It was a pleasure to quiz composer Lorne Balfe about his incredible, grand-scale score for Mission: Impossible — Fallout after a Society of Composers & Lyricists screening Dec. 13 on the Paramount lot. Balfe entertained the audience with anecdotes about his collaboration with director Christopher McQuarrie and producer-star Tom Cruise; discussed the months-long gestation and writing process, which involved deconstructing the original Lalo Schifrin themes for adaptation into a completely new score; and talked about the London recordings, which required a massive orchestra and choir and may have been among the most expensive Paramount scores ever recorded.
If you’ve seen the latest Tom Cruise Mission: Impossible adventure, Fallout, there are two things you can’t miss: Cruise’s amazing stunts and Lorne Balfe’s musical score. Balfe utilizes Lalo Schifrin’s classic Mission themes in practically every scene. He wrote approximately four hours of music for the film and it took an entire month to record in London, as the composer told me for this Variety story about his nine-month odyssey to create the music with director Christopher McQuarrie (and a little help from Cruise). The Variety piece also includes a wonderful three-minute video shot during the London recordings.
Ron Howard, who produced (and directed the first episode of) the new National Geographic series Genius, about the life of Albert Einstein, has often turned to composer Hans Zimmer for his movie scores (including Frost / Nixon, Rush and the Da Vinci Code films). So it was a natural for him to ask Zimmer to write the theme for his new dramatic series (which, after Zimmer scores for such time-and-space-bending films as Inception and Interstellar, seems appropriate). Lorne Balfe, who has worked on most of the Zimmer/Howard projects as orchestrator or arranger, composed the scores for all 10 episodes, now airing. I interviewed all three of them for a story about the music — and coaching the actors in playing the violin, Einstein’s instrument of choice — in this week’s Variety.
Wednesday night on the Paramount Pictures lot, I participated in a Society of Composers & Lyricists screening of the new Arnold Schwarzenegger film Terminator Genisys. After the film, I interviewed composer Lorne Balfe, whose music propels the nearly nonstop action. Paramount music president Randy Spendlove joined us onstage for the discussion.