Exclusive Interview: Surrogates Composer Richard Marvin
Jman has a sit down with Richard Marvin, the composer of "Surrogates". Richard Marvin was also the creative genius behind the music of the original A-Team TV series. Has Richard any desire to work on the score of the A-Team movie that is currently in production today? Find out here and more?
Music. A much unappreciated aspect of cinema. As much as I like movies and let myself get totally immersed in the film at hand, I have to say, if it wasn't for the music then the movie would probably end up pretty dull. Imagine watching Michael Keaton as Batman drive down that country road in route to the Batcave with the oh so hot Kim Bassinger, with out any back ground music? Or seeing the famous "I'm Batman" scene with out hearing the epic Danny Elfman theme running in the back ground.
It would be to much like real life. That's what music brings to the table. A film's soundtrack is what bridges the gaps and makes the movie seamless. Now sometimes music is the only thing that the movie ends up being known for. But for those rare gems, when the quality of the movie matches the quality of the soundtrack you get a collaborative effort that really pays off.
Recently I was fortunate enough to talk to Composer Richard Marvin. Richard was responsible most recently for his work on "Surrogates" with director Jonathon Mostow. "Surrogates" represents the 4th time that director Jonathon Mostow and Richard Marvin have combined efforts with “U571,” “Flight of Black Angel,” and “Breakdown” being the first three.
Jman: How easily was it to construct the "Surrogates" score, being that this is the 4th collaboration between yourself and director Jonathon Mostow?
Richard Marvin: This is a very productive and creative score that came out very easily. He (Jonathon Mostow) and I share very similar ideas We have been working together for 17 years. I have a very good idea of what he is going to respond to and not respond to. The process of the score of "Surrogates" was very productive. There was not a lot of searching for the style of music, we came up with it very easily.
Jman: Sounds like a walk in the park. Working with over 120 musicians has got to be somewhat difficult?
Richard Marvin: Working with studio musicians is a great thrill. The score is already recorded and the musicians are reading off of that.
Jman: Take us through the whole process?
Richard Marvin: About a year ahead of time, I started reading the script and watching the rough cut of the movie. Then I sat at a piano and played with themes that went along with the movie and matched with what Jonathon had already envisioned. Then he would plug the ideas in a computer to simulate the sound he wanted.
Jman: Sweet process. So now that the "Surrogates" work is over what are you up to these days?
Richard Marvin: I am currently scoring a second season of Intreatment.
Jman: I have heard through the grapevine that you once worked with John Williams! That is quite an accomplishment. Could you tell us a little about that experience?
Richard Marvin: Thank you. John was the nicest man you will ever meet. He is arguably the greatest film composer ever. Very very polite, appreciative, a wonderful man and very hard working, composes everything with paper and pencil.
Jman: Impressive, most impressive! What were some of the other projects you have worked on in the past?
Richard Marvin: JFK. I worked with Maurice Jarr on Witness with Harrison Ford, Fatal Attraction, Ghost, Gorillas in the Mist, and Jacobs Ladder. The Surrogates, however, is my first Comic Book Sci Fi movie to compose a score for. I also worked on Roger Rabbit.
Jman: Witness was a great movie with Harrison Ford! Roger Rabbit was memorable as well. Richard you have been involved with a lot of movies in Hollywood have you done anything for TV?
Richard Marvin: I worked for Mike Post and was his keyboard player in the 80’s, he gave me a chance to compose one of his TV shows, you may have heard of it, The A-Team. Mike has been a friend and a mentor over the years.
Jman: What a great show! Everyone on ComicBookMovie.com knows of the A-Team, and they pity the fool that doesn't. Are there any future plans for you to maybe pick up with what you started and compose the score for the A-Team movie that is currently in production today?
Richard Marvin: Absolutely!! We are talking to the A-Team producer and would love to be the composer chosen to score the A-Team.
Jman: Hopefully you get the gig! It would only make sense. Have you heard any word on a "Surrogates" sequel?
Richard Marvin: I don’t think there is going to be a "Surrogates" sequel. If I had my choice Jonathon and I would work on a Horror movie. Jonathon is a genius when it comes to making horror pictures. Jonathon and I have been working together for over 17 years and he is a great friend.
Jman: Richard it was nice to meet you, thanks for the interview. I really appreciate your time and look forward to your upcoming projects.
Richard Marvin: No problem nice to meet you and please let me know what the fans have to say?
Jman: You bet.
Here are a few Richard Marvin fun facts:
“Surrogates” marks his 4th collaboration with director Jonathan Mostow: “U571,” “Flight of Black Angel,” and “Breakdown.”
Marvin is well recognized for his TV music which includes “Six Feet Under” and “Without a Trace.”
After two years in Los Angeles, he became a top studio pianist and played for composers: Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams and Maurice Jarre.
Marvin has over 100 feature film and TV episodes to his credit.
He started his TV composing career working with Mike Post on the classic shows “The A-Team” and “Hardcastle & McCormick.”
And now for Mr. Marvin's wrap sheet:
THREE RIVERS (dir. Curtis Hanson)
FORK IN THE ROAD
SELECTED TV & FILMOGRAPHY
SIX FEET UNDER
WITHOUT A TRACE
DEAD LIKE ME
If your still in denial regarding the importance of music then chances are you probably won't ever grasp the concept anyway. But that's OK. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.
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