The interview with director Andy Fickman took place during the premiere of his film "Race to Witch Mountain" on March 31st, 2009 in Berlin. Parts were first heard on Cinématographe, April 12th, 2009.
Stefanos Tsarouchas: Nathan Wang was the composer of your film THE GAME PLAN. Why didn't you choose him for this film too?
Andy Fickman: Nathan, who I love, and I were working on many projects together. I think that this movie, because it's gonna be more action, as Nathan has done a lot of comedies with me, I wanted somebody, who had an experience at doing an action score and that really meant about finding that perfect composer. The truth was, Trevor was somebody, who was on top of my list, one of my all time favorite composers, what he's done in his movies it felt like natural transition for me.
S. Tsarouchas: Who proposed Trevor Rabin?
A. Fickman: I think everybody at Disney. You do that short list of people and you start combing through like: “What about him? What about him? What about him?” and Trevor Jones just kept coming to the top of the list. Tthen I went and met with a bunch of people. When I said, I want Trevor, I knew immediately it was him. Actually, I spoke to Nathan at that point. I asked Nathan, what he thought of Trevor. Nathan gave a big thumbs up and said: “If you're not gonna use me, you got to use Trevor!”
S. Tsarouchas: How do you collaborate with Trevor Rabin? Do you have your own musical ideas?
A. Fickman: Yeah, I had a musical editor, Brent Brooks, who's been with me for three or four movies now. When we start with the editing, we put our own temp music in. It's really our guide post, but it begins just to speak the language, so by the time Disney comes in to look at the scene, if they hate the music, they let us know and if they like it, they'd let us know. It turns out a lot of the music we were temping with was Trevor's music, scores from other movies. We be like: “That's sounds great! Ah! That's Trevor!” And then once we had that scene to where we feel like its working, Trevor would look at it and then Trevor, we would tell Trevor: “You have to copy yourself, Trevor!” Like, you gotta be better than that guy. And Trevor is like, "That's pretty good!" And I: “You did that! You got to beat that!” But that's how the collaboration would begin.
S. Tsarouchas: The film has a lot of music. Score from wall to wall, with snippets of songs. Do you need so much music in the movies?
A. Fickman: Yeah, for me, not for every movie, but for this movie, because of the driving force of the race. I think music helps. I think, music is a constant like if you're on a road trip You turn on the radio and just go, go go and I think, that we wanted to be more score heavy here than song heavy. So, and the places, where we we do songs, we stop down at the Country Bar and we have the band “Brokedown Cadillac”. They do five songs in there, and so that was appropriated. We had the people dancing and doing all the Country and Western Dancing, but then it was back to score.
S. Tsarouchas: Did Disney try to put some of their own songs in, just like Miley Cyrus? Because she's hot now?
A. Fickman: No, you know, it ended up happening for the Miley Cyrus song, that we have in the movie, we tested probably 65 songs, where we just sat there one day. We have them cued up and then the scene would start. We hit “play song”. That doesn't work, scene from the start, song play and so on. By the time we got to the Miley Cyrus, it was mixed in, with only three or 4 different songs in there. And Miley, that just would happen to be her new song “Fly on the Wall”. When it came, we were like: “That song is good!”, and then some people would asked: “Well, who's that?” We were like: “That's Miley Cyrus!”. So, it actually worked out great, because Disney was thrilled, but it never started out to be, you have to put Miley Cyrus in!