Arts & Entertainment, Music

Directors: Part 3

Hans Zimmer

Lesson time 06:46 min

Hans continues his discussion on what makes a great director and what makes a great relationship between composer and director.

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

Topics include: Working with Directors • Developing the Relationship


If you just look at the Ridley Scott movies, Thelma and Louise is a very different aesthetic musically from Gladiator's is a very different aesthetic from Black Rain is a very different style from Matchstick Men. What else did I do with Rid? Black Hawk Down, Hannibal. I mean they're all, they're completely, stylistically, they're very, very different. And he's very, very different as well in them. Because that's the whole thing. I mean, one of the reasons I think he's such a great director is because he's interested in so many things. And he can get passionate about so many things. There's an underlying aesthetic and a huge amount of knowledge and craftsmanship that goes with being able to, are we going to go and tell the story of Hannibal Lecter, are we going to tell the story of a battle in Mogadishu, are we going to tell the story of some con man in the valley. So, or a gladiator. So, really I know, I just know this about him. I feel this, I've never talked about this. But if I had to sum it all up, as he's genuinely interested in people and he's genuinely interested in stories. And everybody looks at the amazing way he shoots things and the amazing compositions and the amazing eye he has and the amazing artistry. But underneath, underneath, underneath, all that, the foundation for all of that is, he wants to go and tell a good story. I think at the end of the day, the director composer relationship comes down to something. It has to come down to trust, because the director is sort of in charge of everything during the shooting of the movie. He can look through your camera and he can probably adjust a few things here. He can probably do a line reading for an actor if he really has to. But when it comes to a composer, he has to trust me. Because if he says to me, a nice C major chord here would be the perfect thing, it's meaningless. I see it so often that filmmakers find it hard to take the step off the cliff, because that's really what it is. Not, they've been involved in the script, they've been involved in the casting, they've been involved in everything. And by being involved, I mean they had language, and eyes, and whatever, words to control the situation, to control their movie. And then they suddenly get to that bit of we need music. And whatever words they use, whatever it is, how ever articulate they are, it's still not going to get the music written. So they have to go and hand over literally the baton to the composer. And, oh God, the second movie I did over here for Ridley Scott, Black Rain. And I had heard that Ridley had a bit of a reputation of not sticking with the composer sometimes beyond the first session. So I just said to him, Ridley, what will it will take for me not to get fired? He said, simple, don't write me a symphony. I knew exactly what he meant. He said, write, surf the movie, enhance 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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