Michael Giacchino scores Super 8

Posted on August 23, 2011 by Dan Goldwasser

Earlier this spring, Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino was at the Newman Scoring Stage at 20th Century Fox to record his score to longtime collaborator J.J. Abrams feature film, Super 8. Shrouded in secrecy for much of the production, Super 8 serves as homage to the Steven Spielberg films of the late 1970s/early 1980s. Spielberg served as a producer on the film, which marked Abrams’ third studio feature as a director.

Tim Simonec conducts the Hollywood Studio Symphony

With orchestrator Tim Simonec conducting a 104-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony, Giacchino’s score was filled with numerous themes and motifs, including an emotionally charged main melody.

Tim Simonec conducts Super 8

The woodwinds

The brass section

Percussionist Emil Richards

The scoring session we attended took place on Mother’s Day, and Giacchino handed out flowers to all the ladies in the orchestra. Additionally, director J.J. Abrams and producer Bryan Burk brought their parents to make the day extra special.

Michael Giacchino gives flowers to the ladies in the orchestra on Mother’s Day

In the booth, scoring mixer Dan Wallin was assisted by music editors Alex Levy and Paul Apelgren, and score coordinator Andrea Datzman. Orchestration on the score was done by Tim Simonec, Ira Hearshen, Brad Dechter, Cameron Patrick, Chris Tilton, Andrea Datzman, Larry Kenton, Mark Gasbarro, Norman Ludwin, Peter Boyer, and Marshall Bowen.

Composer Michael Giacchino and scoring mixer Dan Wallin

Music editor Paul Apelgren, director J.J. Abrams, supervising sound editor Ben Burtt and composer Michael Giacchino

Score coordinator Andrea Datzman and composer Michael Giacchino

At one point, the reworked finale to the film was recorded (after being recorded at a previous session, some changes were made), and we got to witness the excited reaction as Burk, Abrams and Giacchino got to hear it for the first time with the full orchestra.

The booth during the recording of the big finale of Super 8

Producer Bryan Burk, director J.J. Abrams and composer Michael Giacchino listen – and react – to the finale cue for the first time

Super 8 was released in theaters on June 10, 2011, and has grossed over $230 million worldwide. A soundtrack album featuring Giacchino’s score was released on CD on August 2, 2011.

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