Over the past eight years, the Film Music Foundation has been interviewing composers and others active in the movie-music business — getting down their life stories, their career anecdotes, their thoughts about this curious profession. I have been privileged to conduct many of these, and the Foundation (as part of its educational initiative) has now made them available online. Visit the website here — but be ready to spend a lot of time there, because most of these interviews are between two and three hours long! So far, I’ve done songwriters Alan and Marilyn Bergman; and composers Bruce Broughton, Bill Conti, Danny Elfman, Dave Grusin, Maurice Jarre, Laurence Rosenthal and Lalo Schifrin. (Others feature such giants as Patrick Doyle, Johnny Mandel, Van Alexander and Richard Sherman.) Three more interviews are scheduled for the first quarter of 2016.
I was pleased to be asked to host a tribute to this great composer at the Motion Picture Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. We played clips from four North classics including Spartacus and then screened the entire film of The Misfits (1961). Joining me on stage to talk about this groundbreaking composer and his work in Hollywood were fellow composer Laurence Rosenthal, biographer Sanya Henderson, and the composer’s son Steven North. Here‘s the Academy press release and here is a recap of the evening.
I admire Larry Rosenthal tremendously — and so does every other film composer in town. Just listen to The Miracle Worker, or any of his Emmy-winning miniseries scores from the 1980s, especially Peter the Great. Or some of my personal favorites, the music for The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. The Film Music Foundation asked me to conduct a long video “oral history” with him, and it was like a master class in film scoring. I’m honored to be asked to do these for the FMF and I can’t wait until the full interviews are available for all to see.