Writing a score is like putting on a Halloween costume. You’re still you. You’re still going to do the same things you always do for Halloween. Everyone knows it’s you. You’re just wearing a costume. So you never have to worry about your own style. That comes from just being you. You just have to decide how believable you want your costume to be.
I remember a story Clint Eastwood told me years ago, after he made “The Eiger Sanction” (1975). There’s a scene in the movie where Clint’s character dangles in mid-air at the end of a cable hanging from a mountain. He’s thousands of feet up. Clint, who also directed, did the scene himself.
“I didn’t want to use a stunt man,” he said, “because I wanted to use a telephoto lens and zoom in slowly all the way to my face — so you could see it was really me. I put on a little disguise and slipped into a sneak preview of the film to see how people liked it. When I was hanging up there in the air, the woman in front of me said to her friend, ‘Gee, I wonder how they did that?’ and her friend said, ‘Special effects.’”
”There are certain things directors feel & dream that I don’t like to interfere with. If their intuition says move in a certain direction, I want to let them go that way & not discuss it. Things made conscious become stale & self imitating pretty quickly. When you’re working intuitively, the ideas tend to stay fresh all the time.
I think watching too much TV as a kid led me to being very uncomfortable in new situations. To this day, when I drop my kids off at school, I still feel like I’m in 9th grade and I’m uncomfortable and insecure. Like anyone is paying any attention. No one is. People couldn’t care less. But I get literally a physical sensation of low self-esteem that is a result of not engaging the world and getting comfortable that way.
To be honest, I have a lot of respect for Christian film. The evangelical church is a subculture, and despite most people thinking I have a problem with it, I honestly don’t. A subculture that protects families and marriages, that loves God, that does more work for justice around the world than any other institution, is a perfectly fine subculture with me.
Be kind, for everyone you know is facing a great battle.