• Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Topic: A Forum Interview with HUMMIE MANN - Post Your Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Arrow A Forum Interview with HUMMIE MANN - Post Your Questions

    We are pleased to announce our next guest in the series of Northern Sounds/Garritan Orchestra "Meet the Artist" Interviews featuring:


    Hummie Mann is a two-time Emmy Award Winning Film and TV composer and is one of the most sought-after orchestrators in the business.

    Mann's motion pictures have ranged from Mel Brooks' “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” to Peter Yates' “Year of the Comet” to the upcoming Capella Film’s “After the Rain” written and directed by Ross Kettle. On television, he has scored films for Simon Wincer (the miniseries “P.T. Barnum”), Jonathan Kaplan (the miniseries re-make of “In Cold Blood”), Norman Jewison (“Picture Windows”), Peter Bogdanovich (“The Rescuers: Tales of Courage- Two Women”), Joe Dante (“The Second Civil War”), Jim Abrahams (“First Do No Harm”), William Friedkin, John Milius and Ralph Bakshi (all part of the “Rebel Highway” series), among others.

    Mann was honored with his second Emmy Award in 1996 for an episode of Showtime's Picture Windows entitled “Language of the Heart”, a love story about a street musician and an aspiring ballerina. Oscar-winning movie-music legend Jerry Goldsmith recommended Mann to director Jonathan Kaplan who hired him to write the music for CBS’s “In Cold Blood” starring Anthony Edwards and Eric Roberts. Says Kaplan: "It's very rare that you can find someone who is as gifted as Hummie is..."

    Twice Mann has collaborated with legendary comedy director Mel Brooks. His first Brooks score was for “Robin Hood: Men in Tights”, which NBC-TV critic Gene Shalit singled out for praise, likening it to the legendary Erich Wolfgang Korngold's scores for the classic swashbucklers of the '30s and '40s. He also scored Brooks' next film- “Dracula: Dead & Loving It” which starred Leslie Nielsen.

    The grand-scale symphonic music for Brooks' two film parodies contrasts sharply with Mann's acoustic guitar- based score for the Donald Sutherland-Amy Irving thriller “Benefit of the Doubt”, and the soaring, charming music for Peter Yates' “Year of the Comet”, which combined orchestral sounds with Scottish ethnic elements. Yates, the director of Bullitt and The Deep, found "a freshness and energy" in Mann's music for “Year of the Comet”.
    Mann co-produced the Marc Shaiman scores for such hits as “Sleepless in Seattle”, “A Few Good Men” and “Mr. Saturday Night”, and both orchestrated and conducted the Shaiman scores for “City Slickers” and “The Addams Family”. His orchestrations can also heard in such films as “Speechless”, “Addams Family Values”, “Misery”, “Sister Act”, “Dying Young”, and “For the Boys” and he co-arranged the song “Places That Belong to You“ for Barbra Streisand's best-selling “Prince of Tides” soundtrack album. He also composed the Carl Stalling-style underscore for “Box Office Bunny”, the first theatrical Bugs Bunny cartoon released in 26 years, and millions of moviegoers at AMC Theaters nationwide hear his music for the celluloid character ‘Clyp’ (who appears in the pre-trailer and pre-feature sequences) every day.

    Among Mann's most provocative projects have been two series for Showtime: “Picture Windows”, which Norman Jewison executive-produced and which enabled the composer to collaborate with Jewison, Kaplan, Dante and Bob Rafelson; and “Rebel Highway”, a series of drive-in-movie remakes by Kaplan, Friedkin, Milius, Dante, Ralph Bakshi, John McNaughton, Mary Lambert and Uli Edel. Mann also composed the main title theme music for both series.

    In television, Mann composed the main title theme and underscore for Rob Reiner's cult series “Morton & Hayes”. He received two Emmy nominations for his arrangements on the popular “Moonlighting” series, and received an Emmy Award for arranging Billy Crystal's opening number for the “1992 Academy Awards” telecast.

    In the world of Independent films, Mann scored “Goodnight, Joseph Parker” starring Paul Sorvino, Steve “Aerosmith” Tyler and Debi Mazur and also collaborated with first time director Paul Warner on “Falltime”, starring Mickey Rourke, Stephen Baldwin and Sheryl Lee. That film premiered in competition at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival. Mann has also scored films by two well-known screenwriters making their initial forays into directing. He composed a contemporary jazz-rock score for the coming-of-age story “Sticks & Stones” by Neil Tolkin, and also scored the short film “The Red Coat” for Little Women writer Robin Swicord.

    For musical theater, Mann arranged new material for Debbie Reynolds' tour of “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”. He created new arrangements for Pia Zadora in the Long Beach Civic Light Opera's production of “Funny Girl”, and has arranged music for several other Southern California stage productions including “Babes in Toyland”, “Kiss Me Kate”, “The Merry Widow” and Cloris Leachman's “Perfectly Frank”.
    Born in Montreal, Mann began studying music at the age of seven. He learned to play not only the piano, but also recorder, guitar, clarinet and oboe. He graduated magna cum laude in 1976 from Boston's prestigious Berklee College of Music and moved in 1980 to Los Angeles, where he began orchestrating and composing for such top-rated series as “Fame”, “Moonlighting”, “Knots Landing”, “ALF” and “The Simpsons”. In early 1998 Mann was presented with Berklee’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.

