Arts & Entertainment, Music

Directors: Part 2

Hans Zimmer

Lesson time 08:23 min

Learn how to effectively have a conversation with the director throughout the film process.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Working with Directors • Discussing the Film


The way I work is I talk to a director, usually before they go out to shoot the movie. So a year in advance of actually going in and recording this stuff, some conversation happens about the intention, why we want to do this movie, how we want to do is movie. And then something happens. The director goes off to shoot the movie. And that is basically-- the director is going to battle, the director goes to war and he comes back wrecked, three, four months later. I mean, he has now answered 1,000 million insane trivial questions. He's been thinking on his feet all the time. Things have gone wrong. The money has run out. It rained on the day he needed sunshine and it was sunny on the day he needed rain. So by the time he comes back into my room he's a changed man. And the other thing that happens is he might not quite remember why we wanted to go and make this movie in the first place, because he's bloodied and beaten and exhausted. And so part of my job, I always see this as part of my job, is that the first conversation we have when he returns from battle is that I remind him why we wanted to go and do this thing in the first place. And then I remind him of some of the instincts and some of the things that we wanted to do and the things that we were looking forward to doing. And just remind him why this is actually a good idea. Speak in plain English if you can and if they're German, speak in German. No, no, no just use your words. You know, it's like what they teach you as a kid. Use your words and don't get technical. Don't make it into a technical conversation about A minor VIII chord and augmented chords and triads and-- Don't have the conversation which is one I'm prone to, where I get nerdy and I go, ooh I want to go and use a Moog 55 because dadadada, you know. And I can get all nerdy about this. Or should we record this on reel tape or should we do this digitally? And-- and I can get all carried away in this and it has nothing to do with anything. This is just, this is the side bar that I'm going to have with my guys, know my technicians, etc. Or I have with myself, and then I-- because all you want to do is you want to present a piece of music or a sound. I mean, sometimes it's just the sound. And you want to go, what do you think? Cool sound? Is this right for this movie? Does this feel right? Does this work with the images? And nobody cares how you got there. Sometimes with Gore Verbinski, he'll go from the dominant chord to the tonic or something like this. And you go, Gore, come on. It's like let me rock out here. Being that specific about it, he robs himself of the possibility of being surprised, of something happening that-- you know, yeah. I understand what he's trying to do. He's trying to get from a question to an answer, or he's trying to get into a new thing. And might there be a more surprising and interesting way o...

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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