Saturday, January 18, 2014

Steve Jablonsky Talks About Transformers Scores, TF4 and More

In a kind of career retrospective interview with, Transformers franchise composer Steve Jablonsky talks about his work, his writing process, other composers he has worked with and just a touch on his upcoming stint for Transformers: Age of Extinction. Below is the TF4 highlights but if a fan of his work, worth reading the entire interview - Part 1 | Part 2
I would argue that TRANSFORMERS was your "he's done it" score. Do you feel that's accurate?
I have heard that before and I appreciate it. Even Hans Zimmer had said to me one day, like, "You realize you have written something that's now part of the culture?" I said, "Wow I didn't know, I didn't actually realize that" but especially coming from him who has done that time and time again.

What was the process of doing TRANSFORMERS like?
I don't know, I didn't even know if I was doing it until he [Michael Bay] called me one day and started talking about it like I was doing it. I said, "oh, am I doing it?" [laughter] And he said, "Oh, yeah what do you think?" [laughter] I thought great. And of course TRANSFORMERS is- I had known about it since I was a kid. My brother was way into it, my younger brother. That was another level of...there is going to be a lot of people looking at this movie.

I wrote a ton of themes for that, I just started writing and writing as much as I could and because I really wanted to...and as Spielberg was involved and I always had that in the back of my mind. I wanted to give them many options, I just remember writing a lot of stuff. I think most of it ended up in the film but the main theme, it's interesting. I wrote this piece that is now considered the main Autobot theme. I just wrote it, it came out and I didn't really know what I was going to do with it.

And Michael picked up on that and Hans came into my room one day he is like that right there saying "that is good." Everybody told me that, that part was good. I didn't realize...I didn't think it was any better than anything else in the score so far.

Then, there's TRANSFORMERS 4...
Yeah, it's definitely-I haven't quite met with Michael on Transformers 4 yet, but I have heard probably he wants to do something new which I am totally up for. I think it's a....I don't know if you call it a reboot, but it's all different actors and I haven't seen it yet. We will see if, if you even hear that theme in the new ones or not. I am not sure yet.

Are you doing the score regardless or this is still unknown?
Am I doing the score for TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION ?

Yes, I am.

There are a lot of filmmakers that find a favorite composer; Stephen Spielberg, obviously, there's John Williams, M. Night Shyamalan always uses James Newton Howard. It seems Michael Bay has taken you under his wing. Are you his new go to guy? Has he ever said that to you?
He's never said that and I can't ever hear him saying that. [laughs] Only because, like I said on the first TRANSFORMERS, I didn't even know I was doing it. He's crazy busy with his stuff.I think he assumes things and he's never going to sit down and say, "Look Steve, you're my go to guy." If we're sitting down, it's going to be business. We're talking music, we're talking whatever.

Having said that, I've been asked this question a lot recently, I guess so. We've never talked about it, but before I started doing his films he wasn't known for using the same guy every time. He jumped around a little bit. I'm not sure how it happened but I remember before THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, when we finished it, he looked at me, his quote was, "Wow. You did a great job and we paid you nothing." [laughs] We were all laughing, I don't know if I was laughing. He was very appreciative of that, maybe he didn't expect me to do something that he thought was that good. I don't know.

When he offered me THE ISLAND, which was a big step for him, it was his first movie without Jerry Bruckheimer as producer. It was his own thing and I still think it's one of his best. It's unfortunate it didn't do very well. It's a very well made film and we had fun doing it.

Him allowing me to do that, was probably him saying, "I trust you. Try this out". The next level was TRANSFORMERS. Having said that, even with Part 4, I sit in my studio and 'm working on whatever, ENDER'S GAME, I think, "I wonder if I'm doing "Transformers"?" I don't really know. He's unpredictable as well. He's a madman, so I might hear he's got some band doing it or something. I don't know. It was a week or two ago, I got the call and the deal. That's cool. I can plan my next few months.

I'm never sure. He was very happy with PAIN AND GAIN so I figured I would be doing Part 4. If that answers your question, yes, I think I'm his guy. I never assume, I never take it for granted. Suddenly its like, "Now I've had enough of you. I'm going to get somebody else now."


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