Jump to content

Zimmer on POTC: At World's End


Recommended Posts

There is a very interesting interview with Hans Zimmer available. He talks about all three POTC scores and how they evolved etc. For example about the final POTC score he says: "There's a lot of old-fashioned woodwind writing, which I could do in my sleep, it's really easy that stuff."

At the very end he gets asked about Simpsons: The Movie and confirms that he is usind Elfmans theme in some twisted way: "I see myself in a way as Dannys orchestrator. For better or for worse I'm going to stay in the Danny world, except it's going to be my slant on the Danny world."

Great stuff, fun interview, must listen:

http://www.soundtrack.net/podcast/

-Snowster

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 161
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Keep away Zimmer haters, you're gonna loathe every second of this interview, except for maybe the Simpsons bit at the end. Myself, I enjoyed it and found it quite interesting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I think he sounds like a great guy. Love to have a beer with the man. But what he says about how he scored this film...a lot of people aren't gonna like it 'round these parts. Just a taster- he says that one of the reasons that Pirate movies in recent history have not been so successful is because of the old-fashioned scores.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, of course. It doesn't have anything to do with the script or acting or anything like that. And Errol Flynn movies wouldn't have sucked so bad if they had gotten that hack Korngold out of the way. :rolleyes:

-Delorean90, who can't think of any recent pirate movies other than POTC and Cutthroat Island. Any help guys? Oh, wait...Muppet Treasure Island. I seem to recall hearing that it was more traditional than a lot of Zimmer material...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just when i found hope within the promising potc 3 soundclips zimmer is smashing everything again with some of the most stupid comments i have ever heard about film scoring. The worst thing is that he gets away with it just because he is hans zimmer.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just when i found hope within the promising potc 3 soundclips zimmer is smashing everything again with some of the most stupid comments i have ever heard about film scoring. The worst thing is that he gets away with it just because he is hans zimmer.

What offended you?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just when i found hope within the promising potc 3 soundclips zimmer is smashing everything again with some of the most stupid comments i have ever heard about film scoring. The worst thing is that he gets away with it just because he is hans zimmer.

....and because directors, producers, actors and many audiences love his scores, although that's not something I'd like to confuse you with at this moment in time, god forbid.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yes of course he's correct because everytime I discuss Pirate movies with people the first thing out of their mouth is how crappy the music is and it needs more Zimmer/ MV crappy music.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"There's a lot of old-fashioned woodwind writing, which I could do in my sleep, it's really easy that stuff."

So Zimmer figures he can absorb hundreds of years of woodwind history and writing (what I presume is "old-fashioned") and apply it in his sleep? What an amazing composer.

Seriously, Morlock, why?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Zimmer is his usual self-compliant persona. Why anyone would want a beer with a man just because he's oozing 'easy going', especially if he's working in the fields of the arts, is beyond me.

As the saying goes, 'nice' is the little sister of 'bullshit'.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe because he is really passionate about what he is doing, and even despite his limited skills he can create something thrilling and much more interesting that many other better educated composers who try to write like JW or other golden-age-like coposers, but just can't reach the level of coolness which I find the most essential in film music (I wouldn't really want to hear any HZ's Concerto or Symphony, because he is not at the level to acheive anything of that stature). HZ is not the best composer, I can put a lot of criticism towards many his ideas, but still he is one of my favourite ... let's say score makers.

Refering to his comments and views on what film music needs - it is his right as a craftsman to have his own ideas how to write a theme or motive (some of them I dislike, other I seem to really enjoy and find trully creative), even if it's unlike any JW way of scoring (which is my favourite, but doesn't limit my other interest in film music).

Link to post
Share on other sites
So Zimmer figures he can absorb hundreds of years of woodwind history and writing (what I presume is "old-fashioned") and apply it in his sleep?

Yes, and I'm sure he can do it. Writing an attractive, catchy piece that works is not very hard, especially since the genre and sound is specific and defined. There's little room to really do anything new, and doing a variation on the old stuff should be easy.

