Every year we try and assess who has the best shot at a nomination for the original-score Oscar. Eight of the 12 profiles in this year’s Variety Oscar-music section are mine: Marco Beltrami, Danny Elfman, Michael Giacchino, Jonny Greenwood, Henry Jackman, Clint Mansell, Thomas Newman and Steven Price. (Colleague Tim Greiving penned the other four: Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard, Gary Yershon, Mark Mothersbaugh.) Tim and I also collaborated on this year’s overview of Best Song possibilities.
This year’s big-screen epics demanded an aural equivalent: big orchestras and often big choirs. For the films Noah, Exodus: Gods and Kings and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the directors called on composers Clint Mansell, Alberto Iglesias and Howard Shore to supply appropriate music. For a story in this week’s Variety, I interviewed them and augmented their thoughts with historical perspective from author Stephen C. Meyer, whose new book Epic Sound examines the classic scores of the 1950s and ’60s.
This was my first interview with Clint Mansell, who came out of British rock to become Darren Aronofsky’s go-to guy for music, creating a now iconic score for Requiem of a Dream and who was then working on The Fountain.