The fog shrouded hills
surrounding Skywalker Ranch.

The road to the Main House.

My ride, parked in front of the
Main House, home of Lucasfilm.

March 9th, 2008

It’s 6 AM on a perfect spring morning in Northern California, and I’m riding my bike through a bank of fog that’s drifting only a few feet off the ground. It’s such a startlingly beautiful sight that I have to remind myself I’m not in the middle of some sort of crazy visual effect… and that this isn’t some sort of crazy fantasy.

But I’m not dreaming – I really am peddling down the main road inside Skywalker Ranch. I’ll admit, this is holy territory for me... I grew up wanting to be Han Solo on the even days, and Indiana Jones on the odd ones. The same genius who invented those heroes built this place, and right now, I feel like I have it all to myself.

It’s Sunday, and I’m the only one awake (unless you count the longhorn cattle grazing in the distance and the hawks riding the thermals high above). The sun is just barely creeping over the rolling hills on the horizon, and even though I’m up way too early, I’ve never felt more alive.

Why? In a few hours, I’ll be standing on the greatest scoring stage ever built listening to an entire symphony orchestra play the soundtrack of ARTICLES OF WAR for the first time. Aside from keeping myself balanced (I ride way more subways than bikes these days), the one thought racing through my head is that I’m about to experience something insanely special.

You know those times when you’re anticipating an event so much that you already know it’s going to go by way too fast, no matter how much you want it to last forever? It’s not something I experience very often (I’m not that obnoxious), but I already know the scoring session for ARTICLES OF WAR is going be one of those times.

How the hell did I get here? And am I the luckiest dude on the planet? (Yes, obviously, I’m the luckiest dude on the planet. But it’ll take me a few more paragraphs to answer the first question…)

Soundtracks

It took me literally years to get here. And while I had the time of my life making ARTICLES OF WAR, there were a few moments (OK, maybe more than a few) when it felt like I’d never finish… but I could always remind myself that I still had the music to look forward to. I’ve loved film music since before I could walk (my parents had the original STAR WARS double LP – it’s the album my Dad used to teach me how to operate the family record player), so working on the score is by far my favorite part of post-production.

The whole process is just so mysterious and – I know I’m charging headfirst into Really Clichéd Territory here, but screw it – magical. As much as I admire music, I don’t know the first thing about creating it (when I took dance lessons before my wedding, my ever-patient fiancée had to teach me the concept of keeping to a beat… every single time we practiced). So when I hear a piece of music that perfectly supports the images I’ve created, I’m always impressed. And when the score surpasses my lofty expectations … well, aside from wanting to tell good stories (and still wishing I was Han Solo), that’s why I got into this business in the first place.

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An equipment case stacked at the side of the Skywalker Scoring Stage.
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