Star Trek composer Michael Giacchino was the guest speaker at a recent ‘Zocalo Lecture’ at the LA County Museum of Art, where he talked of his path from a kid creating his own soundtracks to working with Spielberg on video game scores. Giacchino said that it was JJ Abrams who took him from games to TV and movies. He also talked a bit out how daunting it is for him to be taking on the Trek score.
A fateful email from JJ Abrams
Giacchino spoke about how after working on a number of high profile video games he was still struggling to break into TV and film, saying "no one would talk to me." Then he got "this crazy email" from JJ Abrams saying Abrams played all of the games Giacchino had scored and loved the music and wanted to know if he wanted a job. After working out that it wasn’t a joke Giacchino soon became the composer for Alias (for which he won an Emmy) and the long collaboration between the Abrams and Giacchino began. Giacchino and the moderator also talked about how Alias brought back using live orchestras for TV scores, with Giacchino noting that "outside of Star Trek of course, it wasn’t being done at all."
Scoring Star Trek is ‘scary’
Giacchino has recently wrapped up his work on the score for Speed Racer. Post-production has just started on Star Trek and so his work has yet to start, but Giacchino clearly taking it very seriously:
At this point still pretending that I don’t even have to write it. Because talk about things that you love, another one of those things was Star Trek for me. It is very daunting. It is a big hill for me. Because James Horner and Jerry Goldsmith in particular are two guys who I have enormous respect for and I am huge fans of theirs. Of course I would listen to Star Trek Motion Picture soundtrack and Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan endlessly as a kid and to be here on the verge of starting work on this with JJ is very scary.
Giacchino’s Cloverfield "Roar" to be released on iTunes
For the hand held camera movie Cloverfield, JJ Abrams did not want a score. Giacchino recounts how he loved monster movies and wanted to do a score so badly he talked Abrams into adding the "Roar" theme that runs with the end credits. There is no soundtrack obviously, but Sountrack.net reports "Roar" will be released on iTunes on April 29th.
There is much more in the interview about his scores from Alias, Lost, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Speed Racer. Listen to the entire interview at Zocalola.org.
(or at KPCC scroll down to "Composer Michael Giacchino on How to Score Big in Hollywood")