons Anna married music, cause she loves my, my attempts to impersonate, whole orchestras. Just myself and I it's really quite a talent. Actually she chastises me every time I try and do it because I think I can impersonate a French horn perfectly. Which I can. Which I'll spare you. Thank you. No, that's a good one. I, I liked that. What about you, Anna? What was one of your biggest takeaways? So I loved how he talked about questions and how questions are often more interesting than the answers. That was a Terrence Malick quote, right? Yeah. He talked about turns Malik. Saying that and. It's true. He said, you know, if the movie's all about like people falling in love. And the girl says yes, right at the beginning, it's super boring. Like you have no story. You have to wait. And the answer to the question of like, are they going to be together, holds you in the movie the whole time. And then at the very end, maybe you can answer it, but just how questions are so interesting later in the course, he came back to this again and talked about. How you can ask questions. New questions. About something that's old because everyone experiences a lot of the same things, relationships and, and similar struggles and trials. But. We have new questions to ask about them. And it's just so interesting that he's thinking about this when he's talking about music. Yeah. And yet he says I can communicate better through my music than I can with you. In words and that's in a lot of ways, what he feels his role is, is kind of a translator. Like, let me hear what the director wants to say and just communicate it through music in the story. And what's so great. And that just reminds me of, of how nice it is to listen to Hans Zimmer. Talk about movies because. He's not talking about music. I mean, he is. But he really talks about movies. Most of the masters. Storyteller. He considers himself a filmmaker. Exactly. He's a filmmaker and a storyteller. And I think if you want to be a composer or if you want to hire a composer or work with a composer, Or compose your own films if you're like Clint Eastwood or whatever, who composed us on film for a million dollar baby? Either way, you know, you've got to understand that. Yeah, we will. We want to work with people who are storytellers and that's something. I love it. When I work with an actor who like has an understanding of screenwriting. You know, or composer who understands how to like develop character. Cause when they understand these things, It just helps you be more collaborative and not be like, okay, I have to baby this actor and not say any of the wrong things, or then they'll try and play to the emotion. And you know, like I like actors that are big boys and big girls, you know, like they're, they're like, listen, we've got to tell this story. We know the craft we've. We understand what you're talking about when you talk about the frame and the shots and the rhythm and the whatever. And so Zimmer. Yeah, I love what you're saying. I love what he said about that. And I'm glad you mentioned that because composing is it's storytelling. If that becomes the objective. You're not getting distracted by. You're not getting distracted from the ends of the movie by the means of the movie. And one of those means is composition, right? The score well, and even his approach to storytelling by asking questions, I feel like it's very liberating for me to feel like. I don't have to have all the answers. And I don't want to tell stories where I feel like I know all the answers because then there'll be very didactic and I don't. I don't really enjoy that telling people what to do or pretending. I know what's best for everyone, but. I like to. Ask questions. And I like to explore. Ideas and themes with a story and then maybe hint at like, Some of the conclusions I'm coming to, or some of the thoughts that I have, but let the audience. Finish it in their own minds. And I just felt like it was kind of even more permission to do that. Like that's what we're all interested in. And for me, the most interesting part of a movie sometimes is the discussion afterwards where we talk about. The answers to the questions that the movie brings up. And what I've done the same thing as the character or not. And why. So I just love that focus on questions. Yeah. I love that too. I think it's effective. I think it made, it makes me think about stories. So I would recommend Hans Zimmer's masterclass to people who are interested in screenwriting. You know, storytelling in general. It's yeah, it's good. It's helpful. Anyway. So one of the other takeaways I had was, he talks about when recognizing when not to score a scene, which I really appreciate. And so they're always, like he said, directors will come in and feel like. All this insecurity about seeing that's quote unquote, not working. And he said, really, it's actually very helpful for composer to see it and go. I actually think that seems completely working. Which maybe isn't always the case, but he says sometimes you have to just say. No. You know, directors, he said it in like the most, the most insecure people about the film, because they've just lived with it through. Iteration over iteration, you know, they were there in the screen writing on the set. Through editing. And then they show up and they're like, Hey, what do I do? And he's like, The scene works. The scene is. Actually great. It's got good rhythm. It's doing all the storytelling. It's very emotional. And I can't think of anything score wise that would improve it. Like I think that it works great all by itself. And. But score something else. Well, and that's good if he doesn't want to lay it on too thick, you know, like, If the storytelling is already happening, you don't need more help there. Yeah, well, and I would recommend the movie signs once again for that kind of filmmaking or even one of my other favorite films is, Sylvestris score on Castaway. Zemeckis film. With Tom Hanks, where Tom Hanks is on the island and there's no score. From the time he gets on the island. I only realized this when I was an adult. There's not a drop, not a note. Of score from the time he gets on the island until he literally gets off the island is sailing away and looks back and sees the island. And then this strings. Ensemble slowly comes in on a cord and there's just kind of swells in and it is. Profoundly moving the way that they sort of did this transcendental style of withholding an element of film until the very end when they let you finally, it was almost like this release of tension. On a very long quiet movie. But yet it holds up and keeps pace. And that's a pretty interesting work of art. I feel like the movie's kind of. Overly forgotten. We should revisit it. We should revisit Castaway. I want to watch it now, but, but. Zimmer's point, not everything needs score. To tell a great story. And Casper is just an example, which. He did himself didn't score, but I've seen movies scored by Zimmer and others. And I think maybe we're over scored. And. If you want my opinion. I think a couple of those films were Dunkirk and which was Zimmer. Even those embedded some really cool work on that. And I'm rogue one. I think it was over scored. There was a lot of score and, and that's just my opinion. It doesn't really matter. But my point is, is that. I think sometimes in big budget, Hollywood movies, which most of us don't have this problem. We feel like, oh, well, we've got all this money. We've got to score every minute of the film. And maybe some of us do have this problem because even if we're low budget, we want to be high budget. We want to seem like, Hey, we got a lot of production value. So if we can write a little more music. Yeah, it seems like we've got lots of customized music, you know, lots of themes, lots of different stuff, and that's not always necessary. So, yeah. Well, and he talks, this was one of my takeaways is I love how he talks about. Budget specifically. He says, you know, we get a lot of interns and they come in and they think. They've gone to school and they've learned about the orchestra and they want their first thing to be like unleashed on this giant orchestra. And he says, what were your really going to unleash is probably some little app on, you know, your computer. And you have to take everything that you're wanting to put into that orchestra and put it into that. Instead. And yet. He talks about how sometimes the films that have the smallest budgets are actually the most creative and the most, the work that you can be most proud of it because it's more of an accomplishment. To be able to do that with less resources, something effective, something different. Yeah. And when you have lots and lots of options or resources, then there's not that need for creativity, which he doesn't go into this as in depth, as I'm about to, but. Kent and I are you and I have talked about. How creativity is problem solving and we have to have problems to be creative. And so if we. Are faced with a situation that's too easy. There's no room for creativity. Yeah. Like, if you can buy away every single problem. You know, like higher every problem out. Where's your role go, you know? Not interesting anymore and you know, and what's so cool. Is that something I do really admire about Zimmer is how creative and how collaborative he is. And I just watched a vanity fair video that he did on his score for dune, which just came out. I mean, relatively recently for. In regards to his career. And he first of all, to your point about the app, Is, he said, he said, you know, if you asked me why the drums in dune are synthesized, he said is because I like to make my own sense. And I just enjoy that. he's like, I don't feel like I have to justify that, you know? And it's like, he has no, like. Poopoo feeling on like synthesizers or whatever, but, and yet you look at what they did to compose the score for dune during COVID. I didn't get any orchestras together. They got bands together. Splintered through locations. They just invented like. Heaps of weird instruments and played around with. Like. Modified flutes and weird instruments that they invented just. And he talks about asking his musicians, like what are sounds your instrument makes that you're not supposed to ever make. Yeah, he definitely watch the vanity fair on YouTube. The. Him breaking down his score for dune. Because it just gives you a taste of. How respectful he is of the people he works with, which I think is really cool. And just how deeply creative a person he is. Like, he really wants to take himself back to like those teenage years when. You just full of angst and lots of ideas and not afraid to try things that could just totally be ridiculous. And. Anyway, whether you liked the score for dune or not. It, it really helps you