Gregson-Williams’ career highlights

Composer reflects on memorable moments

Variety asked Harry Gregson-Williams to select a handful of memorable moments from his career as a film composer.

  • “The opening title of ‘Gone Baby Gone’ will always be special to me, not least because it was one of the hardest things I ever did. The movie came to me with a four- or five-minute voiceover monologue by Casey Affleck. What was needed was a very melodic, slightly wistful piece of music whose lead instrument was already there — the character’s voice.”

  • “(Director) Joel Schumacher was still shooting ‘Veronica Guerin’ on location (in Dublin) and suggested I come over and get a feel for what was going on. I heard this boy singing on the street, and it transported me back, perhaps because of my own background as a boy singer. After much difficulty, I got a recording of him and used it at the moment in the movie when Veronica is shot dead. I couldn’t imagine how I could score this moment any more emotionally than to use the voice of this child.”

  • “I think having a consort of viols and a fantastic (140-member) choir all assembled in Abbey Road for ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ was both thrilling and very alarming for me. I’d had a crash course in how to deal with a viol — I didn’t even know what clef the damn thing played in, let alone what range it was in — and that was a special moment because I was in territory that was completely unknown to me.”

  • “The hush as I picked up my baton before the first note of the concert I did with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (a suite from ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’). That was totally thrilling and also incredibly alarming. What in heaven’s name am I doing here? I’m a film composer, not a concert composer. It was fantastic.”

  • “I’m not Mr. Romantic Comedy. This was a breezy, 45-minute score for a lovely little film. For ‘Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,’ what was required of me was a love theme. We went to Abbey Road to record it. Usually I have masses of prerecords, lots of synthesized tracks and programming stuff and complicated machines needing to be synchronized. But on this, it was just the orchestra, ready to play. A very liberating time. It was great fun.”

More Film

  • 'Over the Limit' Review: A Mesmerizing

    IDFA Film Review: 'Over the Limit'

    Variety asked Harry Gregson-Williams to select a handful of memorable moments from his career as a film composer. Related IDFA Film Review: 'Over the Limit' All the Thanksgiving TV Marathons You Can Binge This Weekend “The opening title of ‘Gone Baby Gone’ will always be special to me, not least because it was one of […]

  • DreamWorks Animation Campus

    Film News Roundup: DreamWorks Animation Campus Sold for $290 Million

    Variety asked Harry Gregson-Williams to select a handful of memorable moments from his career as a film composer. Related IDFA Film Review: 'Over the Limit' All the Thanksgiving TV Marathons You Can Binge This Weekend “The opening title of ‘Gone Baby Gone’ will always be special to me, not least because it was one of […]

  • Mudbound

    Oscar Myth of 'Pure' Movies: Why Netflix, Amazon Should Be Recognized

    Variety asked Harry Gregson-Williams to select a handful of memorable moments from his career as a film composer. Related IDFA Film Review: 'Over the Limit' All the Thanksgiving TV Marathons You Can Binge This Weekend “The opening title of ‘Gone Baby Gone’ will always be special to me, not least because it was one of […]

  • IMAX Opens First European VR Center

    IMAX Opens First Virtual Reality Center in Europe

    Variety asked Harry Gregson-Williams to select a handful of memorable moments from his career as a film composer. Related IDFA Film Review: 'Over the Limit' All the Thanksgiving TV Marathons You Can Binge This Weekend “The opening title of ‘Gone Baby Gone’ will always be special to me, not least because it was one of […]

  • SGIFF: Why Gavin Lim's Diamond Dogs'

    Why 'Diamond Dogs' Had to Premiere in Singapore

    Variety asked Harry Gregson-Williams to select a handful of memorable moments from his career as a film composer. Related IDFA Film Review: 'Over the Limit' All the Thanksgiving TV Marathons You Can Binge This Weekend “The opening title of ‘Gone Baby Gone’ will always be special to me, not least because it was one of […]

  • Mona Fong Mona Fong, wife of

    Singer, Star, Leading Asian Film Executive Mona Fong Dies at 83

    Variety asked Harry Gregson-Williams to select a handful of memorable moments from his career as a film composer. Related IDFA Film Review: 'Over the Limit' All the Thanksgiving TV Marathons You Can Binge This Weekend “The opening title of ‘Gone Baby Gone’ will always be special to me, not least because it was one of […]

  • SGIFF: Three Questions With The Singapore

    Singapore Festival: Three Questions With Yuni Hadi

    Variety asked Harry Gregson-Williams to select a handful of memorable moments from his career as a film composer. Related IDFA Film Review: 'Over the Limit' All the Thanksgiving TV Marathons You Can Binge This Weekend “The opening title of ‘Gone Baby Gone’ will always be special to me, not least because it was one of […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content