Zimmer is his usual self-compliant persona. Why anyone would want a beer with a man just because he's oozing 'easy going', especially if he's working in the fields of the arts, is beyond me.

Zimmer is his usual self. To you, everything about him is everything wrong with film music. To me, this is a very interesting, intelligent guy, who happens to be a great film composer.

I would want to have a beer with someone who's easy going working in the arts, of course. ESPECIALLY if I know that he does great work.

I'm sorry, this is just your typical Zimmer bashers vs. Zimmer defendors. We might as well give up here. I don't understand you people, and I'm sure you don't understand me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, I can't say I agree with some of the stuff he's saying (I mean, the whole orchestra as synth thing is just dumb- if you're rearranging the orchestra to sound synthetic- why not just use synths, if that's the sound you're after?), but I think that every single thing he says is attacked to such a ridicules degree.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think his major point was that a big Kongoldian score would be wrong for PoTC. I do not agree with him on the other point.

I agree Korngold (even Williams) would have been wrong but I believe Silvestri could have delivered a fitting score.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I've learned to tune out the music.

I hate most Zimmer music, but I have to admit the guy can write some interesting music sometimes. It's just so sad he uses synths to make the music sound so...fake and off. Not to mention, hearing reality-show clunking noises all the time really gets repetitive.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm sorry, this is just your typical Zimmer bashers vs. Zimmer defendors. We might as well give up here. I don't understand you people, and I'm sure you don't understand me.

I do not think this is true. I just think Zimmer's 'insights' are (often, not always) so offensive in their simple-mindedness that i find it hard to believe that anyone would be in awe to talk at lenght about his musical integrity.

He can sell his stuff...be it chit-chatting with an unassuming producer or to various film music 'reporters'. He's the incarnation of 'jovial'.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I found Zimmer's interview very interesting, especially the great revelation how he achieves that "synth sound" without actual synths. I have to say these big epic adventure scores Zimmer writes are not my cup of tea. To me they sound all the same with those same chords and thematic progressions, same low male choir and orchestra that does sound like synths as Zimmer likes it that way (or should I say Bruckheimer likes it that way). His less adrenaline pumping stuff is much more interesting with subtlety that I can appreciate much more than his power anthemy action scoring. It was nice to hear that Zimmer does follow the discussions of his fans and detractors in the internet and was defending his choices in the music for the POTC. They do make sense as he explains them but that does not make the music any better to my ears. Zimmer writes his music the only way he knows to write it. Some of it resonates with me and some of it doesn't. Still it is always nice to hear composer's view on things and his insights on particular project or in general.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I do not think this is true. I just think Zimmer's 'insights' are (often, not always) so offensive in their simple-mindedness that i find it hard to believe that anyone would be in awe to talk at lenght about his musical integrity.

He can sell his stuff...be it chit-chatting with an unassuming producer or to various film music 'reporters'. He's the incarnation of 'jovial'.

....like I said. To me- he comes off as honest, the only composer in Hollywood who will really say what's on his mind. To you, he's offensive.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I do not think this is true. I just think Zimmer's 'insights' are (often, not always) so offensive in their simple-mindedness that i find it hard to believe that anyone would be in awe to talk at lenght about his musical integrity.

He can sell his stuff...be it chit-chatting with an unassuming producer or to various film music 'reporters'. He's the incarnation of 'jovial'.

....like I said. To me- he comes off as honest, the only composer in Hollywood who will really say what's on his mind. To you, he's offensive.

He isn't the only one. Horner often speaks what he has on his mind, but the outcome is to the advantage of HZ. While Hans may sometimes sound naive with his ideas (I disagree with his remark about the pirate-movie music from the Podcast interview), he seems to be very amicable guy. On the other hand, Horner seems to be unpleasant and arrogant.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Horner rarely speaks, and his mind is a very strange place. The only interview where he didn't sound all huffy and in denial was the big one last year. Elfman never, ever struck me as someone to bullshit, but he just seems so detached from the world of film scoring.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I listened to the whole PotC3 album today (don't ask me how I did it :P ). I am very pleased. It is HZ's best action-adventure score since "The Lion King" and the new love theme is by far the best in his career. The album still retains some typical MV-like writing (I doubt anyone expected something else - it is NOT Korngold-like album, nor "Sinbad", nor "Cutthroat Island"....), but it is quite sparse compared to previous PotC albums. Moreover the album is full of multilayered writing unlike anything else HZ ever brought. Even the PotC themes from the first movie are presented in a way

that they become trully enjoyable.

The final 20 minutes of the album is a highlight. "Hoist the Colours" theme in its choral rendition in "What Shall We Die For?". Then the climax track - "I don't think it is the best time" which first half is similar in style to what was in "Pot2", but the second half is a fantastic tour the force with exchanging themes from the trilogy.

"Up is Down" and "Drink Up Me Hearties" track are anything, but amazing (especially the latter; I have never expected that PotC music could ever excite me so much). So is "One day".

"PotC" trilogy should have gotten such a music from the beginning. I am still unsure whether it was a good idea to give those movies to Zimmer and co., but nevertheless I am happy that all these came to such an exciting finish. Now I hope the movie will deliver.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh would you guys lay off Zimmer please? You can like his music or not, but it's a style that's out there. Why should we, as music lovers, discredit any style of music? Just be happy that there is more stuff out there!

Now, anyone who has been a film music fan notices that Hollywood tends to treat film scores in waves. The big classic "Hollywood" sound comes into style, with enormous orchestras and classical thematic material. Then it goes out with alternative types of music; including electronic.

Zimmer, and Gustavo's popularity is a sign that we are on a little bit of a tide change for the time being. Small, and/ or DIFFERENT is somewhat "in" right now. Just enjoy the new music...might as well...even if it offends your traditional sensibilities. Zimmer is the new rock star in Hollywood. Doesn't mean people don't like John Williams' music! So I don't understand why you get so angry.

They are just different voices being heard in a VERY bloated art form. You either like them, or you don't, but I don't think we should act as if Zimmer is any less of a composer or artist than the big guys. He's just different in style.

Do I like his music? Sometimes. More often than not, not really. I hate John Cage's music too but that doesn't mean that he's a terrible composer. And although the John Williams fanatic in me foams at the mouth that Gustavo beat him, and also Thomas Newman for an oscar, I'm ok with the guy. So he can't read music...so what? He sits with his guitar, feels moved by something, and composes for the score. What is wrong with that?

I almost feel as though there is a bit of snobbery. "Uptown and Downtown." Do you not realize that classical musicians and composers tend to view film scores as "downtown" music in general? Doesn't that make you mad that they judge all film scores as a lesser art? Why do that very same thing to specific composers?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Glad to hear it, Neimoidian. I'm really excited about this album.

"To me- he comes off as honest, the only composer in Hollywood who will really say what's on his mind. "

He does speak his mind. But honesty doesn't make you less naive. THe problem people are having is his oversimplistic ideas, and the way he sells film scores as "easy", and yet he has never done a truly great, complex score. It's like the new kid to the organization thinking he has what it takes to lead the pack before he gains any true knowledge or skill.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh would you guys lay off Zimmer please? You can like his music or not, but it's a style that's out there. Why should we, as music lovers, discredit any style of music? Just be happy that there is more stuff out there!

Now, anyone who has been a film music fan notices that Hollywood tends to treat film scores in waves. The big classic "Hollywood" sound comes into style, with enormous orchestras and classical thematic material. Then it goes out with alternative types of music; including electronic.

Zimmer, and Gustavo's popularity is a sign that we are on a little bit of a tide change for the time being. Small, and/ or DIFFERENT is somewhat "in" right now. Just enjoy the new music...might as well...even if it offends your traditional sensibilities. Zimmer is the new rock star in Hollywood. Doesn't mean people don't like John Williams' music! So I don't understand why you get so angry.

They are just different voices being heard in a VERY bloated art form. You either like them, or you don't, but I don't think we should act as if Zimmer is any less of a composer or artist than the big guys. He's just different in style.

