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<p>Marco Beltrami</p>

Marco Beltrami

Oscar-nominated composer Marco Beltrami on navigating his way through 'World War Z' and Brad Pitt

How did Tommy Lee Jones contribute to the 'WWZ' score?

POZNAN, POLAND—Oscar-nominated composer Marco Beltrami recently found himself in a rather unenviable position, caught between “World War Z’s” producer/star Brad Pitt, director Marc Forster and Paramount Studios as the different factions clashed over the direction and tone of the zombie action pic.

He kept his head down and tried to serve all his masters, including writing two score for the same picture. Luckily, things normally go a little smoother for the Yale School of Music graduate, who broke into the business by scoring a number of horror movies, including “Scream,” “Scream 2,” Halloween H20,” “Resident Evil,” but has expanded to all genres. He has scored TV series, including “The Practice,” as well as “3:10 to Yuma,” “The Hurt Locker,” “A Good Day To Die Hard,” “Trouble With the Curve,” “The Wolverine,” and the upcoming remake  of “Carrie” and Tommy Lee Jones’ new film, “The Homesman.”

After teaching a master class at the Transatlantyk Festival here, Beltrami sat down with Hitfix to discuss navigating the “WWZ” waters and his upcoming projects.

You got hired for “Scream” in 1996, even though, by your own admission, you are not a horror movie fan. When you look at your resume there are a lot of horror movies on there. Have you become a fan?

No.

But you continue to work in the genre, including scoring the forthcoming remake of “Carrie.”

See, a lot of the movies that I’ve done, I don’t consider them to be real horror movies. They’re not in the ‘Saw’ or torture-porn movie [style]. The “Scream” movies are over the top and there’s a lightness to them. “Carrie,” to me, is a weird coming of age story for a girl. But it’s like maybe it’s more of a drama about her that has turns bad, but I don’t see it as that horrific.

Did you reference any of the score from the 1976 movie when you did yours?

I like Pino Donaggio’s score  a lot and it’s very thematic, but there wasn’t really a way I could put it in.

You scored this summer’s thriller “World War Z.” How did you keep from getting caught in the crosshairs after the director Marc Forster, Brad Pitt, and Paramount all clashed? Did you just keep your head down?


A lot of it was coaching from my agent. I just make everybody feel like they’re getting what they need, even though there’s a lot of different parties involved. It took a lot of extra work, but it felt like it was an important gig and it was worth doing what needed to be done to keep it. It would have been easier to throw up my hands, and say, ‘You know what? I’ve had enough’.”

Did you think about walking away?

Every day. I thought one of two things was going to happen: either I would get fired or [I’d say] “This is it. I couldn’t take it anymore, I’m going to walk away.” I felt like an alcoholic, I had to take it one day at a time (laughs). One note at a time.

You also had to create two scores? Right? A quieter score Brad Pitt wanted and a more dramatic one Paramount wanted.

Not quieter. Not necessarily quieter, but less epic. More of an intensity of hearing almost the rosin on the bow on the strings as opposed to when you have a big orchestra and it becomes more diffuse.

Paramount wanted the more dramatic score so you were  working at two different studios on two separate scores?

Right. So [we] ended with a combo of the two, and everybody was a happy. It could have been a combo and everybody hated everything, but it worked out.

For “World War Z,”  what kind of research did you do?


The first time I saw the movie, there was an opening scene in Philadelphia and then it cut to an Emergency Broadcast Signal. That struck me as the crux of the movie right there. And I thought there’s a way to musicalize it. [Beltrami’s assistant] Buck [Sanders] went out and got tuning forks and we experimented with how do you create that in the purest way.

The score also includes your playing havalina skulls. That was Tommy Lee Jones’ idea, right?

We were at dinner and he was working on “Lincoln” or something He was like, ‘What are you working on?” So I was telling him about it and that we were looking at ways of trying to get the sound of teeth gnashing because it’s such an important part of the movie: the mystery of zombies. He said, “Have you checked out the havalina?” and I said, “The what?” He lives in Texas and he’s very knowledgeable about everything. So that was great.

So did the sound of some of their teeth clacking some make it in?

Yeah, it’s there, but way in the background for the most part.

You worked with Tommy Lee Jones on the “Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” score and you’re working on his new directorial project now too. What can you say about that?

It’s called “The Homesman.” It’s a western period piece [with Hilary Swank, Meryl Streep and Jones]. They came to homestead the land in Oklahoma and so forth. It turns out it wasn’t uncommon for women to go crazy from not seeing people for days at a time or death and illness of the kids. Famine. Just the wind.

People talk about how intense Tommy Lee Jones is to work with? What’s your working relationship like with him?

He likes what I come up with. I think I sort of understand him when he’s talking. I very much enjoy working with him, He thinks totally outside of the box.
 

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Ex-'Idol' Justin Guarini: I skip meals to feed my kids


Ex-"Idol" Justin Guarini: I skip meals to feed my kids
In a posting on his website, the "Idol" Season 1 runner-up confesses that's he's hit some hard times.


