Michael Giacchino knows what kind of movies he liked as a child and the composer prefers to work with directors that make the same kind of magical movies that he once watched.
Giacchino didn’t always know that he wanted to compose music, but he knew from a young age that he wanted to be associated with moviemaking in some way. “I had been making movies since I was nine,” he said. “I had tons of stop motion films. That’s how I spent my childhood. Making movies, super 8 movies, everything. I knew I always wanted to make movies in some capacity and be a part of what I loved.”
The music in the movies caught Giacchino’s attention eventually he gravitated towards making music in movies, not making movies. “I loved what music did for movies and it was just a natural evolution over the years that that’s the direction I took,” he said. “But filmmaking to me is such a fun thing. I loved doing it, and I still love doing it.”
Giacchino has worked with different directors but prefers the ones who make the kind of movies that he once loved. “…these are people literally only making something because they are so excited to see how it comes out,” he said of J.J. Abrams and of his work on various Pixar films. “They’re not making it because, ‘Hey we can make a million dollars!’ It’s not about that, it’s about this spark of an idea in which elicits to the exact same response you had when you were ten years old and said wouldn’t it be cool if we did this? Wouldn’t it be awesome if we swung from a rope and went over the thing and did that? That would be so great! Let’s try and do it! J.J. and John Lasseter are both like that. They’re these great, fun storytellers just doing it because it would be fun and that’s how I feel about what I do.
“Let me get in there and go, ‘Oh my god it’d be so much fun if we did this surf thing for this movie. Wouldn’t that be great? Let’s do it!’ Then everyone gets excited and we do it. It’s not like a chore or thought out methodical thing you have to do. It’s all sparked by creative impulse, where you just feed off each other. That’s like a great way to work. That’s why I do this. If it ever got to the point where it’s like, “Oh you must do a spy score like this, do that,” and there’s no excitement and no interest behind it, I don’t ever want to work like that. I’d rather not work. I’d rather find something else to do.”
Giacchino is currently working on John Carter and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.