appreciate just how much craft and energy and. And. I don't know. Yeah, intelligence is required to create these things. And so I was really. In admiration. And he does break down in his masterclass, a lot of his score for Sherlock Holmes. And he said, why did I pick that particular movie? He said, because anyone could have written it. It's actually very simple. I wanted to pick something that is simple to demonstrate that you don't need much. You can have very modest instrumentation and create something. With just the piano or in this case, mostly a violin or. He joked about, you know, like the rubber band and box or something, but you really don't need much to. Find a way to communicate with sound. Mm. Hmm. What, what, what were some of the other big takeaways? Did you have any other big takeaways? Yes, I think. The other biggest takeaway. I had was writing every day. He talks about the importance of this and he says, you know, Occasionally, I will get to the place where I haven't worked on a movie for a little while and I feel this huge inadequacy and this big mental block of like, oh, I don't even know how to do this. Where does this come from? He said, but that hardly ever happens because I write every day. And if you're writing every day, you don't have that problem. And he talks about writing music, right. Writing music in his case, but thinking. His language everyday. It relates to other things. And he has music diaries that he goes through and shares how he does a music diary entry every day, which is just kind of this. Space. He creates in his day to work on writing music and it's not. Even always a specific project so much as like, oh, this could be an interesting romantic theme for something. Or let me just take a piece of something I'm working on and just play with it and go crazy and see what I can make. And he just has these little diary entries and he writes a little bit every day, whatever it is. To keep himself. Fresh and in his craft. That was something that I have experienced and highly encouraged as well. Just that practice of getting into what you want to do every single day that you can. To keep it. On your mind and keep your muscles strong. So to speak in that area. So I loved that. Yeah. You know, when we took screenwriting together? Well, we didn't take it together, but we took it from the same professor. And, and I did. And, you know, reminds me of, of, the exercise of having to take. Like five, no cards a day and writing like a line of dialogue. A scenario, a character. You know, sort of a little quick slug line about a character or whatever. And, and I don't do that every day, obviously, but I have found that just writing down a movie idea or a scene, or if I hear what my kids say, something funny, I'll write it down for like a. Just the exact wording that they used. To say that thing. It's just so interesting and so unexpected because kids will always do that. Right. Because they have no cliche programmed into them because they've not already read the Canon of literature and they haven't been around long enough, you know? To have been like, sort of jaded and ruined. And so they they'll say something like. You know, so I just watched sleeping beauty today and my son. There's the scene where Maleficent says, did you really think you could defeat me the mistress of all evil? And my son says, oh, the queen of naughtiness. And it's just like, you never know exactly what, what the next word is going to be. And that's like a subtle example, to be honest is sometimes. They say things that are just so you think, because your brain fills it in your brain wants to fill in. I'm sure what they're going to say is this sentence. And then they'll, they'll say this other thing. And so anyway, I write all that dialogue down. And when I'm, when I'm always doing that, I'm thinking. 90% of that stuff has never going to make its way into any project you ever make. But, but it does help you feel like I'm just loaded with good ideas. My folder of unused. Story ideas at this point is. It's actually getting really big. And I know that I'm never going to have time to make all those movies, all those shorts, all those features that I've had ideas for. And some of them are really good. But, you know, the funding and the acting and the script and the whole structure of the story may never come to me. And so. That's fine. I know most of those and the time just frankly, isn't available now, even if I live to be 110. To make all those films. But that's okay because it's just like going to the gym. It's not like I'm going to need to lift a car off of a person at any given moment. Most of the time, most of these muscles are going to go and use, but I want to be healthy and I want to live happy. And as a writer, it's just important to be writing every day. As a composer, it's going to be writing music every day. Yeah. And then today, I got my camera out because I haven't shot anything for a long time. And it's been really frustrating to me. And I think I've been coloring some of my own footage. From loved and lost and. I'm a terrible colorist. Luckily I have someone better than myself working. Working with us. And it's helping me learn my limitations as a sh. It's a cinematographer. And so I go back and I need to shoot more and. It's just relieving to shoot some things in the shoot. Like one little shot where you go. Hey now. That was pretty good, you know? So, anyway, I just really appreciate you sharing that, Anna. It just really strongly resonates with me. And even on like a feature right now, I have a feature that I want to make after the loved and lost. And I don't want to neglect that loves and loss, but I'm trying to write. A page. Yeah. Every day, which takes like no time at all, really, it doesn't take much time and once you've really gotten started. And so if I didn't have a scene, like a page of the script that I could write, I would just write a page about this character and try and flesh out this character. And just write everything that comes to my mind about who this person is. And that comes a little faster for me. And didn't like trying to compose a scene. But doing that also helps me feel like, Hey, this movie's not going to die. It's not going to die before I can get to it. You know? Yeah. So it's just all really healthy to just. Just work on like 1% improvement on all these little areas. If you could have one takeaway from this podcast, I hope that might be it because this is the number one thing that we see for people who come into feature filmmaker academies, is that they have to learn to work every single day on their project. Just a little bit, or at least every weekday. And. It's such a simple thing. But setting a minimum baseline of just, I need to work at least 10 or 15 minutes a day really makes a world of difference. And that's why we're actually launching our free challenge next week. Inviting. You guys to do this with us and try it out and see how much you can get done. And it's going to be this really great experience. So look for that next week. And that was a seamless lead in Nana. That was great. No, but I am excited in this challenge comes from addressing the number one challenge. We actually see people face, even though it's really not that challenging at all. Like if you just commit to it, It does wonders. I think it's so unchallenging, it's like. It's like saying go Washington, the river Jordan seven times. And he's like, what's. That's it. It's not going to do anything. I'm not going to do anything. It's not going to cure leprosy. you're like, no, it's, it's really that simple. And I. I mean, it just hit me the even just silly as it sounds, it hit me that I could write a feature in three months if I just write one page a day. Yeah. Four months. If I take a month to kind of let the whole thing simmer and build all the characters and. Even if I like outlining, which I don't, I have a mixed relationship with, it's sort of like a give and take, but, but. How many years. How many years and years go by. I know tons of people. I know tons of filmmakers that say. One day. I want to write a feature film one day when I write a feature film. And I'm like, do you realize that before, like your next birthday before, Christmas, this year, you could have written. The first draft plus subsequent drafts, if you just wrote one page a day. Yeah. That. That is not hard. And the first draft might take 90 days. If you want to write a 90 page script and you write a page a day. Let's just give you 120 days, which is four-ish months. But then the second draft is going to take like, A week, because all you're doing is reading through it hardest. Hardest one is the cutters. Cutting 10% and then planting everything in act one that should happen in act three, where that does happen in act three. And then he's like, yeah, that's a good, pretty decent second draft. And that took you like a week on top of the four months and bam, you've got a readable feature and it's so yeah, every day. So thanks, Hans. I think it's also just because sometimes things are so easy to do that they're easy not to do. Yeah. And this is one of them. Yeah, I that's something I've talked to a lot of young, like teenagers. About is you can't cram character. You know, like even simple things that you do every day, like. Daily habits, like. Getting enough sleep or praying or learning how to learn studying meditating. Whatever it is. These little things that you do every single day over the course of time makes a huge impact on the world and on yourself. And you can't do it in a rush. Th the most important things we do in life, can't be done in a rush. You cannot make a feature film in a rush. And I think that there's a lot of people out there trying to preach that, like shoot a feature in two days and it's like, Yeah. You know, how much preparation needs to go home before those two days, if you're really going to do that. It's like you can't write a feature in two days. You can prove me wrong. Who cares? But most of us just can't cram. You can't cram feature films. And if you do, you can't. Can't sustain it. Cram and get high quality future. Yeah. Yeah. And I had someone remind me something. I had a dear friend remind me of cheap. Cheap good. Fast, right? Like you can't have all three. And so sometimes you have to, if we want it to be cheap and good, we've just got to take our time. And so, And that's where most of us are at, I think just take our time and make something really good. So, yeah, that writing every day is just that like, It's that thing that. It's a tiny little habit. But you become this total master of something over the course of decades. When over the course of decades, most people either ruin their lives or quit to craft, you know, because it's. Cramming has proven unsustainable. Yeah. Totally. Any other takeaways that you wanted to get touch on? No, not for me. That was, those are the big ones in. And I appreciate all the ones that you've shared and I feel like, They're good reminders to me, honestly. The valuable stuff that he shares in the masterclass and. Just things that I've maybe realized before that I needed to hear again. Was there anything that shocked you or that you really disagreed with? I've really disagreed with, from Hans Zimmer's MasterCard or shocking or disagreeing. Disagree. I don't know. I mean, like, I guess. Maybe I was shocked by some of the things that he shared that I super agreed with because I don't feel like he's always demonstrated some of the things that he taught. Which I have a lot of tolerance for, to be honest, I don't think that's hypocritical because I think. He's composed a ton of movies and I think that's. Laudable. A lot of well, because I think it's good to stay busy and make lots of work. And if you want a few masterpieces, you're going to have to make a lot of stuff that might feel repetitive or derivative or. You know, like sometimes the director might want that. Sometimes there are way more. Forces. Yeah, he has a lot of respect for his directors and. And sometimes there's forces outside your control on these big movies. So you can't always just chalk it up to, oh, so-and-so just didn't show up that day. It's like, no, I mean, they might've gotten like four weeks to turn this thing around, you know? It's like here's a ton of money and just whip Something out. You know, and, so I guess it was nice to actually have him. I hear him say things like this is, this is the best way to do things. And I go, oh, well, it doesn't seem like he's always done the best way. And I'm not going to do the best way every time either. No matter how hard I try, I might fail despite my better wisdom. It was despite my knowing better quote unquote, sometimes the circumstances will just play out that after you signed the dotted line and you get into the project timelines, get cut. Short budgets, get cut short. Things you try. You take risks and they don't pan out. And that's okay. You've got to make a lot of stuff and. Take some risks and some masterpieces will happen and it'll be worth it in the end. You'll learn. So I appreciated that he was honest and taught what he knew was right. Even though. Maybe. All of this stuff. Isn't. He probably the first person to admit, I feel like he's really humble guy. To like, he's not the greatest composer in the world or that he hasn't. Every single one of his scores is like really great. He's probably got somebody that wishes he never done, you know, I have stuff that I wish I'd never done, but, but not really because I had to, I had to do that stuff too. Yeah. To learn. No, that's good. Yeah. Shocking. Well, I had two things one's really quick. That were kind of shocking to me, but I must say. Shocking to me that he wrote video killed the radio star. It was shocking. Oh, that's so funny. I didn't. Believe it. Well, I can't say that I disagreed with anything that he said that I can think of. I felt like. I was surprised how much I agreed with him. Like you said, but. I was kind of shocked when he talked about. Music history and like what to study. And he said, well, you could just study all the BS. Bach Beethoven the Beatles, the Beatles. And Joe music, he was just like, start anywhere, whatever. And I just thought, oh, okay. Yeah, you could just do it that way. You could just do everything that starts with be like, There's no rhyme or reason really to it. It's just find what you like, you know? Listen to lots of stuff and find what you like. And I liked that he was so open about that. But then the other thing that. I don't know if I'd say this shocked me as much as it just was really inspiring to me at the time. And still is. But he talked about directors and I think there's three. Training videos, where he talks specifically about working with directors. And he kind of describes. Talking to the director before they make the movie and how he likes to do that because that's when they're all excited about it and they explain the vision and everything it's going to be. And of course, it's all just potential at this point. And then they go and make it and he says, and when they come back, You know, they're coming back from war and they've seen everything. And. Lost so much. And it's just a complete change. And he says, they've completely forgotten. What this is even about. Yeah. Like what, what they set out to do in the first place, which. It was relieving to hear him say that because it's one thing. If you hear someone say that. But when you hear on Zimmer, say that you have to remember who are the directors he's talking about. He's talking about the vest. He's talking about Ron Howard Ridley, Scott, Christopher Nolan. Terrence Malick. I mean, like he's talking about like the best filmmakers of our generation, or I guess I should say. The generation right before us and all of our, you know, he's probably composed one of your favorite movies, if not multiple. And, you know, some Disney classics he's composed Muppet treasure island, which is super great. I don't. Brian. Henson. So he's worked with these directors that are just. Just definitely one of those you have to at least like one of their movies, right? And they show up feeling like I've forgotten what we set out to do. Like I