Lorne Balfe is a Scottish music producer and composer for film, television, and video games.. He is best known for composing music for films such as Terminator Genisys, iBoy, and 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, DreamWorks animated films Home and Penguins of Madagascar, video games Assassin's Creed: Revelations and Crysis 2, and the Skylanders franchise.
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My short bio: Hi everyone, I’m Lorne Balfe, composer for “The LEGO Batman Movie”, “Terminator: Genisys,” “Marcella”; “Churchill”; the “SKYLANDERS” video games and other cool stuff. I wrote the original music for “The LEGO Batman Movie” and the song “I Found You” for the film.
It's now closing time... I had a great time answering your questions! Check out the “The LEGO Batman Movie”, the second season of "The Story Of God with Morgan Freeman" and the upcoming Nat Geo series about Albert Einstein “Genius”. To find out more about me, check out my website, http://www.lornebalfe.com/
My Proof: http://imgur.com/a/wjx8i
Did you intend to Rick Roll the entire Lego Batman movie audience?
Damn right we did. So happy that I can technically say I have "worked" with the legend Rick Astley
Do you ever use, "I'm a composer, wanna go to my place and score?" as a pickup line?
No . BUT i do now wish I had thought of that line. Thankfully there are many single composers that will now be able to use these wise words of wisdom
What was it like working on Assassin's Creed?
it was wonderful to be part of the franchise. Wonderful memories visiting the team in Canada and working with amazing designers. I am absolutely useless at playing games. No good. I remember playing AC3 and was at it for 8 hours straight trying to leave an actual room. Useless
When scoring The Lego Batman Movie i only noticed the 1960s theme song and i was a bit disappointed,my question is that how come you didn't take advantage of the other iconic music that's associated with Batman?
Well like what ? The problem is that there have been so many Batman themes throughout the films and there is no one theme . We didn't want to make it a musical parody. Also the TV theme is (in my view" the most memorable .
Hi Lorne, you said you use SAM samples for your music in AC and Skylanders. Do you ever change the cc value for the brass? (It always sounds like it's the same breath attack) Do you have any tips for speeding up midi orchestration?
My suggestion for speeding up midi orchestration is :
Listening to classical music.
Listening to commercial music.
And most importantly , practice.
The only way to be fast is to have a constant flow of ideas and how you can achieve them in the midi.
How did you become an assistant at Remote Control Studios and can I be yours? :p
I become one a LONG time ago. I wrote a letter with a CV and asked for a job. I had been kicked out of music college and wanted to learn with musicians and not sit in a class room .Not looking for anyone AT the moment BUT ask again later in the year.
Thank you for doing an AMA. Who would you say your biggest influences were? And where do you get your inspiration from? Thank you!
Biggest influences musically have been mainly from contemporary bands are solo artists. Film music was a genre I only later started enjoying. Peter Gabriel, Aphex Twin, Depeche Mode
What was your favorite scene to make?
The opening. It was the hardest to work also. We tried several different musical approaches to this , so we recorded it several times. The beginning of the film musically I find is always difficult because it is setting the tone of the whole film.
Did you listen to the scores of other Batman movies for inspiration?
nope. BUT defiantly watched alot of Batman 66 !!!!
Which character in LEGO batman do you see yourself as? Thank you:)
Gentleman Ghost or Condiment King
On a personal level, what are some of your favorite films?
The Goonies, The Burbs, Star Wars, The Game
Hi Mr. Balfe! big fan! What is the best thing a director can do for you in the studio?
Bring presents. I enjoy gifts.
BUT the most important thing is to be passionate about your film. There is nothing worse when directors are not connected any longer to their film and simply want it over with. Talking is essential. Expressing scenes through emotions are essential. Talking in musical terms don't help for me for some reason. A director that lets you experiment and makes mistakes help the process also
What was it like working with Christopher Nolan?
Amazing. It was always fantastic to be in a room and watch Chris and Hans work. They have a great working relationship and work ethic. I can not wait to see Dunkirk. The trailer looks amazing
What is Christopher Nolan like as a director compared to when he's off the job?
The same ! A man with passion, humor and a different view of looking at the world.
Who'd win in a fight? Batman or Terminator?
Difficult . Really depends on which Batman it is.
Adam West - Terminator would defiantly win there.
Lego Batman - He would whoop The Terminators Metal ass
There's talk of James Cameron returning to T6 as a producer with the director of Deadpool to direct. You did an awesome job with Genisys and really loved the film. Would you be willing to return to the Terminator world in T6? Was T5 a good experience for you and did you get to meet Arnold?
Defiantly if asked. Working with the team on Terminator. It was fantastic fun. It was amazing to be able to use the fantastic original theme and the infamous "Duh,duh,duh,duh,duh."
What is your personal favorite film score?
Wall Street. (The original !!)
then The Goonies has to be a close contender
So with the contrasts of different tracks throughout all the soundtracks you helped create, what two tracks from any piece of media would you say had the biggest differences and why?
They have all the same difficulties and differences. Writing a score for a commercial is just as difficult as a 10 minutes action sequence in a film.
Football or Rugby?
Neither - DARTS is the only sport. Sport of Kings
Any tips for eqing? Quite often my mixes sound really high in the eq's and feel tinny, yet when I try to avoid this the tracks then feel cluttered and muddy!
youtube. Youtube is your best friend with this problem.Try other speakers to reference your music on also
If you could do another Schwarzenegger film, would you choose The Legend of Conan, 2018's The Predator or something original?
I would have to say original because the score of both Predator and Conan are AMAZING. would be very difficult to beat them.
Out of all the pieces you've composed, what one is your favourite and why? Also, what composers would you say have been key influences in your work?
I don't really have any favorites of my own. If i had more time , then i would have changed small things in everything. There never is enough time unfortunately. Influences ? Vaughn Williams has always classically be important in my life. Bands like Depeche mode and Peter Gabriel.
What was it like working with Michael Bay?
It was surreal. The Rock !!! Armageddon and Bad Boys are all amazing films. 13 hours was a very important story for Michael to tell so it was wonderful to be part of the team . I think it is one of Michael's best films.
Batman LEGO Movie was great! My son and I had a fantastic time watching this. Without saying the name of the title (if you're not allowed to mention the name), can you at least say it you have any other super hero film's in the works? Or what superhero film do you WISH you could do next (not counting the sequel to Lego Batman) :)
No Super hero projects at the moment. Serial killers, scientists and mathematical genius's are my next few months !
YEAH IT DOES!!! Did the two ever have any disagreements? :~P
creative conversations would be a better description
Thanks so much for the AMA, so how do you feel about LEGO personally? Did you ever play with them as a child or anything similar prior to working on the LEGO Batman Movie?
Lego was my "go-to" toy. Lego is my "go-to" toy.
Thanks for doing this AMA, I've been looking forward to it! Whilst I have no doubt that it varies, at what point in production do you usually receive a rough cut of films/scenes to score for? Also, if you remember and are allowed to say, what's the strangest score feedback or suggestions you've received during the production process?
Strangest score feedback : "Did you intend to make the whole score sound so disconnected and basically disjointed ?" the answer was strangely - no.
In regards to when I start. The process is always different. Sometimes I only get picture closer to when the film is nearly finished. Other times, I can start writing before they have even filmed. I had worked on a scene once on a film 2 years before it was even released. During those two years, the scene changed a lot and then in the final film, the score was replaced with a song !
Good evening! Thanks so much for doing this AMA, big fan of your work on Skylanders and Assassin's Creed 3.
What cue that you've written are you most proud of, and what's something funny that's happened to you in your career?
Best of luck in your future scoring!
I would say that I am "proud" . I'm a bit judgmental about what I write and always wish I had had more time !.
Something funny ?? Most of my career has be spent in a dark studio . Bit like the Batcave but smaller. No not many amusing work stories !
Any tips for reverb/spacial design, especially working with samples?
It all depends on what samples you are using. Every sample library works differently with each reverb i feel. Enjoying Unbik at the moment