Score Stories: Douglas Trumbull (Director Of Silent Running)

Lets start 2018 with a really great score story from the director of Silent Running as well as Brainstorm and if that's not enough, he also did special effects on 2001: A Space Odyssey, Mr. Douglas Trumbull!

"I was a big Joan Baez fan. This was the 70’s you have to forgive me. So I was listening to this music. It was a personal thing as I had all these records and I said to myself, “why do I like this?” I realized it wasn’t just Joan. It was this orchestrator/composer Peter Schickele. And I saw him out. I can’t remember how I tracked him down. We found him in New York and asked him if he’d do the score. He said, “well I’ve never done a score for a movie before.” I said, well yah, but will you or not? He said yah. So he agreed to do it. So we did the score and he was up at my house scoring up in Topanga Canyon at a piano. Then I had this other crazy idea which was we have to have a hit single. I said to Peter, “do you know how to get a hold of Joan Baez?” He said “oh yah we’ve worked together for years.” He couldn’t get her to return his calls. She was on tour and was very busy and was completely exhausted by everything. I think over a Thanksgiving holiday I was going through the Chicago airport. I’ve stopped at the Chicago airport and I’m sitting there and way across I see Joan Baez get off a plane. So I thought this is my chance. So I ran over there, this was the days before security and I kind of just accosted her. I said “I’m Doug Trumball and Peter Schickele has been trying to get a hold of you weeks would you do this, PLEASE.” She said, “oh really and you chased me to get this?” I said “no this is completely inadvertent” she said “well I’ll call Peter tomorrow.” So she finally agreed to do it and she was so sweet. We recorded at the A&M studios with her and we had this scoring sessions just for her. She was so exhausted by being on some kind of tour. She just slipped this in for us. She would do a take on the stage with Peter and the orchestra and then she’d come back into the mixing room and just throw her coat down and go to sleep on the floor between takes. She was so completely out of energy. And then we’d get ready for another take and another song and she’d come back out and she’d do the song. You know I don’t know what I’m doing I’ve never scored a movie or dealt with a famous singer and she did a really good job."

Silent Running Vinyl @ Barnes & Noble:

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