    Some of Mann’s more recent releases include the live action/animated feature “Thomas and the Magic Railroad” for director Britt Allcroft starring Alec Baldwin, Peter Fonda and Mara Wilson. The film was the big screen adaptation of the popular children’s television series “Shining Time Station” and also featured Thomas the Tank Engine and all his talking train friends. He also wrote the music for "Wooly Boys” starring Peter Fonda, Kris Kristofferson and Keith Carradine which features a bluegrass flavored score. In addition to composing the score, he collaborated with lyricists Don Black (“To Sir with Love”) and Sue Ennis (“Dog and Butterfly”) in writing songs for the film. Mann also composed the score to “Cyberworld”, the first ever computer-generated, 3-d IMAX film, which opened worldwide as the biggest pre-sold IMAX film of all time. Upcoming projects for Mann include Sinatraland for director Peter Bogdanovich, Mermaids Singing for first time director Robin Swicord (writer of the screenplays for “Matilda” and “Little Women” starring Jessica Lange and Neve Campbell; and Danger Zone starring Daryl Hannah.

    Besides his busy composing career, he is also the principal instructor of the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program, a board member and founding president of the Seattle Composers Alliance and serves as a govenor of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
    You can visit Hummie's website at: http://www.hummiemann.com.

    It is indeed an honor and to have Hummie Mann our guest. We are now inviting questions for Hummie from forum members. If you have any questions you would like to ask Hummie about his Film and TV work, projects he is working on, how he scores, the music business, or have any other questions; now is your opportunity to ask him.

    At the end of the questioning period, your questions will be presented to Hummie and we will then post his response in interview form.
    Please post your questions below or email them to me.

    Thank you for your participation.

    Let the questions begin!

  2. #2

    Re: A Forum Interview with HUMMIE MANN - Post Your Questions

    OK, I'll start, it's really three questions in one:

    Q: With that advent of sophisticated sample libraries like GPO/GOS/VSL, etc., I understand that many directors have come to expect fully rendered versions of a composer's ideas submitted for their approval. Do you think this new dimension to the composers job (tech-head sample wrangler and engineer) diminish creativity and freedom for the composer by taking time away from the actual composing? Do you think the overall quality of film music has suffered or benefited from this technological revolution? How has it impacted your workflow?

  3. #3

    Re: A Forum Interview with HUMMIE MANN - Post Your Questions

    Q:Hummie Mann, I'll tell ya....you ARE the man! You're defintely one of my favorites! Anyway, I have a question.

    Do you think that film/TV composers often get bored or frusterated with only being allowed to write music that is accessible to the general mass? Basically, what I'm asking is this: Since film/TV music is generally heard by everyone, do composers often get frusterated with the fact that in order to be successful, they can only write "safe", "cliche", or "uninteresting" music because that is the only thing that is going to please the general audience?

  4. #4

    Re: A Forum Interview with HUMMIE MANN - Post Your Questions

    It's certainly an honor to have this opportunity! I have a very simple question.

    Q: What would you say is the most important thing for an aspiring composer to remember?
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Kauai, Hawaii, USA

    Question Re: A Forum Interview with HUMMIE MANN - Post Your Questions

    Q. How did you break into scoring for $$ ?

    Q. How did you get an agent/manager?

    Q. How would suggest that a talented "one-man band" go about securing work and an agent?

  6. #6

    Question Re: A Forum Interview with HUMMIE MANN - Post Your Questions

    This is an awesome opportunity! Thanks to Gary and Hummie for taking the time and trouble to do this.

    So here are my questions:

    1. Do you consider yourself to be an independent/free-lance orchestrator (considering any project that comes to your door), or have you gravitated toward a particular team (or set of teams) for taking on new work?
    2. Do you feel that at this time in your career that you still have to aggressively pursue work, or does your experience and reputation grant a sufficient pipeline of material in order to stay busy?
    3. How have Garritan's libraries helped you in your work?
    4. What notation program do you use to produce your scores,and do you think it's more important to have "engraver quality" output or speed in creating the final cue sheet? (and do you think that's an either/or choice?)
    5. Do you approach the production of a film cue sheet differently from scores geared toward live performance/recital/publication?
    6. And finally, what are your views on technology and scoring? Do things like MusicXML or new features in computer-based notation grab your attention - or do you consider it a distraction -- or even a necessary evil?
    7. Have you ever been called in to "orchestrate" at the last minute - only to find out that you're really there to doctor the score? How did you handle that - I'm curious about how you might have dealt with creative issues as well as the political side -whether there's been any fallout from the original composer hearing wholesale changes in their work? Have you ever rejected an orchestration assignment because the producers were really looking for a whole new score?

    I'm sure I'll think of more questions, but I'll let others take a stab at it.

    Cheers, and thanks again!
    Houston Haynes - Titan Line Music

  7. #7

    Re: A Forum Interview with HUMMIE MANN - Post Your Questions

    Mr. Mann,

    Thanks for taking the time out to answer our questions. It is a genuine treat!!

    I'm curious as to what your approach to writing a score is. I mean, do you write sequentially, scene by scene, or do you jump around?

    Secondly, you seem to attach yourself to a core group of film makers. Was this a concious decision or did your affinity with these people just develop over time. In that respect, do you feel that limiting yourself to working with certain individuals has put a damper on your career at all?

    Also, what is your take on modern technology available to composers? Do you sequence, then create the score or do you work by hand at the piano (or a combination of both)?

    Lastly, if you do compose electronically, what are the programs, software, and libraries that you tend to use?

    Once again, I thank you for this opportunity. Have a great day.

    For more information, check out www.jonathoncox.com/intro.html

    "The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music they should be taught to love it instead." - Igor Stravinsky

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: A Forum Interview with HUMMIE MANN - Post Your Questions

    The question period is now closed. Good questions were asked and I'm looking forward to Hummie's answers. I will post Hummies answers soon.

    Thank you for your participation.

    Gary Garritan

Go Back to forum


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts