×

John Powell on Five of His Notable Scores

Composer John Powell talks about his five fave movie music projects and why:

Face/Off (1997)
“You do your first big movie, and it’s a John Woo film with Nicolas Cage and John Travolta. The premiere was at the Mann Chinese; Hans (Zimmer) got me a limo. There was a big crowd, and as I got out of the limo, there was this sigh of disappointment when they realized that it wasn’t John Travolta. I recommend this to all Hollywood composers. Within a small group of people, we may be well known, but it’s not why people go to the movies.”

Endurance (1999)
“The first person that Hans introduced me to, and got me involved with, was Terrence Malick. He was producing a docudrama about Haile Gebrselassie, the great Ethopian long-distance runner. Malick treated me as an artist. Hollywood is full of very, very artistic people. It is a business, and even Terrence Malick films have to make money. But ultimately there are a lot of people here who are interested in creativity.”

The Bourne Identity (2002)
“Doug Liman chose me while talking to me on the phone. I started writing things and he liked them. Hans casts a huge shadow, and ‘Bourne’ was very much an attempt to be different from Hans, so it was a reactionary score. Everything on that score was contrary; I was going to make everything sound small and dry, not big and wet. It was just electronic; there was no orchestra until the last minute. I had no idea that it was going to work. It was something that did change people’s perception of me, that freed me up from a lot of my own hang-ups.”

Happy Feet (2006)
“Working with (director) George Miller is a highlight because he’s the most kind, expressive and generous giver of knowledge, and he has a lot. He has a very particular view of what storytelling is about. To be able to sit with somebody that educated and (understand) the minutiae of every movement he makes within the story and why. … Hanging with him and getting to work on the first ‘Happy Feet’ improved everything I was doing. I did 12 films while I did ‘Happy Feet’ over four years and all of them benefited.”

Horton Hears a Who! (2008)
“I’m a big fan of Dr. Seuss. He’s one of America’s greatest assets (with) his ability to understand the truth of the world, the best and the worst of human nature, and communicate it to children in these wonderful rhyming couplets. I just wanted to try and communicate the joy that I feel is in the writing. The filmmakers gave me such wonderful free rein. I’m sure it’s one of the most expensive scores of all time; we had crazy groups of musicians making off-the-wall sounds. It was fun.”

More Music

  • CDBaby logo

    CD Baby Is Shutting Down Its Retail Store

    As if the name “CD Baby” weren’t already an anachronism, the independent distributor announced late last week that it is shutting down its retail store, although it will continue to distribute physical product through other channels. “CD Baby’s mission is to help artists monetize and promote their music in the best ways possible,” a message [...]

  • Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters

    Foo Fighters Reveal 'Van Tour' Dates to Mark 25th Anniversary

    The Foo Fighters are revisiting their past with a tour to commemorate their first-ever outing as a band in 1995. Dubbed “The Van Tour,” the spring trek will kick off in Phoenix on April 12 and wrap in Hamilton, Ontario on May 12. Each stop will feature a sneak peek at frontman Dave Grohl’s new [...]

  • Harry Styles arrives for the Brit

    Harry Styles Walks Brit Awards Red Carpet After Reported Robbery in London

    Harry Styles walked the red carpet at the Brit Awards in London Tuesday night, shortly after it was reported that he was robbed at knifepoint in his Hampstead neighborhood three nights earlier. Without naming Styles by name, Scotland Yard confirmed Tuesday that an incident seeming to match the circumstances of the alleged assault on the [...]

  • Amazon Music Puts Spotlight on Kane

    'Velocity' Puts Spotlight on Kane Brown as Subject of Amazon Music's Fifth Mini-Doc

    For the fifth entry in its line of mini-documentaries, Amazon Music is putting the spotlight on Kane Brown with a behind-the-scenes look at the young country star that will arrive Thursday, accompanied by a live EP. “Velocity” captures moments leading up to Brown’s headlining appearance at L.A.’s Staples Center Jan. 9, with his wife, managers, [...]

  • American alternative rock band Pearl Jam

    Pearl Jam Tell Congressmen BOSS Ticket-Reform Act Is ‘Flawed’

    UPDATED: The BOSS Act is legislation designed to crack down on improper practices in the secondary ticket market — bots, price-gougers and the like — spearheaded by New Jersey Democratic Congressmen Bill Pascrell and Frank Pallone Jr. The bill, which is officially named the “Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing Act” [...]

  • Sofar Sounds Unveils a Battery of

    Sofar Sounds Unveils a Battery of New Programs for Artists

    Sofar Sounds — which has made a name and a business for itself by staging “secret gigs and intimate concerts” featuring emerging artists for an invited, engaged audience — today unveiled a series of new programs intended to serve artists better, including a new payment model that will see artists paid more for playing bigger [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content