And then, the more I thought about it, I came to the realization that this whole “Twilight” saga story seems like an allegory for the current US political system.
[Laughs] Well… [Laughs] I have to say, especially when working on “Breaking Dawn – Part 2,” there were times when that came up…more than a few times. I’m not going to say that it was the intent of Stephenie Meyer or of the studio, but there are definitely plenty of times when that came up in the editing room. People couldn’t help but notice it, even if by coincidence. But I agree that some aspects tend to parallel the American political system.
Now that the “Twilight” road has come to an end, looking back, would you have liked to have contributed to “New Moon” and “Eclipse”?
Yes, yes I would have. Seeing the entire set of films as one set of experiences, I would have liked to have participated in that journey. When we came to “Breaking Dawn – Part 1,” there were characters we hadn’t addressed in the original “Twilight” – Jacob barely had any musical identity or theming. He had grown into his own character during “New Moon” and “Eclipse.” I really would have liked to have been a part of developing his character. But at the same time, it doesn’t bother me that much that I wasn’t there.
I’m so happy that once Bill Condon was chosen to direct these films that we could do this together. Honestly, a lot of the fun of doing these films has been working with the directors. I hadn’t really worked with the directors for “New Moon” and “Eclipse,” but it was a great pleasure working with Catherine on the first one and Bill on these last two. It might have been fun to do the others, but I have no regrets.
What are you going to miss most about being a part of this franchise?
I would say that the other films I have spent most of my life working on do not have the same role in popular culture. They are films that I like and are admired by people, but they don’t have the same coinage that “Twilight” does. It actually was a unique experience for me. I never thought I would ever work on films that were THAT popular, to where I would get pounded with fan emails. I never expected that to happen. So it was a nice surprise and it was fun to be a part of something like that. But, I don’t think I will miss it that much; I’ll just go back to doing my arty, independent films.
Since the “Twilight” film scores are so rich in theming and can be reproduced on a minimalist scale, have you ever given thought to taking the music of “Twilight” on the road as a concert experience?
It has been suggested, but I have almost zero interest in taking scores away from their films and performing them. Because it had been suggested, I have performed some of my music from scores live with small ensembles of friends. And in situations like that, it’s a little bit more fun for me, because we can improvise and re-conceptualize it, and it keeps me interested.
But generally speaking, the idea of taking my film scores and turning them into a concert performance doesn’t appeal to me. But, it’s something someone else might want to do. [Laughs] I like writing music, and once it’s written and recorded, I’m really not interested in hearing it again; I prefer moving on to something else. If I find that I end up with a lot of free time, though, maybe I would consider it.
Something that has consistently bothered about me is that score after score, you practically bleed onto these movies, but for one reason or another, you are always ignored by the Academy. Does it ever bother you that for whatever reason, your work gets passed over every year? I know a lot of people were upset about “True Grit” getting disqualified a couple years back.
I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. I’m actually fine with not getting involved with that whole race. But the people who make the films are rather insistent that you submit the scores, because it’s promotion for them. So, it’s not really like I have a choice in submitting them. But once you are in that race, you want to do the best that you can.
Yeah, I felt bad about “True Grit,” but I understand the decision the Academy made about it, too. Sure, parts were derived from 19th century Protestant hymns. The fact is it’s difficult to make a competition out of music. And when you are going to do that, it seems like rules like that would be arbitrary and the way people vote seems arbitrary, but it is what it is. It is frustrating, and I am very ambivalent about it. I have to be part of the race, because it’s required of me. But I don’t like it when it doesn’t work out, but at the same time I understand that it’s not going to work out. It just comes with the territory.
Keep up with Carter Burwell at his official website.
“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” score is currently available at iTunes, Amazon, and Amazon Digital.
“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” soundtrack is currently available at iTunes, Amazon, and Amazon Digital.
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