Do I like his music? Sometimes. More often than not, not really. I hate John Cage's music too but that doesn't mean that he's a terrible composer. And although the John Williams fanatic in me foams at the mouth that Gustavo beat him, and also Thomas Newman for an oscar, I'm ok with the guy. So he can't read music...so what? He sits with his guitar, feels moved by something, and composes for the score. What is wrong with that?

I almost feel as though there is a bit of snobbery. "Uptown and Downtown." Do you not realize that classical musicians and composers tend to view film scores as "downtown" music in general? Doesn't that make you mad that they judge all film scores as a lesser art? Why do that very same thing to specific composers?

I do hate the snobbery, definitely. My real issue is the matching of style to projects. IMO, films like Pirates of the Caribbean deserve a more sweeping orchestral treatment. Now, I'm not actually saying it should be Korngold style, but, as was said before, given his track record, I would've preferred to hear what Silvestri would've done. For me, it's not a matter of just hating a composer and his general style across the board. If Zimmer had scored all three movies with full orchestra (I haven't heard the interview yet, so I don't know how much orchestra is used in the films--it sounds synthy. I will also state at this point, I haven't yet seen or heard any of Dead Man's Chest yet.) and some amount of thematic complexity and development, I would have no issues. But instead we got the MV sound overall.

There are some exceptions, though. I do like the cello theme from the first film and the main theme from "He's A Pirate," and I would really love them for the film if they were given a more orchestral treatment. I mean, I'm just itching to hear an orchestral arrangement of some of the material. But I don't think it really does a service to these movies. It shows how good films like POTC and Batman Begins are that they overcame the lack of a strong (not overpowering) orchestral score. I do actually like the POTC score on its own, it's just that I don't believe that that's really appropriate for certain things. An action film in a modern day setting? Sure, I can handle that. But I really prefer an orchestra for epic and/or fantastic films. I really even think using a full orchestra would do a world of good just for what's there already. And I would be pleased with it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I won't get involved in any of this Zimmer bashing, but I heard the whole album (like Neimoidian don't ask me how) and while it has inescapable Zimmer traits, it shows a genuinely good effort from him - several memorable themes, some piratey styles and according to the podcast, very few synths.

I find the first score (or parts of it) a guilty pleasure, I hate almost all of the second one, but this impressed me overall.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I do hate the snobbery, definitely. My real issue is the matching of style to projects. IMO, films like Pirates of the Caribbean deserve a more sweeping orchestral treatment. Now, I'm not actually saying it should be Korngold style, but, as was said before, given his track record, I would've preferred to hear what Silvestri would've done. For me, it's not a matter of just hating a composer and his general style across the board. If Zimmer had scored all three movies with full orchestra (I haven't heard the interview yet, so I don't know how much orchestra is used in the films--it sounds synthy. I will also state at this point, I haven't yet seen or heard any of Dead Man's Chest yet.) and some amount of thematic complexity and development, I would have no issues. But instead we got the MV sound overall.

There are some exceptions, though. I do like the cello theme from the first film and the main theme from "He's A Pirate," and I would really love them for the film if they were given a more orchestral treatment. I mean, I'm just itching to hear an orchestral arrangement of some of the material. But I don't think it really does a service to these movies. It shows how good films like POTC and Batman Begins are that they overcame the lack of a strong (not overpowering) orchestral score. I do actually like the POTC score on its own, it's just that I don't believe that that's really appropriate for certain things. An action film in a modern day setting? Sure, I can handle that. But I really prefer an orchestra for epic and/or fantastic films. I really even think using a full orchestra would do a world of good just for what's there already. And I would be pleased with it.

So check the "Dead Man's Chest" first - there is a very (IMO) enjoyable orchestral version of the themes you refer to (still in HZ/MV vein, but definitelly improved compared to PotC1). In the "PotC3" we can hear even more improved version with much much better brass lines, which this time really work. They are more fanfare-like now instead of just making additional noise.

You heard the whole album?

Even though the album hasn't been released yet...

That's why you shouldn't ask us how we did it :(

Link to post
Share on other sites
You heard the whole album?

Even though the album hasn't been released yet...

