One of the challenges of today’s more limited space in print media is condensing sometimes lengthy, comprehensive interviews down to their very essence. Yet it’s always fun to talk with major musical artists about working in film, which generally involves more specific parameters than just writing or arranging a song for a record. So for a story in this week’s special issue of Variety, I had to take 20- or 30-minute interviews with Justin Timberlake, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Harvey Mason Jr., French singer Camille and Disney songwriter Glenn Slater and find a way to assemble their key thoughts into one coherent story. They talk about the current films Sing, Trolls and Moana, plus earlier 2016 films including The Little Prince and Sausage Party.
To coincide with the release of Battleship, Variety asked me to interview Steve Jablonsky, whose Transformers music transformed him into one of the most bankable composers in the business. He’s quiet and self-effacing. The main story explains how he got there and has quotes from Hans Zimmer and Michael Bay. This one looks specifically at Battleship; another, my favorite, looks at the music of Desperate Housewives; another examines his music for video games.