John Debney Composer ~ Iron Man 2 ~ Predators

John Debney head shotJohn Debney deserves an Academy award as he is one busy composer working on 4~5 projects at once!   With work completed on Predators, Iron Man 2, and working again with Robert Rodriguez scoring the upcoming movie Machete.  You can see that John is working on several projects in 2010 and that has always been the case.  You can see his work in action on YouTube, also samples of John work if featured on his website.  John did a live Q and A on Justin.TV June 30 2010, which you can watch here.

Because of John’s crazy scheduled and the amount of coffee (he needs to get stock in StarBucks) , we were able ask a few questions via his PR firm instead of a live on mic conversation.

Here’s what we came up with including an obscure questions about his involving in Disney’s The Strongest Man in The World (1975).

Predators soundtrack cover1. What is your inspiration to your compositions in big budget movies like Iron Man 2, Predators? The film and images within inspire my work. I’m very visually oriented so I usually draw my inspiration from the visuals and the actors and storyline.

2. When working on a project do you use traditional gear (piano, guitar, strings, etc), or all virtual instruments? I usually mock-up every piece of music virtually, then I add “live” instruments on top. I’ve played a lot of guitar on the last few projects and I really enjoy the performance aspect of working on these scores.

3. Looking at your resume on IMDB we notice that you worked on animated, children’s programs sci-fi, action, adventure. Is there such a thing as a favorite genre? I really don’t have a favorite genre. Working on a variety of different projects helps me stay fresh and clears my head. I really enjoy wearing different hats and creating different types of scores.

4. We have listened to your Iron man 2 scores and we love the heard edge you gave the movie and drove the story with your score. How were you able to accomplish such seamless music to on screen synergy? Thank you very much for the compliment! A score in a film especially an action film should propel the story. Iron Man is this really amazing cutting edge, playboy, inventor, super hip guy. In addition to the classical music elements that play throughout the score, I also incorporated al ot of guitar. I played some of the guitar and then Tom Morello who also performed on the first Iron Man score came in and added his playing to the score to further give it an edge.

5. When working in the studio with a live orchestra what does it feel like to hear your music come to life? It is the most exciting part of what I do. Hearing the music played for the first time is still one of the single most fulfilling moments on a film. Crafting a performance is wonderful, especially if you’re given the chance to work with such brilliant musicians as those in L.A. and London for example.

6. You acted in the 1975 Disney movie: The Strongest Man in the World , Would you like to be on screen again? How funny! Well yes I did a number of commercials and such in my younger days. It very well might be fun to say a few lines on camera again!

7. Can you share how all the pieces come together, electronic, live, to final cut? I usually start by viewing the film once or twice. Then, themes start to come into my head and I start to write at the keyboard. It’s really trial and error for me. Sometimes it takes a number of attempts before I discover the tone and direction to take with a score.

8. What has been the largest Orchestra you have worked with live? I believe that the largest orchestra I’ve worked with to date has been about 110 players.

9. Predators is just around the corner.  How has that been to develop another awesome score (from the previews thus far we have seen)? I loved the Predator movies and I wanted to create an original score but at the same time pay homage to Alan Silvestri’s brilliant original Predator score. It was a great experience and the first time I got to work with Nimrod Antal who is a brilliant director. The producer Robert Rodriguez and I had worked together in the past and he was the one who referred me to Nimrod. I am also currently working on music for Robert’s newest film Machete.

10. Any upcoming projects that you can talk about? (Sin City 2, Sin City 3, the double)?? I’m helping my friend Robert Rodriguez on “Machete” right now. The film is just so much fun! Robert has a way of getting all the best actors in Hollywood to work with him. This film is a throw back to some of Robert’s earlier films and it is quite the fun ride. After that is a wonderful thriller called “The Double.” It’s one of the better scripts I’ve read in a long time and I’m looking forward to getting started on it.