Graeme Revell has scored such films as The Crow, The Negotiator, and Tomb Raider, and has just finished his work on Daredevil. Here he talks about his initial ideas and what it was like to work with the many people involved with the movie. Thanks to Phil Castillo for his help with this interview.
Kuljit Mithra: When did you learn you were doing the score for DD and what drew you to it?
Graeme Revell: I first spoke with Mark Steven Johnson and Gary Foster about 6 months ago and we really hit it off from the first meeting. I loved the approach they wanted to take which was to emphasize the "human-ness" of Daredevil; how he is torn emotionally and physically by his superhero status. I also loved Mark's positive energy and he responded to my feeling that the strongest comic-style movies are the ones in which you forget for a while that the character could not possibly be real and find yourself relating to him or her as a human being. (Or maybe I'm just weird.)
Mithra: Having done scores for other comics/adventure type of movies, how do you think your score compares to movies like the Crow, which you also worked on? Darker? Lighter? Moodier? etc. It seems the soundtrack features heavy music, so is this what you were going for?
Revell: Daredevil is definitely a dark, tortured soul but I asked Mark early on not to temp his film with Crow music even though it is one of his favorite scores. He had taken a lot of care with the film to avoid many "Gothic" cliches so I wanted to honor that effort in the same way with my music. Similarly Avi Arad was correct in asking me to concentrate on more emotional music for Daredevil and Elektra because this really is the strength of the film.
Mithra: What type of score did you think initially would fit for the movie, and did this ever deviate as you set down to work on it?
Revell: I always know instinctually what kind of music is right for a film and Daredevil was no exception. Although the score is quite eclectic in that it has rock elements in which I was able to collaborate with Mike Einziger from Incubus (a wonderful and fun experience for us) the themes really focus on internal issues with Matt and Elektra. Bullseye (guitar) and Kingpin (bass beats) have motifs and there is also a Father/son theme for the all-important back story. I wanted to give plenty of variation of both excitement and emotion but thematically I didn't drift too far into motifs for every little character. This is important especially when there are also so many songs in the film.
Mithra: Any instructions/wishes from Mark Steven Johnson on what he thought the score should sound like? How was it working with him?
Revell: Together we decided on various ways to avoid action movie cliches (I hope). For example, in the Church fight with Bullseye I used huge "tribal" type drums along with some highlights of brass and filter-sweep synths but not either a stuffy orchestral cue or straight electronica. Working with Mark was really wonderful. 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. He is so positive and responsive to experimenting. I never felt I was locked in a box of preconceptions which is very liberating and leads to cool stuff.
Mithra: How was your collaboration with Mike Einziger on the Blind Justice theme?
Revell: Mike brought a level of excitement to the guitar work on the Hero theme and also into the Sparring scene between Matt and Elektra that took the whole thing to a higher level. I can't thank him enough for that. He also brought great feel to the romance theme.
Mithra: Have you ever followed the Daredevil comic?
Revell: I stay aware of most of the comic material out there but I am not a collector or anything like that. Elektra Assassin is one of my faves however and Jennifer Garner is incredible in Daredevil.
Mithra: And finally, will the score be available for purchase and when?
Revell: Yes. In addition to having the theme and the string arrangement of Evanescence's My Immortal on the Rock Soundtrack, Varese-Sarabande is doing the score record and it will be released I think at the very beginning of March.
Visit Graeme Revell online at: GraemeRevell.com
(c) Kuljit Mithra 2003
Daredevil:The Man Without Fear
Jose Guns Alves
Black and White
Roberto De La Torre
Carmine Di Giandomenico
Tommy Lee Edwards
Elektra Hand Devil
Fall From Grace
Justin F. Gabrie
Devin K. Grayson
John Patrick Hayden
Alex Irvine & Tomm Coker
Mark Steven Johnson
Lauren Mary Kim
Ryan K. Lindsay
Vatche Mavlian &
Shane McCarthy &
Richard K. Morgan
Suzanne H. Smart
Stephen D. Sullivan
Lee Weeks (2)
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