Watch Amy Poehler play Adam Scott's stepmom
The "Parks and Rec" co-stars appear together in the movie "A.C.O.D." PLUS: Scott teases the 3rd installment of "The Greatest Event in Television History."


How Oprah's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" car stunt came together

Kimmel's people suggested the idea, and Ford was all too willing to give Oprah a car to give away. But Oprah had no idea which audience member she was going to pick -- until she picked her.


"Modern Family" star Ariel Winter's older brother seeking custody from his older sister
Jimmy Workman, who was a child star himself in the "Addams Family" movies, says his sister is a bad role model for the 15-year-old Winter.


Amy Schumer back to "Girls"

The Comedy Central star, who made a cameo last season, says she was filming today on the HBO series.


"Key & Peele" goes all out in Season 3 trailer

There will be at least one Mr. T impression next season.


Lifetime's Donatella Versace movie will feature Gina Gershon, Raquel Welch, Enrico Colantoni
Gershon will play the famous fashion icon in "House of Versace."


Check out Maggie Gyllenhaal in "The Honourable Woman"

The Sundance Channel miniseries is her biggest TV commitment to date.


See the 3rd "American Horror Story" teaser for "Coven"

Featuring a staircase.


Rachel Dratch to guest on "The Middle"
The "SNL" alum will play Brick's middle school principal.


"Home Improvement" brothers reunite

See how Zachery Ty Bryan and Jonathan Taylor Thomas, both age 31, look now.

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"The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

"The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

Credit: Bravo

Is 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' getting too real as Teresa faces jail?

With the Giudices in legal hot water, will this add drama or be too much?

Season six of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" hasn't gotten the go-ahead from Bravo just yet, but if it does, we can guess at least one meaty topic that will be gossip fodder -- Teresa and Joe Giudice's legal problems. While the ladies have snarked back and forth over the seasons about who is in debt, who's declaring bankruptcy and who's just a piece of work, the latest disaster is much weightier than past ones. Joe Giudice could be deported (he was born in Italy) and both he and his wife are facing jail time. 

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<p>Here's the Ant-Man costume from the test footage that Edgar Wright shot for his 'Ant-Man' film, but who will wear the suit for the movie?</p>

Here's the Ant-Man costume from the test footage that Edgar Wright shot for his 'Ant-Man' film, but who will wear the suit for the movie?

Credit: Marvel Studios

Simon Pegg hints on Twitter that he might be signed to play 'Ant-Man'

Could he be yanking our chain?

It would seem like a given that Edgar Wright would find a way to work Simon Pegg into "Ant-Man," his long-in-development Marvel movie that is set right now to kick off Phase Three of Marvel's world domination.

Honestly, though, I never would have guessed that Pegg would be suiting up for the role of Ant-Man himself, which makes today's Twitter tease by Pegg an intriguing one. If you haven't seen, Pegg appears to be touring Marvel today, and he's sent out several images. There's one of him with the Hulk, another of him holding Thor's hammer, and then one final one where he is standing in front of a painting.

Innocuous stuff, right? Just a fanboy-turned-actor enjoying his tour of the space where they're turning our collective childhood into a whole series of massive franchises, right?

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<p>Justin Timberlake</p>

Justin Timberlake

Credit: AP Photo

Justin Timberlake reveals 'The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2' track listing

Follow-up to year's biggest seller comes out Sept. 20

Fans have already heard “Take Back The Night,” the first single from Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience- 2 of 2.” Now, they can at least imagine what the other 10 tracks sound like after Timberlake released the track listing last night.

The album, the follow-up to this year’s best-selling title, “The 20/20 Experience,” comes out Sept. 20 and fans can already pre-order it on Amazon and iTunes.

Timberlake, who has been on a stadium tour with Jay-Z this summer, will kick off his own headlining tour Oct. 31 in Montreal. But first, Timberlake will appear at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 25. He is up for six awards.

“The 20/20 Experience- 2 of 2” track listing:

1.Gimme What I Don't Want Know (I Want)
2. True Blood
3. Cabaret
4. TKO
5. Take Back The Night
6. Murder
7. Drink You Away
8. You Got It On
9. Amnesia
10. Only When I Walk Away
11. Not A Bad Thing

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"That '70s Show" star Lisa Robin Kelly dies at 43


"That '70s Show" star Lisa Robin Kelly dies at 43
The troubled actress, who played Eric Forman's older sister Laurie, died last night in her sleep at a rehab facility. "She had been fighting demons for a while and finally lost her battle," says her agent, who adds that Kelly checked herself into rehab just last week.

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"Duck Dynasty"

 "Duck Dynasty"

Credit: A&E

'Duck Dynasty' season premiere breaks all records

The season premiere is the top nonfiction series telecast in cable history
Hello, networks? You may want to take notice of a bunch of guys with ZZ Top beards who make duck calls for a living, because their ratings are blowing your shows and everyone else's out of the water. On Wednesday night, 11.8 million viewers tuned in to see the season premiere of "Duck Dynasty," making the episode the number one nonfiction series in cable history. That's right, in history.
 
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'Duck Dynasty's' season premiere sets a new cable record


"Duck Dynasty's" season premiere sets a new cable record
The 11.8 million watching last night's Season 4 premiere represents the most-watched nonfiction telecast in cable history. A 2009 "Jon & Kate" episode held the previous record.

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<p>Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman are together for the first time since 'Air Force One' in the new film 'Paranoia'</p>

Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman are together for the first time since 'Air Force One' in the new film 'Paranoia'

Credit: Relativity Media

Review: 'Paranoia' wastes Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman in a limp predictable thriller

Liam Hemsworth fails to impress in his biggest role yet

"Paranoia," based on a novel by Joseph Finder, resembles the template for early John Grisham films or for Oliver Stone's "Wall Street," stories in which the young hungry guy who wants to make a name for himself falls under the scrutiny of an older mentor figure who then tempts them down the path of wrongdoing, ultimately leading to a moral crisis for the lead. As directed by Robert Luketic, "Paranoia" is professional in every way, but there's no pulse to it. It is entirely adequate, livened up only by a few supporting turns.

Part of the problem is Liam Hemsworth, who seems like a charming enough guy, but who doesn't really have any onscreen energy. It doesn't help that he's caught between two CEOs locked in a pissing match that's gone on for years, or that those two CEOs are played by Gary Oldman, who savors every bite of the scenery that he takes, and Harrison Ford, who manages to suggest a real inner life for his character with very limited screen time. There's one great scene in the movie where Oldman and Ford come face to face and they play this subtle, funny, furious game of "Which One Of Us Is The Alpha Male?" that leaves poor Hemsworth stranded, standing there between them and completely out of his weight class.

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"Breaking Bad"

 "Breaking Bad"

Credit: AMC

Listen: CulturePop No. 23 - 'Breaking Bad' writer/director George Mastras

Our special guest has stories that will stun you

Melinda and I were thrilled to get a chance to talk to "Breaking Bad" writer/director George Mastras this week. We love the show (Mastras is Emmy nominated for the season five episode "Dead Freight," which he wrote and directed), but we'd be eager to talk to this guy anyway -- he's a former lawyer, criminal investigator, novelist, world traveler and grade A storyteller. Whether or not you watch "Breaking Bad," you owe it to yourself to hear what Mastras has to say about the creative process, why he's not rooting for Walter White anymore, and one of the scariest travel encounters we've ever heard. Tune in. You won't regret it. [SPOILER ALERT: If you're very behind and haven't gotten as far as season 5, episode 5 of "Breaking Bad," you may want to save this podcast (and read no further) until you watch it.].

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Josh Gad joining Billy Crystal on FX's 'The Comedians'


Josh Gad joining Billy Crystal on FX's "The Comedians"

"The Book of Mormon" and "1600 Penn" star is going back to the small screen, producing a comedy in which he plays Crystal's younger and hipper sketch-partner on a late-night comedy show.


TNT renews "Major Crimes," "Rizzoli & Isles" and "Perception"
They'll return for a respective 3rd, 5th and 3rd seasons.


Andy Richter is headed to "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

He'll guest as a doorman.


Stephen Colbert to Kevin Spacey: "Why should you get an award for TV when you're not on TV?"
The pair discussed "House of Cards'" success last night on "The Colbert Report."


Nickelodeon cancels "Wendell & Vinnie"

The freshman comedy was yanked after 14 episodes and several timeslots.

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Ryan Murphy: Cory Monteith's 'Glee' character won't die from an accidental drug overdose


Ryan Murphy: Cory Monteith's "Glee" character won't die from an accidental drug overdose
"That was something we had considered" for Finn Hudson, says Murphy. "But we have decided that we're not going to have him pass from that. Basically, what we're doing in the episode is we are not telling you yet, or maybe not at all, how that character died. The idea being, how somebody died is interesting and maybe morbid, but we say very early on in the episode, 'This episode is about a celebration of that character's life.'"


Networks are bidding on the next Tina Fey comedy
Fey and her "30 Rock" partner Robert Carlock have another comedy in the works, one that's set at a women's college that starts accepting men.


Oprah has the urge to give away a car on "Jimmy Kimmel Live"

She got "that feeling" during an interview with Kimmel.


Watch Jimmy Fallon's transformation into "Breaking Bad's" Heisenberg

Fallon previewed his "Joking Bad" parody, which will air in September.


USA announces fall premiere dates

"White Collar" and "Covert Affairs" return Oct. 17.


"Game of Thrones" Season 3 box set is shaped like a dragon
Check out an artist's rendering of the DVD set, due out in February.


"Chicago Fire" launches a contest to find the top firehouse dog in America

Three winning pooches will appear on "Today," with the final winner getting a cameo on the NBC drama.

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