feel defeated in battle torn. And he's like, you have to be there for that person. Yeah. He says it, like, it's a fact, you know, everyone, this is just how it is. And that's kind of relieving because then I'm like, okay, I'm not. You know, it's not that there's something wrong with me. It's just, that's how it is. That's how making movies is. It's you got to love it because otherwise you wouldn't do it. But, he talks about the director coming home from battle. Totally worn out and how he can step in as a composer and let the director kind of pass the Baton and he can remind him of what he set out to do in the first place. Show him what's working. And bring in elements. That are not there yet. And I think we often feel like after production, like we just went out and got our raw materials and that's what we've got to work with. And there's no going back. You might be coming in after edit lock and you know, As a composer. And so you're like as a director, you're coming into that part of the phase, basically saying, this is the best we could do. You know, it's like we pieced it together and I don't know if it's good anymore. And it's like, I wanted it in the conversation. And wanted to put all this stuff in, but it just didn't end up in the movie. And yet he's saying. A lot of them, not too late. A lot of that can be brought back. That's what you can do with the music you can bring in those elements that are not there yet, that you haven't communicated yet through the story and the acting and the visuals. You can bring it in with the music and the music can ask a question. It can, you know, telegraphic characters, feelings, or thoughts. It can. Add something that you don't have already, which is really helpful. That there's another chance to add in different way. And a quick neat example of that is there's an old film that one of my professors talked about. I didn't write down the name of the film. Or. The people who worked on it. But maybe if I describe it, Someone email us a few, and be like, I don't want movies talking about. Yeah, cause I don't think I've seen it, but basically, it was an older film. I think it was like forties or fifties and the, The main character is sitting in this room, looking up this painting of this woman, and they're putting it together in the edit. And basically, you know, the shot is him looking up at her. And he's looking around the room. I think he's a detective. And then he looks up at the painting again. And then he's looking around the room and he kind of looks up at his painting. We have this push on the painting and then it like shows him and they're like, it's just not working. It's not communicating what. Th this thing that he's experiencing that we're, we had this whole idea and it's just not there. We're going to have to go cut it. Cut the scene. And the composer says no, no, no. I think I can do something with this. And so he's walking around and he looks over the painting and then the music kind of. Plays a little motif and then. He kind of walks away and then he looks at the painting again, and then the motif kind of swells back in. And then he kind of looks back at the painting and then it pushes in on the painting and then the motif really swells again. And you get always falling in love with this woman. Who this painting is of, you know, and, and how the music there. It's just an example of what you just said. Like this director shows up and says, okay, well, this is trash. And the composer says everything you imagined. Not everything, but some of those things that you imagined could still be brought back and it's like, It's like going into color and being like, we can preserve some of these highlights, you know, like some of these details can still be salvaged. It's like score is like, Some life into this score is like an emotional HDR pass. If you know what I'm talking about. It's it's like, emotional, raw. Capture. Frustration. What are anyway. So I think that's really neat. Yeah. And going back to the point you brought up of like score scenes that don't need score. Sometimes we want to add score to those scenes because they're working already so well that it's like, oh, it would be so like, It'd be so nice to have music, almost like it would be so easy to score this film. I like the emotions already there. And yet. Sometimes where you need it. The most is where the scene's not working yet. And music could maybe. Be the solution and help us understand what's happening, especially in like a pacing conversation. I feel like something I've realized is I'm trying to make this. Loved and loss. We've been working really hard to make it work without any music at all. And I feel like something I've realized watching our, putting music in. We've we've played with some temp. We've really tried to avoid it. And now that we have a composer. Ultimately we've put some music. But obviously we're going to, it's going to be scored. And, something tricky is that I've been watching a lot of movies and realized some of the time where they really let some shots last longer than they quote unquote should in the edit. It would probably feel ridiculously boring. How slow. Some of the cuts. R, and there's no need to linger longer. On the, on some of these images of like characters, faces and what they're looking at and what's going on, except when you watch it in theaters. They're just letting the score. Yeah, let it rip. And