Arts & Entertainment, Music

Case Study: Frost/Nixon

Hans Zimmer

Lesson time 12:58 min

For Frost/Nixon, Hans had to score to a dialogue-heavy film. Learn his approach to creating a minimal but beautiful score.

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Topics include: Frost/Nixon Case Study


Turns out to be an employee of President Richard Nixon's reelection campaign committee. He is one of five person surprised and arrested yesterday inside the headquarters of Democratic National Committee in Washington. And guess what else he is? A consultant to President Richard Nixon's reelection campaign committee. Trial started today at the Federal Courthouse for the five-- One of the inherent dilemmas of this movie was it came from a very successful play that both Ron and I had independently seen in London and both sort of loved. And we loved the performers. And we sort of went this is a great play. So how can we not ruin the play but make it cinematic? We know the story. We all knew the story. So what new things could happen? What could happen in this? And then lots of new things happened. And I just thought it was really interesting, and I thought it said a lot about-- it never talked down to us. It always stayed at a level that you want movie making to stay at or a play to stay at. It was thrilling. It was a boxing match without anybody ever putting on the gloves. It was-- and it consistently stayed tough. I thought what was really interesting, just from a musical point of view, is that neither of the characters were particularly likable. In fact, they're not my couple at all. And if I ever make them likable, which is such a tendency-- we all have that tendency. We're trying to make things a little bit more likable or a little bit more humane or a little bit more empathetic than sometimes they deserve. And Peter, in his writing, just went for it. He didn't do that. He just maintained this sort of cold, detached here it is. John D, the ex-White House counsel, testified today that President Nixon knew about the Watergate. And actually, it's interesting to me to watch the opening of this movie again, because yesterday we were talking about these suites that I write. That stuff, my diary of every day, writing a little bit further. --145-page statement characterizing a president who was easily outraged over war protesters. Up until you actually get to the actor playing Richard Nixon, it's all just the original suite. It's just laid up against it. And there wasn't-- the editor cut to it. But it gives you the right mode. It gives you the right propulsion. And certain, for Ron, it gave him the right feeling for the way he wanted to tell the story. The president today took his resignation-- All it is me, a bunch of synthesizers, and one cellist. So the whole score-- that was the line up for the score. So starts a bit crooked. It starts with a good riff. And it's just the variations on that riff all the way through that became, sort of, gold as far as material was concerned. And I never knew I was writing the opening to the film. White House aids told NBC News today that impeachment of the...

About the Instructor

Hans Zimmer didn’t see a film until he was 12 years old. Since then, he’s scored over 150 films, including Inception, The Lion King, and The Dark Knight. In his MasterClass, the self-taught Academy Award-winner teaches how he creates sounds from nothing, composes compelling character themes, and scores a movie before ever seeing it. By the end, you’ll have everything you need to start film scoring.

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Hans Zimmer

From collaborating to scoring, Hans Zimmer teaches you how to tell a story with music in 31 exclusive video lessons.

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