(Moderators: I wasn’t sure where to put this post, but as the board mentions “John Cater of Mars” for this catagory, I put it here).
I just wanted to let everyone know that the two live-action films being helmed by Pixar alumni are now at the scoring part of their production. We’ve already scored most (but not all) of Brad Bird’s Misison Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol, and have also started scoring Andrew Stanton’s John Carter of Mars. (Note that I WILL NOT post spoilers of any kind).
Just a couple non-spoiler bits though. First of all, I think it’s pretty cool that for the first time two major Pixar directors decide to make a shift over to live-action, they not only go with the same composer (Michael Giacchino), but their movies are being scored at the same time (we’re going back and forth between the two). The orchestras for both MI4 and John Carter are also nice and large.
MI4: We’ve been doing MI4 at the Fox scoring stage. On the first day Cruise was there to watch with his daughter, got some lessons on how to conduct 5/4 (not an easy meter to conduct) and decided to have a pretty good go at conducting the theme… and as he did with MI:3, Dermot Mulroney (the actor) joined the cello section to play for the entire day. As always, Brad Bird’s been fun to work with, and really seems to love the scoring process. The score itself does a good job at matching exactly what’s happening on the screen, and of course there’s lots of action and stunts (as you can read elsewhere, parts of it are filmed at the tallest building in the world in Dubai, which apparently they had free reign to film at before it opened to the public). The movie itself looks great, but I hope they make better trailers for it than one I saw recently at a theatre. It’s scheduled to come out in December, and I beleive is supposed to come out in IMAX as well.
JCM: We’ve been scoring John Carter of Mars over at Sony (the old MGM lot, where a lot of the Pixars have been recorded, and many of John Lasseter’s Hawaiian shirts hang from the rafters). There’s been very tight security for the project – besides the normal security to get on the lot, there were also security guards posted outside the entrance to the scoring stage itself to check everyone’s name off before allowing them to enter (not usually the case). As has been published elsewhere, though the advertising for John Cater of Mars shows a stylized “JCM”, the movie’s actual title has been shortened to simply “John Cater”. Andrew Stanton got up to greet the orchestra at the beginning (asking for a show of hands of who had also worked on Nemo and Wall-E), and mentioned how this is a personal project for him. So far there’s been no official behind-the-scenes video crew of the sessions for either MI4 or JCM, but as with Brad Bird on MI4 (and John Lasseter on Cars 2), Andrew Stanton would come out of the booth to flim the orchestra. Though live-action, there’s of course tons of CGI in this picture, and at this point, most of it seems fully rendered (only a small number of shots didn’t look finished at this stage). It’s a nice widescreen picture, but I hope the subtitles we saw (for a couple scenes) were just temp ones, for they were at the extreme bottom of the frame (which usually gets cut-off at theatres) and were pretty small. On Tuesday, there was a major ProTools crash in the booth (recording software), so there was about 30-40 minutes in the afternoon where we couldn’t record anything. At first we took out some cues just to read through, while everyone who usually stays in the booth during the process came onto the stage to hear it played “live”… but eventually we had to take a long break while they fixed the problem. It did get fixed though, and the cues got recorded. The movie looks really interesting (I never read the books, so I don’t know the source material), and I personally really like Michael’s score on this so far. It’s scheduled for a March release (March?) and is being released by Walt Disney Pictures, not Pixar.
EDIT: Here’s a link definitely worth checking out: slashfilm.com/interview-andr … hn-carter/
It has the entire transcript of a long, detailed presentation that Andrew Stanton gave to reporters about John Carter this past summer (not just a few random quotes, as the original link had). Even if you’re not interested in the movie, it’s worth reading, as it’s fascinating, detailed, and covers many topics, including Pixar, filmmaking techniques, and Stanton’s philiosophy on filmmaking.
Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know that the two first live-action pictures from both Brad Bird and Andrew Stanton are at the scoring stage now (no pun intended), and will be coming to a threatre near you in a few months…