Music for Prime Time, my biggest and perhaps proudest accomplishment as an author, was unveiled Thursday night at Larry Edmunds Bookshop, the home of so many film-and-TV books and a place we have revered for decades. Not just the location, but the people: my dear friend Steven C. Smith (author of acclaimed bios of both Bernard Herrmann and Max Steiner) served as my host for a fun Q&A before sitting down to sign books for many friends, old and new. Thanks to Jeff and Sean at Larry Edmunds for a terrific evening — and anyone who would like a signed copy can contact them and I’ll pop over and sign them personally!
Bernard Herrmann — the composer of such classics as Citizen Kane, Vertigo, Psycho and North by Northwest — is today more revered and influential than even during his lifetime. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and The Film Music Foundation deemed his legacy important enough to launch an oral-history project focusing on this key American composer. So far we have done nearly four hours of interviews with biographer Steven Smith, director Larry Cohen, editor Paul Hirsch, conductor Richard Kaufman, the composer’s daughter Dorothy Herrmann, and Foundation executive Les Zador. They are all available here, at the Foundation’s website. More interviews are expected to be done in December.
I was delighted to be included in Daniel Griffith’s two new documentaries on the creation of television’s classic Twilight Zone series. Along with my old friends Steven Smith (Bernard Herrmann’s biographer) and Matt Roush (TV Guide critic), it’s a pleasure to be discussing the origins and history of the Twilight Zone themes by Herrmann and French composer Marius Constant. There are a lot of terrific “extras” in this set, which includes both the classic series and its 1980s update.