Composer Harry Gregson-Williams scored the anticipated awards contender “House of Gucci” with the different relationships and dynamics of the characters in mind, all amid the added layer of the pandemic.
“It was fairly challenging because by the time I had actually written the score and we were ready to record it with an orchestra in Los Angeles, each of the orchestral members had to be six feet apart,” said Gregson-Williams speaking with Variety‘s Jazz Tangcay at the SCAD Savannah Film Festival. “I found myself conducting as if I were a bank teller behind plastic short of sheets. It was a very strange experience, but, you know, we made it work. This wasn’t lockdown. We recorded this whilst everybody had to be mindful of the protocols.”
Gregson-Williams teased the upcoming film during the discussion, saying it was “fun” and was a different experience than his other Ridley Scott project, “The Last Duel.”
The composer, who has over 117 credits to his name, also spoke about his other notable collaborations with Niki Caro (“The Zookeeper’s Wife” and “Mulan”) and Tony Scott. Before the Q&A segment, the audience was treated to a musical performance where Gregson-Williams demonstrated his scoring process on his previous projects.
“I was so fortunate to have been Tony Scott’s composer for years and years and years, from 1996. I think I did ‘Enemy of the State,’ and we did ‘Man on Fire,’ ‘Spy Game,’ ‘Domino,’ the list went on and on and on. One of my favorite films was ‘Man on Fire,'” said Gregson-Williams. “Through Hans, I met Tony Scott. Through Tony, I met Ridley. But that doesn’t mean to say just because I met them through someone that that was going to work out. I had to do my part, which is to prepare as best I could. You know, I always think that being in any part of the film industry is very much like being in a team sport.”
The aforementioned Zimmer played a big role in Gregson-Williams’ career as a mentor early on. Gregson-Williams met Zimmer in 1994 when the latter was looking for assistance on “Crimson Tide.”
Asked about the best piece of advice Zimmer had given him, Gregson-Williams said: “His main thing was always to try and be writing music from some sort of an honest point of view. I never quite understood what he meant by it. I went, ‘Of course honest, Hans, what do you mean? How could you lie if you’re playing music?’ And he’s like, ‘No, the audience are going to see through you. It’s got to come from your heart.’ So if you’re doing a romantic cue or an action cue or a dramatic piece, it’s got to come from you. You’ve got to believe it and get right behind it.”
Watch the discussion above.