08 December 2007

HITMAN - PIRATES DES CARAIBES, interview de Geoff Zanelli Part 3, par Christine Blanc.

Nous vous présentons aujourd'hui la troisième et dernière partie de notre longue interview avec le compositeur Goeff Zanelli. Après quelques lignes où nous revennons avec lui sur l'épopée Pirates des Caraibes, vous pourrez découvrir ses premiers sentiments sur son travail pour Hitman le film, adaptation des célèbres jeux vidéos. Le film sortira en France le 26 décembre, et cette interview a eu lieu juste après le mixage de sa partition.
Par ailleurs, pour compléter la couverture de cet évenement, vous découvrirez d'ici quelques jours sur inter-activities-videogames, une interview de Jesper Kyd, le "Père musical" d'Hitman, puisque c'est lui qui à signé toutes les partitions des jeux vidéos d'Hitman jusqu'au tout récent Blood Money.
PIRATES DES CARAIBES
How did you come on Pirates?
Goeff Zanelli - I was asked to help out.

On which ones did you work?
All 3.

Do you think there will be a fourth?
Probably.

Would you be interested to be part of it?
Sure.

How did you work with Remote Control composers and the film crew?
Very closely, as always.


May you tell me about your approach for the films?
Depends which film. The first one, we had just over 3 weeks to write it, so the approach was simply write as fast as you can. It was very, very hectic and chaotic, but at the same time a great joy. We all knew we were helping the film.

How much time did you have to compose your score?
On the first, just over 3 weeks. The other two, probably 10 weeks on each.

On what senes did you worked on?
There were so many! I can barely remember, but let’s see, on the first one I did the moonlight serenade, and the ship to ship chase, the scenes before the actual battle. The end credits piece, “He’s A Pirate,” was my arrangement of Hans’ theme. Then once Pirates 2 came, I was doing more writing as opposed to arranging, so I composed the Tia Dalma/Calypso theme, and then the Cannibal Island music, most of that was mine. I mean the music which wasn’t Jack’s theme. For Pirates 3, Tia Dalma has a, literally, bigger part in the film, and so I worked on the Calypso cues, and enjoyed getting to develop my little theme, which now had to become a big theme.


To you, what is the most interesting, the most successful or the most complex scene you had to score for this film?
I really have no idea again. I know I spent the most time on the ship to ship chase during Pirates 1.

Have you any anecdote to tell us about the production of Pirates of the Caribbean?
You’d think I would, since I worked on Pirates movies for the last 4 years of my life, but I somehow can’t think of anything at the moment. Those were all, for me, very work intensive projects, so I spent most of the time in my room with my head down, working.

What did the experience bring to you, personnally and as a composer ?
Well, I very much enjoy seeing these films succeed. I love how people have responded to the Pirates films, and the scores themselves. So that’s a great pleasure for me, to know that so many people are enjoying the work.


HITMAN

Crâne rasé, code barre tatoué sur la nuque, costume noir, chemise blanche et cravate rouge : l'agent 47 est le plus mystérieux et le plus insaisissable des tueurs professionnels. Réputé pour la minutie avec laquelle il va jusqu'au bout de ses missions, il obéit toujours à un protocole strict : extrême vigilance, extrême discrétion et extrême soin apporté à l'exécution de ses contrats. Patience et détermination sont ses deux armes de prédilection. Rien ne l'arrête. Sa signature : l'absence de preuves. Sa spécialité : disparaître sitôt sa mission accomplie. Un vrai fantôme, obligé de se découvrir le jour où Belicoff, candidat aux élections russes, lui tend un piège. Avec Interpol, les services secrets russes et trois tueurs de sa propre agence à ses trousses, l'agent 47 est contraint de briser son propre protocole pour mener à bien sa mission...

You're actually scoring Hitman for Fox.
Geoff Zanelli - Contrary to Shrek, for which you composed for a videogame based on a movie, you’re presently scoring Hitman for Fox, that is the adaptation of the famous video game.

How did you come on the project?
I got the call because the scoring process didn’t work out with their initial composer, and once the film company moved on, they were down to around 30 writing days before orchestra. So, maybe because they knew I’d scored Secret Window in 13 days, I got the call.

Did you work with the producer, Luc Besson (Europa Corp)?
I was writing in Los Angeles, so no actually. I met with Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, who is one of the producers, and as well with the picture editor Nick De Toth and Robert Kraft, head of music at Fox.


Is the process of adapting a videogame into a movie different from the process of adapting a movie into a videogame?
I couldn’t say. The process of scoring a video game movie though is no different at all from scoring a movie which is not based on a video game.

