Interview with Aaron Zigman

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.

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