Backstage Interview | 85th Academy Awards

Music (Original Score)

CATEGORY: Music (Original Score)


Q.I know that you used a lot of musicians from around the world and try to combine a lot of different musical aspects into the score. Can you tell me what inspired you to go that route for LIFE OF PI? A.Well, first of all, I think I started working on this film when I read the book ten years ago. A lot of the time while I was working, I would go back to remembering how I felt when I was reading the novel and just minding those feelings and that impression that I had of the world that Yann Martel created. Certainly Ang and I began speaking about this five years ago when he first got on the project, and I have pages and pages of notes from several years of discussions. And one thing we knew from the beginning is that it was going to be a big, rich picture, so there had to be, obviously, a big orchestra, a big choir. But we knew that we wanted to respect the culture that Pi came from, respect his sense of inclusiveness of all the world's cultures and religions. His sense of not seeing any borders between different ways of looking at the world, that different cultures around the world have, different points of view. So we wanted to respect that in the music and reflect that in the music, and so we knew right from the beginning that was our approach. Q.Congratulations for your award. You talk about you been working with Ang Lee for this music for more than five years. A.Yes. Q.And in this film, we usually only see the boat, the boy, tiger, and the special effect, the rest is your music. A.Yeah. Q.And how do you and Ang work together to [inaudible] to blend your music and the story? A.Well, Ang and I worked very closely for the last four months of post production. We were about 100 yard apart on the Fox lot. His cutting room and the bungalow that I was set up in where we were writing, and he would be over he'd be cutting all day and then come over at the beginning and at the end of the day, and we would work and mold the score together. It is a score where it's a film where score has a big load to carry. There's a lot of moments of non dialogue, of silence, and the music has to speak for the characters and speak for the story. So it was something that we were very conscious that music had a great weight to carry, and so we took a lot of very great care in the molding of the score. Q.Congratulations to you for your Oscar win tonight. A.Thank you. Q.After having such a rich career, just tell us how it feels to be holding the Oscar right now. A.Well, I'm still learning how to hold it properly. You got to put your thumb on the little butt there, and then you have it the right way. For a long time, I was holding it this way. So now I know you got to feel the little butt cheeks. So that's really what I've learned tonight. But I mean honestly, look, this is the biggest honor you can possibly have in this work that we do. And I've been working for a long time writing music for movies and to have this big group hug from my peers and from fellow filmmakers, it's a supreme honor and it's yeah, it's the greatest honor of my life.


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