MIKE TREBILCOCK - Film composer
What originally inspired you to get into this line of work?
I think my love of composing for film might have come early on from the movie musical Oliver, where Lionel Bart's music is obviously so upfront. The emotion in that music was overwhelming to me as a kid. I wore that album out. I loved Bernard Herrmann's scores for things like Journey To The Center of The Earth, Mysterious Island, Jason and The Argonauts and of course all of his work for Hitchcock. Finding out that these were all by the same man was a thrilling revelation. Another big moment came later on when I heard Howard Shore's score for Cronenberg's The Fly. It played like the great tragic love story the movie was under the surface. I used to carry that around on cassette and listen to the audio of the movie in a walkman, noting how the music worked with the dialogue and sound effects to create this great work. So my early inspiration came from musicals, fantasy, horror – the place I'm in now, not surprisingly.
What is your philosophy when approaching a new project?
I love getting new projects and entering a new world. I research the landscape a bit, and make sketches based on my initial impressions. I try out new sounds and sample things that will be unique to the film. Each film has its own personality, and I treat each one differently. Something I learned from another favorite composer, Richard Band, was that no matter the film's budget or how strange and funny the premise, give each film the weight and respect it deserves. My job is to elevate the project and make sure the director's vision is fully realized, even beyond their expectation.
What film would you like to go back in time and be a part of?
In 2013, I was a composer for a live theatrical version of Night of the Living Dead. It was Executive Produced by George Romero, John Russo, Russ Streiner and it was a bit like going back in time to score the movie. I got into the technology of the day, especially the Roland Space Echo, and wrote pieces in the style of the Capitol Hi-Q library that George Romero liked to use. In a live Q and A at the Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto, George wondered how they got that library music. I felt a bit like I had fooled the master magician. So in a way I did get to go back in time and tinker with Night of the Living Dead.
Where can people go to learn more about your projects?
They can visit my website, miketrebilcockmusic.com or find me on Facebook, which is often open on my computer while I work, so I'm pretty accessible - for better or worse!
Bryn Wilkinson is a co-op student at the Hamilton Film Festival.