One of the challenges of today’s more limited space in print media is condensing sometimes lengthy, comprehensive interviews down to their very essence. Yet it’s always fun to talk with major musical artists about working in film, which generally involves more specific parameters than just writing or arranging a song for a record. So for a story in this week’s special issue of Variety, I had to take 20- or 30-minute interviews with Justin Timberlake, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Harvey Mason Jr., French singer Camille and Disney songwriter Glenn Slater and find a way to assemble their key thoughts into one coherent story. They talk about the current films Sing, Trolls and Moana, plus earlier 2016 films including The Little Prince and Sausage Party.
Fascinating day on Saturday, interviewing Justin Timberlake, who is not only a voice in the new DreamWorks animated movie Trolls but also served as its executive music producer. Timberlake oversaw production on all of the songs, both original and covers. He was joined by two of his collaborators, top pop producers Max Martin and Shellback. The occasion was a Society of Composers & Lyricists screening of the movie at Raleigh Studios; the room was packed and all three guys were thoughtful and funny. Even Timberlake seemed wowed by the notion that his video for “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” a strong contender for Best Song honors during awards season, has now been viewed by 275 million people.