Scoring “Wall-e” – Thomas Newman talks audio

by planetMitch3 Comments

The score for the Disney movie “Wall-e” is pretty cool and if you know anything about film scores, you know Thomas Newman – and you probably know he's one of the most amazing film score makers on the planet.

I've recently been doing a lot of learning about audio in films, both natural sound and recorded sound plus the music score.

I think I first heard of Thomas Newman on the movie “American Beauty”, “Shawshank Redemption” (and many more) and then I really fell in love with Thomas when I watched my favorite movie of all time “Meet Joe Black.” He has an amazing ability to correlate sounds and music into emotion and seems to know exactly what music put in to make you feel the scene more.

I also didn't know that Thomas comes from a family of movie composers. Alfred Newman was his uncle and scored over 250 movies. Thomas' father was Lionel Newman and his brother is David Newman (all music composers) – this short video gives you a bit of his history: [tentblogger-youtube k-L5VfaNOO4]

There (obviously) is a lot that goes into scoring a movie – even a short as we learned in doing “Incident on Marmont Avenue” and it is just intriguing to me to watch the process happen on a large scale like the movie below for “Wall-e”.

I especially liked the section about the ‘temp track' as it matched my learning experience with “Incident on Marmont Avenue.” We even had a group of songs we'd had selected by my friend Victoria Taylor-Gore (she only had the script to work from, but she went thru some music libraries and picked a few songs to work with based on mood and the script). Funny thing about that process is we ended up keeping one of the songs she picked in our final edit – and of course, we licensed it!

Thomas Newman – Notes on a Score Interview (Wall-e)

So, as you gathered, I found this all very interesting and thought I should share it with you. What do you think? Sound off in the comments! [tentblogger-youtube sg7dzJgljqY]

Thomas Newman – Notes on a Score Interview (Wall-e) (by FancyTorque)

very rare BTS / inside of how Thomas Newman works … very nice! 


Thomas Newman – The Sad Score Interview (Lemony Snicket)

[tentblogger-youtube YRqWQ1n5qhA]

Great quote from this video: “I think the best thing that music does in a movie is to help clarify” – that makes so much sense to me now that I'm learning more about scoring.

Thomas Newman – Notes on a Score Interview (Wall-e) (by FancyTorque)

very rare BTS / inside of how Thomas Newman works … very nice! 


Source: Tweet from @MicaSchmidt


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  1. “the Disney movie “Wall-e””

    The movie was merely distributed by Disney. It’s a Pixar movie. The Pixar brand means the movies are good. In contrast, the Disney brand means purity of evil – which really says nothing about the quality of the movie at all.

  2. Thanks for this story, Mitch. Thomas Newman is my absolute favorite film composer and I too was introduced to him with American Beauty, Shawshank, etc. I carry Wall-E and other TM soundtracks on my iPhone and when I play them they always make me feel deep emotions. When I choose music for my videos I always ask, “Does it at all pass the Thomas Newman test?”

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