That's why you shouldn't ask us how we did it :(

Doesn't matter I know why. I just work it out for myself. But I'm ain't saying. :lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites
"PotC" trilogy should have gotten such a music from the beginning.

But if you start off huge, where do you go from there?

I wouldn't be surprised if Zimmer looked at the first score when he started the second one and made a plan for the other two scores in terms of expansion and size (if only a vague idea of this).

- Marc, who hasn't listened to the interview yet, but will soon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was quite happy that it was giong to fit neatly into a Saturday afternoon. Then I got really busy, and now I'm nearly a week behind. I had the full five-hour version of Das Boot planned for next Saturday, but I'm going to have to do some catching up first...

Anyway, I'm actually looking forward to hearing the score this time, even if it is mostly out of curiousity to see where Zimmer took the music this time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really enjoying this right now. CotBP, apart from the cello jig, was mostly crap or standard Zimmer stuff heard years before. DMC I found overall enjoyable, with a few highlights (the mentioned jig, the new Jack Sparrow theme, Davy Jones, several bits of underscore). But AWE now... that's a huge leap foreward, especially in terms of sweepyness, piratyness, drama, ... very few annoying MV-isms left. Looking forward to the movie next week ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really enjoying this score, despite my usual hatred of all things Zimmer. Up is Down is a lot of fun, and the proliferation of woodwinds makes me doubt the reasoning behind Silvestri's departure on the first film.

Link to post
Share on other sites

this past Saturday I was flipping thru the channels and on Cartoon Network they had a Tom & Jerry movie marathon of new cartoons. One movie was a pirate toon and at one point the score consisted of a piano version of Zimmer's POTC theme.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm really enjoying this score, despite my usual hatred of all things Zimmer. Up is Down is a lot of fun, and the proliferation of woodwinds makes me doubt the reasoning behind Silvestri's departure on the first film.

Hm, as far as I have heard the "Silvestri got fired because of woodwind use" is an urban myth... afaik it went like this, Silvestri was part of the project (probably because of his connection to Verbinski), then Bruckheimer played his muscles to get his usual music gang on board, and is supposed to have told them "No woodwinds!", which seems to me more of a simplification of a broader point which he wanted to make, i.e. to do something different from the typical pirate film score cliché. As far as I've heard Silvestri hadn't even written enything yet, apart from a few demos perhaps.

Feel free to correct me with actual quotes on this :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

To support you:

I was brought into that project through Gore Verbinski, who I had worked with on The Mexican and Mousehunt. But it was a Jerry Bruckheimer film, which has a certain sound that has to be kept in the mix. Jerry is a very powerful producer - not just in terms of his success rate, but he's also a very creatively involved producer. I can only speak for the dynamic in this particular film, but Jerry is not the kind of producer that hires a director, and then sends him off to make the movie. Jerry is a very big part creatively of the making of the movie, with the director. So when you walk into that situation, in a sense you have two very strong entities that have to agree on a collective vision of the film. Jerry has people that he's worked with in the past, and a mode of working in the past, that has been very successful for him.

So really what happened was that Jerry's creative needs, and work mode, needed to be addressed as well as Gore's. In the end, I think Jerry was much more comfortable working in a way that he had worked historically, with people he had worked with historically, and it seemed the best idea for us to part our ways. But never anything acrimonious happened, and he was just fantastic. It just wasn't the right chemistry in the end, for all of the forces at work. As you know, in all of these movies there's a tremendous amount at stake and certainly it's a Jerry Bruckheimer film - it's not an Alan Silvestri film! And Jerry understandably needs to have conditions that he needs to feel that he is bringing what he is being asked to bring by the people he serves, with him in order to accomplish his task. We had a really lovely chat after all of that, and there's no harm, no foul there for us.

We never recorded anything, and we really didn't get that far. But we got far enough for Jerry to feel that he wanted to change horses. So like I said, he's the man ultimately responsible to the studio for bringing that product, and having it be viable - so he has to do what he has to do to accomplish that. But he couldn't have been more respectful, and sensitive to how it all ultimately happened - and that's all one can ask!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.