Did you play the games, and did you listen to the video game score? Why?
I’m afraid I don’t have time to play video games very much even though I’d love to, so no I didn’t ever get a chance to play the video game, nor did I listen to the scores. I feel very strongly that since we are making a film, I needed to write a film score, and approach it as an original property.

What material did you use from the actual Hitman games ?
Schubert’s Ave Maria makes an appearance, but other than that, it’s my own score.

May you tell me about your approach for this film?
I was under a very tight schedule again, so I needed to write an efficient score. You’ll hear that it depends on a signature riff for the main character, named 47. And there is also something that I wouldn’t call a love theme since love isn’t really the best word for it, but there is a female character in the film and she’s treated thematically. It’s a hybrid electronic/orchestral score, mostly string based, and there are also a few dark choir moments.

What the subject and the story of the film? What do you think personally about that?
I think I should wait until the film is out to discuss the story other than what you can gather from the trailers… It’s about a hitman, and things blow up!


How much time did you have to compose your score?
33 days

What orchestra and what size did you choose? Did you use some electronic sounds in your score or was it all live?
The orchestra was recorded in Paris. In fact I only returned yesterday. The musicians there were excellent, and I’m now in the final music mix and very pleased with the results.

To you, what is the most interesting, the most successful or the most complex scene you had to score for this film?
It’s easier to answer this time since the movie is still very much on my mind. Well the action music definitely works symbiotically with the story, but I’m also excited about Nika’s theme, the woman in the film, because I think people will be surprised to hear something like this in the film.

Is a cd of the score scheduled? Why? If yes, when ?
Yes, from La La Land. I don’t know the details of when though. There will also be an iTunes release, as I understand it.

What did the experience bring to you, personnally and as a composer ?
I think I should wait until I’m completely finished to answer this. But right now I feel very good about the work, even though I’m still knee deep in it.

Do you have any anecdote about this work?
The first thing that comes to mind is… Paris is AMAZING. I very much enjoyed working with people I’d not worked with before and everyone involved was a true joy, from the conductor to the musicians, Europacorp’s team to the engineering crew.

Can you tell me about your projects?
Do you mean what’s coming up for me? After Hitman, I’m scoring Outlander which is an ambitious film, very fun to write for. And then I’m going to score Ghost Town which is a romantic comedy, something I’m also very excited about since it’ll be so different from the action and adventure scores I’ve been up to lately. There’s a few other things but it’s a little early for me to talk about them.

What would you advice to apprentice film composers for them to succeed in the business?
You have to think of yourself as a filmmaker who uses music as a means to make a film. It’s very crucial to be thinking about storytelling, about filmmaking as early as possible. The technical aspects, and even to some extent the compositional aspects are assumed to be in place once you’re working at a certain level, so the thing which separates you from the other very capable writers is your ability to be symbiotic to picture.

Do you feel concerned about piracy of film music on internet. What kind of solution would you suggest?
I don’t think about that much, to be honest. It’s never really occurred to me.


For a new project, if you could choose you a genre, a kind of story and a filmmaker, what would they be?
Just something different from the last thing I did. That’s why I say I’m excited about Outlander, cause it’s not like Hitman, and I’m excited about Ghost Town, cause it’s not like Outlander.

Do you have specific message to add for our readers?
Just that I appreciate their interest!

Thanks and all my congratulations.
Thanks to you too. My pleasure.

Cinéma et jeux vidéo

Depuis plus d'une dizaine d'années, l'univers du jeu vidéo est devenu l'une des principales sources d'inspiration du cinéma; avec plus ou moins de bonheur. En 1992 sortait Super Mario Bros avec dans le rôle-titre Bob Hoskins, qui enfilait la célèbre salopette de la mascotte de Nintendo. C'était la première fois qu'une franchise de jeu vidéo était transposée sur grand écran. On compte également la saga des Mortal Kombat, celle de Tomb Raider dans laquelle Angelina Jolie prête ses plantureuses courbes à l'héroïne Lara Croft; les trois volets du survival horror Resident Evil emmenés par Milla Jovovich. Il faut également citer les oeuvres d'Uwe Boll (The House of the dead, Alone in the dark, BloodRayne,...), que beaucoup d'aficionados des jeux vidéo considèrent comme le fossoyeur du genre. Enfin, il faut citer le Silent Hill de Christophe Gans, une des meilleurs adaptations de franchise vidéoludique jamais portée à l'écran selon l'avis de nombreux gamers.

D'ici quelques jours vous pourrez découvrir l'interview du compositeurs des jeux Hitman, par le célèbre Jesper Kyd, sur inter-activities-videogames




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