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.
My love affair with Rachel Portman’s music dates back to the 1990s with scores like Emma, The Joy Luck Club and The Cider House Rules. She is a thoughtful, intelligent and wonderfully melodic composer, and her 2010 win of BMI’s career achievement honor was a chance to write about her work. Here is an overview of that night’s festivities and here‘s my piece for BMI that gave me a chance to quote such director collaborators as Doug McGrath, Wayne Wang and Robert Benton. In addition, here is a piece I wrote in 2005 about her opera based on The Little Prince.