We chat to Lucas about how working on a movie of this scale compares to his previous work and to the lower budget productions that he’s also worked on since The Raven. If you missed our interview with him last year which explains how he got in the film industry and made his mark, click right here.
HeyUGuys: How soon is it that you finish scoring before the movie comes out?
Lucas Vidal: I finished three weeks ago. As you know these kind of films continue editing until the very end so it’s about three weeks before it comes out.
HeyUGuys: So what’s the pressure like working right up to such a tight deadline?
LV: Yes but that’s the composer’s job, making changes and to make sure they’re 100% happy and that it’s the right cut.
HeyUGuys: Is there ever a point where you feel like you’re finished or are there always changes you can make?
LV: I’m happy when they’re happy. When they want changes it’s for a reason, so once it’s edited and they approve it then i’m good.
HeyUGuys: How did you feel when you were told you had the Fast and Furious gig?
LV: Very excited! It’s Fast and Furious! I was thinking of all the girls I was going to get but I still haven’t got anyone so they better do something about it!! [Laughs a lot!]
HeyUGuys: You’ve previously worked on big films in the form of The Raven and The Cold Light of Day but a Fast and Furious film is another level. Does that add extra pressure to improve on your previously work?
LV: I think the job is the same but with more work. I think that with every film I do, trying to be as professional as possible. I did another film called The Quiet Ones with Hammer, an English film and that one is a smaller project but the approach was the same. It’s not because it’s bigger or smaller that I invest more or less time. With these kind of huge projects there are a lot of people involved, there are more filters.
LV: I’ll do the spotting, then I start composing a lot of cues and once I have a reel I’ll show it to the filmmaker and then we start making changes.
HeyUGuys: With a Fast and Furious movie you know you’re going to get with the action and chase sequences, does that make it more fun for you?
LV: Yes, this one has been very fun because there’s a lot of huge action and I’ve been coperating with Peter Brown (he’s the Supervising Sound Editor) because music is part of the sound so Justin [Lin] wanted me to be in touch with Peter all the time to make sure we talk about the scenes so the music doesn’t try to compete with the sound of the cars because the cars will be louder than the music.
HeyUGuys: Is it commonplace that you’d talk to the Sound Editors?
LV: It’s not usual but I like to do it and I think after this film I’m going to do it all the time.
HeyUGuys: Where was this one scored? Was it in London again?
LV: Yes at Abbey Road and a couple of sessions at AIR Studios. They let me score where I’d like in London and I decided to go to Abbey Road. I think there is something very special about Abbey Road and AIR Studios I love. Both of them are my favourite in London because of the acoustics.
HeyUGuys: When writing, do you listen to the previous films and work out where you can go from there?
LV: I watch the previous films many times and have to respect the franchise. It’s been so successful and the other films people like a lot. I added new sonorities but most of the themes are from the previous ones. The last pictures have been the same guy and with this one, they wanted something very modern and more of a ‘London sound’. Very electronic mixed with a bit of the orchestra but in general it’s very electronic.
HeyUGuys: When it comes to budgets in a movie you can do a lot with special effects but how does budget affect sound in a movie?
LV: What all composers want is to score with a real orchestra so sometimes when you dont have budgets sometimes you don’t even have the pleasure of working with real players and in terms of quality that affects a lot. There are some differences in orchestras as well and in this case working with an orchestra from London or LA and that’s an amazing sound quality so you can feel the difference and in order to do that you need some budget. The same thing with orchestrators, music editors and your team. The bigger your budget is, the better the professionals you can hire.
HeyUGuys: When you were at the World Premiere in London, how does it feel when you sit and listen to your music with the movie?
LV: It was great! I had a lot of fun and not because my name was in there but meeting the actors, seeing Justin Lin again and I wasn’t nervous at all. I know these guys do a great job mixing and I enjoyed the film a lot, I thought it was really fun. I never saw it like that, finished so was very excited and it was great.
HeyUGuys: You’re going from strength to strength at the moment, how do you keep your feet on the ground?
LV: I think one of the keys is that I try to go to Europe a lot, to Spain and to be with my family and my friends and eating Spanish ham! Here my friends don’t really care about films and things so here is normal. In LA as well I think I’m humble person and normal, the only thing is i work a lot but other than that I see myself as any normal person.
HeyUGuys: You and Steven Dzialowski are going from strength to strength, what’s next for your company Music and Motion Productions?
LV: We have a couple of projects, not only related to films but other things as well, opening to other fields but I can’t say too much about that. For me I’m starting a film called Mindscape and then we have another 3 or 4 movies after that. I’m also doing some things for the Boston Ballet which is very fun because it’s totally different to what I’ve been doing over the last months.
HeyUGuys: What do you do when you’re not doing your music?
LV: Try to sleep! And play ping pong!
HeyUGuys: We’ll have to have a game the next time you’re over!
Fast and Furious 6 is on general release in the UK tomorrow 17th May. You can see our review of the movie here and you can find out more about Lucas and Steve on their Music and Motion Productions website here.