In a relaxed environment, Jon Burlingame (with SoundWorks Collection) had an exclusive and engaging sit-down discussion with Mychael and Jeff Danna about their work on The Good Dinosaur score.
The first nine minutes of the interview set the tone for the story, describing how the brothers crafted the soundtrack working alongside Pixar’s animatics (animated storyboards) and the nuances tied to writing without seeing the final film.
We found it particularly interesting when they described how Denise Ream (Producer), Peter Sohn (Director), and John Lasseter told them they wanted the score to feel worldly without the identification of a specific place like Ireland or Nigeria — while still incorporating a western feel as well.
The interview continues with discussions surrounding how they collaborate while writing and how the character themes were crafted. Mychael noted that there’s no real way to pinpoint when it’s “right” — you just sense it. Mychael continued, “Once you have the themes and once they’re right, it kind of writes itself from there.”
Wrapping up The Good Dinosaur discussion, the duo expresses their gratitude and respect for Pixar, the Studio itself, and the artists within, “You can feel the creativity oozing out of the walls in that place. It’s really an amazing bunch of people and an amazing company and to be associated with it and to be able to work with them and see it close up, yeah, it was just unforgettable and wonderful experience.” — Mychael.
The interview concludes with a great note about Sanjay’s Super Team and how organically Mychael was asked to score the short after bumping accidentally into Sanjay Patel in the studio a few times.
Be sure to take a moment and listen to this fantastic interview on the SoundWorks Collection site.