Composers behind this summer's blockbusters


John Debney
Blockbuster resume: "Cutthroat Island," "Spy Kids," "The Scorpion King," "Sin City"
In 2010: "Iron Man 2"

"In my first couple of meetings with Jon (Favreau) he did mention that he thought this score could be a little more conventional, a little darker and more gothic because of the bad guy, Ivan (Mickey Rourke). There's guitar but you won't hear a lot of rock and roll rhythm section -- you'll hear hints of that but it will be couched in the orchestra so that there'll be more interplay between those two things."

Ramin Djawadi
Blockbuster resume: "Iron Man"
In 2010: "Clash of the Titans"

"I'm using elements like ethnic flutes and other things that are common in these kinds of films but I also intentionally avoided some instruments that I think are becoming overused and looked at using some instruments that you don't hear as much like the dulcimer, which made it more ancient-sounding. I got the call pretty late on 'Clash' so I couldn't start early and try out things and rework them. The schedule was much tighter. Our director, Louis Leterrier, was looking for something in a rock direction but not with guitar. He liked the cello a lot so we decided to do something like that except with celli. The trailers are a little misleading because they make it look much more like it's all a rock thing. This one is much more orchestral, maybe not traditional-sounding, but it's more of a modern flavor than pure rock and roll."

Harry Gregson-Williams
Blockbuster resume: "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," "Man on Fire," "Kingdom of Heaven"
In 2010: "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time"

"There's an influence of Persia in the thematic writing but harmonically I've been myself really. The thing started life as a video game -- it's not based on history at all or any truth at all -- so we made our own truth up and our own environment, which is a little bit more liberating than what I did on 'Kingdom of Heaven.' With 'Prince of Persia' I've gone out and run my music through the hands of various musicians that have great Middle Eastern tendencies or hailed from Persia and shaken that up to see what came out."

Marc Streitenfeld
Blockbuster resume: "American Gangster,"
"Body of Lies"
In 2010: "Robin Hood"

"Style: It's an orchestral score with a 90-piece orchestra but I would say there are also more intimate elements where I used an orchestral bag or a large choir, and places where I went with more of a solo approach with maybe a fiddler or something. There's a little bit of a Celtic influence just because of the setting. I'm quite familiar with 12th century music -- the movie is set in the 12th century -- and it's not comprised of 12th century music by any means but I didn't want it to feel completely foreign to that era. So those are two influences in the score. But there are some surprises in there, too."

Brian Tyler
Blockbuster resume: "Constantine," "Eagle Eye," "Fast and
In 2010: "The Expendables"

"On 'Expendables' I'm recording strings in two ways: I have the body, the more warm and round strings recorded as a full section, and the action strings are recorded smaller. It's counterintuitive but what happens is on the action strings you hear the grit and rosin of the bow and you hear more attack, and all you do is turn up your preamps and then you raise them in the mix, and you get this really resonant, in-your-face texture. It's more exciting to me than the kind of 300-piece string sound where it sounds like mush to me. It's a dueling string section approach."
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