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My Terminator Story, Part 2

The Terminator, Original Film Poster from 1984

The Terminator, Original Film Poster from 1984

We left off last time with me blurting out….

Well, Jim and Gale didn’t seem offended by my outburst.  We had a great conversation about the film and the musical possibilities, but I could tell that Jim wasn’t totally sold yet. It’s helpful for a composer to have insightful intellectual observations, but I didn’t have an impressive feature track record and Gale was concerned by her perception of me as a “TV composer”.  Jim was intrigued by some of my music, but none of it was really in the ballpark of what his film needed. He was so passionate and protective about this project that I needed to do something more than talk to help him understand that I was the right person to create the music for his baby.

When I was watching the film some of it’s dark edgy qualities reminded me of a personal composition I had been working on a few months back. I called it “Journey Through the Underground”. It was an atonal piano piece supported by some dark electronic textures and percussion. The music was edgy and twisting and had one section that was very driving and sinuous. It also had some lyrical moments.

I put the tape on and let it roll, trying to pick up on Jim’s reaction as the music played. At one point i saw him nod slightly. then towards the end he smiled. At that point I knew I had reached him. He was able to see my potential to give him what his film needed, though actually at that point neither of us knew exactly what that was…

…to be continued.


If you haven’t yet read about my Terminator Theme Contest

to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of the film, click here.

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I spent the majority of my adult life composing original scores for film and television, working on a wide range of projects (The Terminator, Big Easy, The Accused, True Lies), with an amazing assortment of people( James Cameron , Katherine Bigelow , Arthur miller, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Hopkins, Robert Redford). I took some time to examine my life and realized that my youthful dream of using my talent and creativity to make a difference in the world was not being fulfilled in Hollywood. I ended up turning that exploration into a one man musical called Borrowed Time.