the score is just kind of finally like doing some of the talking. And they give that breathing room. To do some of that talking. And so that's helped me realize where it's really valuable to not always suck all the air out of the edit before you get it to score, because you might be able to say, Hey. Let's slow, the edit down here. I know it feels boring to watch their face for 10 whole seconds. But a really interesting piece of music here. Carefully done, you know? And collaboration could really help us get it to where exactly we want it to be. And so I think that's why he's Zimmer he's you mentioned liking to work. Through the editorial process. Well, he said that it used to be that you would only put in the music after picture lock. And he said, now that's not the case anymore. You can be in on this from the very beginning. Throughout the film, you can be coming up with ideas and working with the director and then. You can, even during the edit, be working together with the editor and G Keno, even I just was listening to Adobe. Podcast interview with, Matt Reeves and G and G Keno and the sound team on the Batman. Which isn't theaters. And gee Kino composed the main themes. Before production. And. Right before one of the key pre-production meetings, they were getting close to going into first day of shooting. And. Matt Reeves partner just says, Hey, you gotta listen to this. He cranks it in the car before they go into this meeting. And G Keno had. Just piece of music that he'd already written and shown. Matt Reeves had actually gotten it recorded, with live instrumentation and there was like a surprise. And it was just like this totally like mind blowing thing for him. He was just, he just like cried in the car and he was totally inspired. And he said that was really helpful for us to be able to. He said that music informed. Robert Patterson's performance as Batman. He said, you showed me all of these books and comics and oh, you know, all this reference material. And he said the number one thing that helps me understand exactly emotionally what this version of Bruce Wayne. Bet slash Batman. Is experiencing who he is. Was that music. He's like, I just listened to that. And I S I just understood who this guy was and who your vision was for him. So it's just really cool that that collaboration is happening totally in pre-production and that it was informing the actor before he. And this, and they talked about how he would listen to that music when they were doing ADR like a year later, right after a year after. Principal photography. They're having to do ADR and match the emotion and everything of the scene. And so Patterson would listen to the music. And. Get into the rhythm of like what's going on with this character and be able to bring an honest performance in the ADR studio, which is, I don't know. That's really cool. I just love that because I feel like music and sound are so much of what makes movies, what they are. And so distinct as a medium and you know, it's 50, 50. Visuals and sound and yet. I actually think sound has the bigger influence on your experience of watching a film. And they've done tests that show that people would rather watch a film that looks really pixely and bad. But that sounds great. Then try to watch a film that looks really nice and sounds bad. And so we're less aware of the influence that it has on us. And yet it's a stronger. Part of our experience. So I love that. That's something you can start thinking about. Way in the beginning of the process is. Oh, yeah. What is this going to sound like? We've done a whole podcast episode on preparation, and if you. And if you watch that one on Matt Reeves interview with Dolby. With his sound team, you get a sense of how early the conversations were with his sound team, talking about. What is this movie sound going to do? And what's our philosophy philosophical approach to sound and music. And so, and Zimmer talks about this as well. And his masterclass about like, Preproduction conversations versus post-production conversations. Yeah, composers can be included in that. Well, we, we probably need to wrap it up, but should, I will say we're going to put in the show notes, the information for the masterclass. If you want to check it out, we definitely recommend it. And if you are wanting to go into composition, obviously this is a good fit for you. But even if you aren't, if you're going to work with the composer, work with the sound on the film at all, I think. It's very inspiring. And you know, it inspired me in lots of ways that just have to do with creativity and being an artist completely unrelated to what exactly is the medium we're working in. If you're a filmmaker of any discipline. Cinematographer DP writer, director, whatever actor. I think it would behoove you to listen to this masterclass because. It just shows you how everyone is a filmmaker. Yeah. All of our disciplines interact. We're a big teams and it's all really one discipline, which is making movies, making these things exist, which I just mean kind of goes into producing, but like we're all producers in a way, like. We're all making that exist. So, anyway, thanks so much for joining us on this podcast episode. We really hope you enjoyed it. We hope that you learned from it and that you were inspired to go out and learn some more, maybe from other resources. All right, we'll see you next time. Fight.