Monthly Archives: November 2014

That organ in Zimmer’s “Interstellar” score

templechurchorganI was so struck by the use of a pipe organ in Hans Zimmer’s huge score for Interstellar that I decided to investigate further — so I got in touch with the fellow who actually played the instrument, London Temple Church music director Roger Sayer. In this piece, he talks about working with the composer, with director Christopher Nolan, the recording process, and how he feels about the final product.

Leigh Chapman, “U.N.C.L.E.” Actress, Writer

LeighChapmanpicWe knew her as Sarah Johnson, the beautiful, very efficient (and gun-toting) secretary in U.N.C.L.E. headquarters on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. But after a handful of guest spots in ’60s TV, she ditched the acting career for a typewriter, penning some of our other favorite spy shows including Mission: Impossible, The Wild Wild West and It Takes a Thief. Later she wrote a number of action and adventure films (including the original treatment for guilty-pleasure blaxploitation flick Truck Turner, starring Isaac Hayes). Here’s my obituary for Variety.

Alexandre Desplat, Billion Dollar Composer

DesplatBillionDollar2-smThis was immense fun to put together. I was initially charmed by Alexandre’s score for Girl With a Pearl Earring and wowed by at least a dozen more since then. I have interviewed him many times, including a memorable piece for The New York Times (you’ll find that in “From the Files”) and done several live Q&As with him. Variety asked me to profile him as part of its “Billion Dollar Composer” series, just as awards season is getting underway — so the sidebar story looks at his music for two potential Oscar nominees, The Imitation Game and Unbroken. (And George Clooney thought highly enough of his favorite composer that he interrupted his honeymoon to give me a great quote.)

“Into the Woods”: Sondheim on film

JonITWforVariety2014_11_04-smEveryone’s fascinated by Disney’s upcoming musical Into the Woods, based on the 1987 Broadway hit that won Tony Awards for composer Stephen Sondheim and writer James Lapine. It may be the season’s most anticipated musical. This preview in Variety‘s current issue contains more musical detail than I’ve seen in any other article to date — including the sad news that Sondheim’s new song for the film has been cut. But director Rob Marshall and writer Lapine talk about their decisions about what to keep and what to lose in this story. And in this short follow-up story, Marshall talks a bit more about the transition from stage to screen.intothewoodsVariety