Lalo Schifrin

Composer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his one-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Lalo Schifrin talks about his early musical influences and studies, including his years in Paris studying with noted composer Olivier Messiaen. He speaks about coming to the United States and working with famed jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie— joining his band and recording numerous LPs with him. He describes his entrance into writing music for television, working under head of Universal's TV music, Stanley Wilson. He comments on some of the early projects he worked on including the series Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre and the television movie See How They Run.  He looks back on the television series for which he is most associated, Mission: Impossible, for which he composed the now world-famous theme music, set against a lit fuse in the memorable opening titles. Among the other series he discusses, for which he scored the theme and episodic music, were Mannix and Medical Center. He then describes his compositions for several notable television documentaries including: The Making of the President—1964, The Hidden World of Insects, and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. For the later documentary, he recalls that the dramatic cantata he wrote was later performed at the Hollywood Bowl. He also speaks about his compositions outside of television, and acknowledges that a notable piece from his Cool Hand Luke score was later used as the Eyewitness News theme. Jon Burlingame conducted the interview in Beverly Hills, CA on October 3, 2008.

"Study harmony, study counterpoint, study orchestration, and all the composition. And not only that, but see a lot of opera. Because if you want to write for film or television, you have to have a sensitivity for what is dramatic."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Lalo Schifrin on composing the Mission: Impossible  theme
Lalo Schifrin on composing the theme for Medical Center
Lalo Schifrin on how part of his composition for the feature film "Cool Hand Luke" became the theme for local Eyewitness News broadcasts
Full Interview

Chapter 1

Introduction
On his early years and education; on coming to the United States and working with Dizzy Gillespie; on his first work in motion pictures
On his first television work; on the process of composing music for television; on some of the TV movies and series he worked on
On composing the themes and music for Mission: Impossible  and Mannix;  on composing for Bronk   and Hunter; on composing the theme music for Paramount Pictures; on his work in documentaries for David Wolper including The Making of the President and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

Chapter 2

On composing for The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, Medical Center,  and other TV movies and series
On how part of his composition for the feature film "Cool Hand Luke" became the theme for local Eyewitness News broadcasts; on composing for Out on a Limb  and other TV movies and miniseries; on working with The Three Tenors; on the business of composing for film; on his advice to aspiring composers
Shows

Bob Hope Presents Chrysler Theatre

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Lalo Schifrin on composing for Chrysler Theatre teleplays

Making of the Presidency, The

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Lalo Schifrin on composing music for David Wolper's documentaries

Medical Center

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Lalo Schifrin on composing the theme for Medical Center

Mission: Impossible

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Lalo Schifrin on composing for Mission: Impossible; on his Mission: Impossible  theme

Out on a Limb

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Lalo Schifrin on composing for Out on a Limb

Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, The

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Lalo Schifrin on composing music for David Wolper's documentaries

Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, The

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Lalo Schifrin on composing for The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau
Topics

TV Theme Songs

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Lalo Schifrin on composing the Mission: Impossible  theme
Lalo Schifrin on composing the theme for Medical Center
Lalo Schifrin on how part of his composition for the feature film "Cool Hand Luke" became the theme for local Eyewitness News broadcasts
Genres

Adventure/Espionage Series

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Lalo Schifrin on composing the Mission: Impossible  theme
People

Bruce Geller

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Lalo Schifrin on composing for Mission: Impossible; on his Mission: Impossible  theme

Dizzy Gillespie

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Lalo Schifrin on composing for Chrysler Theatre teleplays

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