23 December 2007

SANTA CLAUSE 3 interview de Georges S. Clinton, un compositeur qui fait fondre la glace, même la plus givrée!

Santa Clause 3 : The Escape Clause est le troisième volet d'une trilogie de Disney qui a débuté en 1994 avec Super Noel réalisé par John Pasquin, puis en 2002 Hyper Noël réalisé par Michael Lembeck, qui a également réalisé ce troisième opus. Quant à Tim Allen, lui est resté fidèle à son poste de Père Noël pour les trois films. Pour ces fêtes de fin d'année, nous avons retrouvé avec joie un elfe, proche collaborateur du Père Noël en la personne du compositeur George S. Clinton. Alors qu'une rivalité sans précédent va opposer Santa Claus à Jack Frost, c'est une nouvelle et magnifique collaboration qui s'engage à nouveau entre le réalisateur de Friends et le compositeur d'Austin Powers, Scary Movie 2 et Dirty Shame qui nous sort de sa hotte une partition musicale magique, qui devrait en faire fondre plus d'un!

In what state of mind did you step back into Santa’s musical shoes for this third opus ?
Georges S. Clinton - Along with decorating my studio with lights even though it was September when I began writing, I always do a lot of listening to various Christmas scores and albums to get in the mood. This time I was listening toRespighi's: Ancient Airs & Dances and Gretry's Suites and Overtures. Even though they didn't intended to be, I find the music very Christmas-y.

What are the most important additions you put in this new score regarding SC2?
There is a new "North Pole" theme, a "Stewart" the head elf theme, a new love theme, the Hall Of Snow Globes, and of course, Jack Frost's theme.

Can you tell me about your treatment of the character of Jack Frost? Were you aware of the fact that, for the first two days of shooting, his costume was designed a little like a magical“hippie” costume, and since it wasn’t menacing enough, they designed another one, much more like a suit, in order to fit the dangerous personality he embodies. What that fact influenced the way you approached him musically? In what way?
I wasn't aware of the costume change because the version of the film I scored to was after that had occurred. My theme for Jack Frost is a twisted "tango". I made a solo violin Jack's instrument and had it play this strangely seductive theme when he was planning his schemes.

How did you use the Christmas traditional tunes? What for? In what kind of situation?
I like to include phrases from old Christmas songs even as counter-melodies or harmonies to my score. To me, they are like treats shining on a Christmas tree. In the big theme when we go to the kitchen for the first time and all the elves are baking ginger bread houses, I have the choir whistle along on the 2nd and 4th phrases which are actually the melodies of the 2nd and 4th phrases of the old carol "I Saw Three Ships".

Can you tell me about your treatment of the Snowglobe room?
I wanted that to be the most magical and wondrous music of all. I used children's choir, harp, celeste, and bell trees along with the orchestra to give it that quality. At the moment the camera pushes in on Scott's snow globe, I have a French Horn play the opening phrase of "The First Noel" since these globes were supposed to date all the way back to the first Santa.

Can you tell me about your treatment of the emotional aspect of the film?
This particular story seemed to be more childlike than SC2. I wanted to be sure to get my music for Lucy just right- not to sweet, but simple and emotional. After Scott convinces her to go over and hug Jack Frost to break his spell her parents, the music dims to silence and as she begins to walk towards Frost, just a solo child's voice and harp play under her. It's one of my favorite moments in the film.
Also, the reveal of baby Clause at the end had to start sweet and then get majestic as the film came to and end.

How did you work with the director?
Michael Lembeck is like an elf himself. Not that he looks like one, but he is full of energy and mischief and fun. Having done the first one together, it was easy to get back into working with him. He's also a musician and has very specific suggestions to make. He likes to explain each scene to the orchestra before we begin rehearsing it and gets everyone laughing.

Who is your music most written for? For Children? For Families? For adults?
I feel that we all become kids again at Christmas, so I guess my music is for that kid in all of us, no matter how old we are.

Can you tell me about the orchestra? The size? Was it all live? Did you appeal to unusual instruments?
I used 90 musicians, a 32 voice adult choir, and 16 voice children's choir. We recorded the orchestra first and then over-dubbed the choirs.

Can you tell me about the idea and the use of a children choir in your score?
Since the elves are actually children, I wanted to have that as part of the music. Michael was always saying he wanted a children's chorus as well, so it was inevitable. My daughter, Jessica was 12 and sang in the children's choir and SC2, but by SC3, she was 16 and sang in both choirs.

Can you tell me about the idea and the creation of the Santa Clause Suite you created last week? Can you tell me about that experience in your birth town?
I created a seven minute suite with music from both SC2 and SC3. The world premiere was performed by the Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Dec 15th 2007 in Chattanooga Tennessee where I was born and raised. It was performed in the same theater where I had attended my first orchestral concert as a child. The performance went very well and I was very proud to have my family hear it.

How do you see this experience on one of the most successful Christmas movies ever?
I am a Christmas fanatic. My wife makes me wait until after Thanksgiving to put up Christmas decorations or I'd have them up November 1st!
I feel very fortunate to be the composer whose music people will remember hearing from their childhood when they watched SC2 and SC3.

What kind of an elf would you like to be?
I asked the director if I could play the piano playing elf in the North Pole scene where Frost's sings the parody on "New York, New York" but he said I wouldn't fit in to the costume. I said maybe I could be a giant elf, but he said no. In fact, that is me playing the piano in the recording and the kid elf is just pretending to play. I'd like to be the giant piano playing elf.

For an upcoming project, what kind of a film would you like to do?

I was lucky enough to be able to do "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" which won the EMMY this year for HBO. That was an epic drama and I enjoyed it. I'd like to do a good thriller or crime drama. Something sexy and a little twisted-- like me!!

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