Aaron Zigman is the composer of two films this year that cannot be any different, “The Company Men” and “For Colored Girls”. Both of the scores really play a major part in the films. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Aaron about his latest films and what is upcoming.
Michael Gencarelli: Do you have a specific type of music that influences your sound?
Aaron Zigman: I am driven by my original influences which are classical and jazz. However I spent a lot of years working on records in pop culture so actually it’s kind of a fusion of those three areas.
MG: Tell us about how you became involved with “The Company Men”?
AZ: John Wells was I guess interested in me so I went down and viewed the movie. I really fell in love with it and after a little work he got me on the gig.
MG: [SPOILER ALERT for “The Company Men”] Do you have a favorite track on that project?
AZ: For “Company Men” I really enjoyed the scene where Chris Cooper’s character dies. Originally that scene was somewhat longer but the final version was cut down. I also enjoyed the boardroom meeting scene.
MG: What is the first thing you do when you start working on a film?
AZ: I look for things like what does the movie say to me and how does it make me feel. I usually will read the scripts and research different areas. For instance when I scored “The Notebook”, I actually traveled to where the film was going to be shot and saw all these really great landscapes. I had about 30 percent of that score written before the film was even done. “The Company Men” had a really short schedule, so I had to move somewhat quicker. I felt that movie told me to stay more back and out of the way. For “Colored Girls”, I wrote some music prior to the start of filming and some during the production process. I wrote that score entirely from scratch. I had asked that no temporary score be put to that film as I really wanted to come up with original music for that film.
MG: How did you get involved with working with Tyler Perry on his films?
AZ: He had contacted me after really enjoying the score to “The Notebook.” He was working originally on a period piece which still has yet to be made and he wanted me to score that. I attended a table reading for “Why Did I Get Married” and fell in love with the script. Tyler then asked f I would be interested in doing that film first before starting the one he had originally contacted me about.
MG: What has been your most challenging score to date?
AZ: I think there have been a few actually. “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” was a challenge because I worked on that with another composer who was in London while I was in the U.S. I had to take some of his themes and some of my themes and combine them. I had to write about 70 minutes of music in three weeks for that film.
MG: Tell us about your upcoming projects?
AZ: I just finished a comedy with Anna Farris called “What’s Your Number.” I am working with Tyler again on his next film called “Madea’s Happy Family” which starts next month. I have a few other films that I am up for right now that I am pretty excited for as well.