Not one to keep with the status quo of movie scores, Hans Zimmer (Inception) has continued to push the envelope when it comes to the audio experience cinema goers have. As for The Dark Knight Rises, Hans seems to be taking it to 11 with a self described “outrageous and experimental” new score.
Mr. Zimmer had this to say about the origins of his new sound for The Dark Knight Rises from an interview by Collider:
“Well, before I started on ‘Sherlock,’ I had an idea for’ Dark Knight’. I said to Chris [Nolan], ‘Would it be okay if I got the most outrageous orchestra together and tried this experimental thing?’ It involved chanting and all sorts of stuff. And, if I decided that it was just complete rubbish, then we could just throw it away and nobody would ever mention that Hans went and spent all that money. So, I went off and spent weeks writing it. I recorded the piece, and Chris came by and said, ‘Well, you’ve done half the movie now.’ I said, ‘Well, I don’t think that’s quite true.’ But, I think I figured out my cornerstone to the thing.”
From his words, it seems that Mr. Zimmer had a gut instinct about the direction he wanted to go, and up to this point it has worked out extremely well.
Hans Zimmer has always had an ear for cinema and his scores have made some great movies even better (along with making some bad movies watchable). A score is the emotional underpinning of the film and needs to match well with the theme and look of the movie. Using chants is a good way to develop a sense of foreboding and stoicism to a scene and, if done correctly in The Dark Knight Rises, should be able to grab the audience and keep them focused on the screen by pulling them in through the use of an epic score.
For me, his work on The Dark Knight, Inception, and The Lion King made great movies even better. I also believe that he single-handedly turned The Rock from good to great with a score that so perfectly identified the mood of the movie while enhancing the experience.
The chant aspect is interesting in itself because he is actively asking fans of the movie to help. In this ambitious move, he will be collecting hundreds of thousands of voices, all to come together in an epic chant for the film. Collecting a bunch of individual voices sounds like a recipe for disaster, but with a homogenization of that many voices, he will end up making it sound great, I am sure.
As an example of the potential for engaging your fans and allowing them to be a part of the movie, watch TRON:Legacy during the “disc wars” scene, where the filmmakers used fans voices to make up the huge cheering crowd.
As a score fanatic, I am really hoping that Hans Zimmer has taken the next step in the evolution of music in cinema and am very excited to get a small taste of this brand new sound in the six-minute prologue being shown before Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol in select IMAX theatres this december.
Good Luck Hans, we’re rooting for your “experiment” to work out when The Dark Knight Rises is released on July 20, 2012.