I know not all the film fans of the world are as nerdy about film scores as I am, but hopefully you’ll trust me when I say that the score for J.J. Abrams’ mystery-thriller “Super 8” is everything you would want backing a fantastical, Spielbergian, must-see summer movie.
If you don’t want to take my word for it, allow me to introduce Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino, who took us through the nuts and bolts of how he came up with such a wonderfully unique and tintinnabular creation.
“A lot of it comes out of my childhood,” Giacchino said of how he began crafting the film’s score. “I grew up making super 8 films, that’s all I did growing up, my whole life was devoted to making movies.”
“Aside from all the craziness in the film, that was my life with the kids in my neighborhood, so to me it was this huge nostalgic trip back to my past,” he added. “This film feels, in some weird way, like one of those movies I grew up with and yet it’s not one of them. It’s still its own thing.”
Getting into the specifics of the score he composed, particularly the high-pitched, transcendent tinkling sound that reverberates throughout, Giacchino explained which instruments make up the distinct effect.
“[There is] a celesta, which is kind of a bell piano, a very short piano with bells,” Giacchino revealed. “You play it like you would a piano, but with bells. A Hammond organ was a big part of the score as well, which is interesting because you normally only hear those in church or in blues songs,” he added. “We used it with the [103-piece] orchestra, which was really fun. There was guitar actually, but done in a very ethereal way, you would never know it was a guitar.”
For my fellow score nerds, what did you think of Giacchino’s score? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter!