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A Fireside Chat with Terence Blanchard

By Published: March 24, 2003

TB: I am working on though. You have to sponsored by two people. I am working on that.

FJ: Your two most recent films have garnered both critical and box office success.

TB: Barbershop. Yeah.

FJ: Who knew that would be the hit that it was?

TB: I kind of felt that it would be, but you never know. Sometimes you work on projects and you feel that the project is a good project and you feel like it can do well. Sometimes they come out and they are not. I felt that Barbershop could be very successful given all the people that were involved and the story and how the director, Tim Story, put it together. He did a great job.

FJ: What film would you have liked to score?

TB: The Lord of the Rings. Yeah, because it is an epic film and it is a very challenging and creative film. It has an interesting story and it presents many different types of situations that can be musically enhanced. The scary thing about it is that it seems like it is damn near wall-to-wall music. I think it is a really great film.

FJ: There are The Lord of the Rings people and then there are Star Wars people.

TB: I am a bit of both, a bit of both. I haven't seen the second Lord of the Rings yet. I haven't had time, but I really want to go see it. I haven't seen many films this year and that has been the problem. When all the Golden Globe nominations came out, I wanted to go see all of those films, but between teaching, performing, doing film scoring, and four kids, I don't have much time. I went and saw Catch Me If You Can and I liked the opening credit sequence that John Williams wrote. I thought that was amazing.

FJ: What directors would you like to work with?

TB: Oh, boy, that is interesting. It is hard to say because there are so many great directors. Scorsese is a person that I would like to work with. Spielberg is definitely another person that I would like to work with. The other thing too is that I have worked with a lot of great directors already. I've worked with Ron Shelton and people like that, whom I have learned a great deal from. The thing I like about Spielberg's films is they are just challenging films. He is a very creative person and he tells interesting stories and I think that comes across in his films more so than anything to me, is the fact that he is just a lover of the medium.

FJ: What films do you have in the can?

TB: I have two things in the can. One is called Dark Blue with Ron Shelton. It stars Kurt Russell and Ving Rhames. Then I also have a Pacino movie titled People I Know. That will be released in April.

FJ: How do you put music over the Godfather ?

TB: (Laughing) It was challenging because he is a great actor, but again, it is one of those things where working with great people like that makes your job a lot easier.

FJ: What about your day gig?

TB: Oh, I am getting ready to go into the studio in a couple of weeks to record a new CD for Blue Note Records. That is still the primary part of my life. That is still how I identify myself.

FJ: Whoa, I thought you were with Sony?

TB: No, it is going to be my band: Eric Harland on drums, Brandon Owens on bass, Brice Winston on tenor saxophone, and Aaron Parks on piano.

FJ: First Tommy Mottola and now this?

TB: (Laughing) Yeah.

FJ: Terence Blanchard, the trumpeter or Terence Blanchard, the film composer?

TB: There has to be a median. I am just a person who loves music. I'm a jazz musician, who loves all types of music. I think that is the best way to put it.

Related Links
1999 AAJ Interview with Terence Blanchard
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Photo Credit
Josephine Ochej

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