Composer Zimmer Talks Sherlock Holmes, Inception, Dark Knight, It’s Complicated
In many ways, the best thing about Sherlock Holmes is its score (released January 12), featuring exotic Hungarian and gypsy instruments. It’s one of about a hundred movie scores delivered by prolific German composer Hans Zimmer, who has earned six Oscar nominations; he won for The Lion King in 1994.
Articulate and charming, Zimmer invited me to his lair in Santa Monica, a sprawling complex housing other composers as well as rooms crammed with synthesizers, computers and towers of servers. He’s currently working on Inception for Chris Nolan, for whom he composed the score for The Dark Knight. He gave me a tour, showed me where and how he composes and explained his working process on the scores for Sherlock Holmes, It’s Complicated, Gladiator, and The Dark Knight. He even plays a bit.
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Conan Doyle realized that a successful lead character needs to play the fiddle. I wish all filmmakers did. It makes writing the score so much easier. With Guy's great encouragement we took the orchestra out of the lofty spheres of the concert hall and brought them back to the pub, where they seem right at home. After all, There is no human emotion that has not - at one time or other - been profoundly expressed in a pub, and I'm so grateful that my peers at the Academy have recognized that. This is the year where we pit the humble banjo against the might of the orchestra.