Michael Jackson was extraordinary, When we worked together on 'Bad,' I was in awe of his absolute mastery of movement on the one hand, and of the music on the other. Every step he took was absolutely precise and fluid at the same time. It was like watching quicksilver in motion. He was wonderful to work with, an absolute professional at all times, and it really goes without saying... a true artist. It will be a while before I can get used to the idea that he's no longer with us.
Our world is so glutted with useless information, images, useless images, sounds, all this sort of thing. It's a cacophony, it's like a madness I think that's been happening in the past twenty-five years. And I think anything that can help a person sit in a room alone and not worry about it is good.
[Kubrick] was unique in the sense that with each new film he redefined the medium and its possibilities. But he was more than just a technical innovator. Like all visionaries, he spoke the truth. And no matter how comfortable we think we are with the truth, it always comes as a profound shock when we're forced to meet it face-to-face.
Always get to the set or the location early, so that you can be all alone and draw your inspiration for the blocking and the setups in private and quiet. In one sense, it's about protecting yourself; in another sense, it's about always being open to surprise, even from the set, because there may be some detail that you hadn't noticed. I think this is crucial. There are many pictures that seem good in so many ways except one: They lack a sense of surprise, they've never left the page.
And so you try your best. Sometimes you go in with one thing, with one desire and come out with something else. In the case of The Aviator it was to create a Hollywood spectacle, but by about the second or third week of shooting you just want to literally survive it. Because don't forget, I also go through the editing process too, and when the film is released I have to talk about it. So, I take all of that very seriously.
DAYS THAT I'LL REMEMBER is a lovingly assembled and beautifully written collection of conversations, observations, and memories of music, friendship, and days gone by. It's good to be back again with John Lennon, his beloved Yoko Ono, and his trusted chronicler and friend Jonathan Cott.
If Kubrick had lived to see the opening of his final film, he obviously would have been disappointed by the hostile reactions. But I'm sure that in the end he would have taken it with a grain of salt and moved on. That's the lot of all true visionaries, who don't see the use of working in the same vein as everyone else. Artists like Kubrick have minds expansive and dynamic enough to picture the world in motion, to comprehend not just where its been, but where it's going.
I've been extremely lucky to work with Elmer Bernstein, Howard Shore over the years, but I've always imagined films with my own scores, because I don't come from that world or that period of filmmaking. And so how could I make up my own score on a film like this where it isn't necessarily made up of popular music from the radio or the period; it isn't necessarily classical music. But what if it's modern symphonic music?
Oh, the foghorns... even the foghorns, they're all brass. It's something by Ingrid Marshal called Fog Tropes. It's not a sound effect. It's an actual piece of music. If you listen to what's going on after he has a flashback about his wife you'll hear... it sounds like the humpback whales in a way. But it's all music. And we use it again later, too.