Brian Tyler scores The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Posted on May 2, 2006 by Dan Goldwasser

For the past two days, composer Brian Tyler has been recording his score to The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, the latest in the Universal Studios franchise of underground car racing films. Directed by Justin Lin (Annapolis), Tyler’s score is a fusion of orchestral music and electronically manipulated tracks, which sets it apart from the previous scores in the series.

Brian Tyler conducts The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

In the film, while living in Japan, Shaun Boswell (Lucas Black) gets caught up in the underground world of drift racing. To emphasize culture clash, Tyler used western instruments to represent Boswell’s character. "He’s southern rock-and-roll," explained Tyler, "then he meets this digital hard core guy – so we use a lot of taiko drums. We didn’t want to make it techno, but rather make it human. Let’s have live guitars, live drums – stay away from the computer as much as possible and then chop it all up and crunch it. At the end, the orchestra will be added in ‘as is’."

Brian Tyler and the Hollywood Studio Symphony

Keeping with that mindset, Tyler recorded many different drum sets, guitars, and basses – over 140 tracks before the orchestra even came in. "I actually got the error message in ProTools that I ran out of space, so I had to buy a new card to make it go higher. It’s been very intricate and time consuming." Originally they had been planning on about 12-minutes of score, but ended up with an hour of music.

Brian Tyler and Joel Iwataki examine a cue as Tiffany Jones from Universal Studios and Technical Score Consultant Keith Power observe

After all of the pre-records were assembled, the two days of orchestral recording took place at the Todd-AO Studios, with a 70-piece orchestra conducted by Tyler himself. Mixed by Joel Iwataki, the score was orchestrated by Dana Niu, Robert Elhai, and Brad Warner. Music editors Gary Krause, Joe Lisanti were also on hand at the sessions.

Music editor Gary Krause

The score is thematic, something that director Lin insisted on. "We wanted the music for this movie to be something that has its own identity – not just something that’s part of a franchise, but something that you could identify as being from Tokyo Drift."

The Hollywood Studio Symphony

A pick-up session is scheduled for later this month. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift opens in theaters on June 16, 2006.