Playing favorites


The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe (2005)
"The first thing I wrote was done a year in advance, and we went back-and-forth for about three weeks trying to find what this little horned creature (Mr. Tumnus) would be playing and on what instrument, because they needed to actually shoot the actor (James McAvoy) playing that instrument. It isn't a huge part in the movie, but the scene is really nice. It was nice to have that done early and then start the rest of the score."

Gone, Baby, Gone (Miramax)
"It's Ben Affleck's directorial debut. It's a low-budget thriller with a really good cast, and it's been a huge challenge. Ben, in wanting to keep things as realistic as possible, shied away from anything that sounded like film music or anything that was at all manipulative. So, it's been a healthy challenge to me to find a way, to bring a dimension to the film without it being too noticeable."

Man on Fire (2004)
"I've learned that it's best to leave yourself a bunch of time and be able to experiment with (director) Tony (Scott) because it's rarely the first idea I have that's going to fly. It seems to be a process I have to go through with just discovering the territory (and) feeling my way from there."

The Riches (FX Network)
"Quite simply, my son's baseball coach, who works for FX, suggested I have a look at it. I didn't think I could do a whole season because my time and my schedule just wouldn't allow that, so I ended up doing the pilot and the first two or three episodes."

Shrek (2001)
"I'd say there were two lasting themes from the first movie -- one was the fairy tale theme, which I actually tried to present as Shrek's theme and was told it was much too much like a fairy tale theme. It was too pretty and wasn't lumpy enough for Shrek. When we finally found the right one, that was a pretty sweet moment for both (co-composer John Powell) and me."

Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003)
"I love that film, and I guess it was just on the cusp of when traditional animation was ending and (computer generated) was taking over. Audiences really didn't respond to it, but it was absolutely fabulous for me to write a purely symphonic, teeth-baring score."

Team America: World Police (2004)
"It gave me an opportunity to knock out any and every cliche of that style of action film without feeling I was letting myself down for being a cliche; that was the irony of the situation. But the whole point was to parody this certain style of film score, and it was great fun doing it."