I always believed 'The Fly' to be a classic opera story. It's a tale of love and death, true love surviving in the face of physical decay and ultimate sacrifice.
'Saturday Night Live' was actually started with a show that Lorne Michaels and I did at a summer camp called Timberlane in Ontario when we were 14 and 15. We would do an improvisational show with music, comedy and acting.
A lot of what a composer does has to do with storytelling, and there are different ways of fusing music with picture to express different storytelling ideas.
I think 'Two Towers' is a completely distinct film from 'Fellowship of the Ring' or 'Return of the King.' I think that you can watch them as a group and watch how the story evolves, but I think each one was made in its own entirety, and each one has its own palate of sound and music and color and characterization.
I live in Tuxedo Park, N.Y. and spend time in the West Village, where my wife Elizabeth Cotnoir, a writer-producer and documentary filmmaker, has an office.
It is very gratifying to see the music from 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy find a new life on the concert stage as it is performed by different orchestras and choruses throughout the world.
I read all of the books by Tolkien, including 'The Hobbit,' when I was in my twenties, and his deep love of nature and all things green resonates deeply with me.
When you see 'Lord of the Rings,' you want to feel like you've been dropped into it and that you're part of it. You don't want to be aware of how it's being done; you just want it to feel really seamless.
I think once a year it's good to look back at the history of Oscar and to embrace the great work that everybody's done this year and set it in place to the great work that's gone on before us.
My first score for 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, 'The Fellowship of the Ring,' was the beginning of my journey into the world of Tolkien, and I will always hold a special fondness for the music and the experience.
I like to read and dream and create music that is based on the imagery of text. If you have the combination of a great book and a great filmmaker, what could be better for the composer?
The music for 'The Departed' could have been played by an orchestra, but you make a decision about orchestration based on the context of the film. You want the music to broaden the scope of a film, not just repeat what you're seeing.