PARK CITY, Utah – Joseph Trapanese barely had time to sigh relief once he was done with the score to “The Raid 2,” one of the toasts of the Sundance Film Festival this year.
The composer — along with the filmmakers including director Gareth Evans — was still editing the action flick only 48 hours before its premiere at the Park City fest. And compared to the first film, this sequel was even more of a marathon, considering it was an hour longer than the original “The Raid.”
And, actually, “the first cut was 3.5 hours long,” Trapanese admitted during our chat at Sundance last week.
It seems like Joe Trapanese hasn’t had many breathers at all in the last five years, as he’s composed, conducted and arranged for big budget, edit-sensitive projects including “Oblivion” with M83, “Tron: Legacy” with recent Grammy winners Daft Punk and “The Raid’s” American cut from 2012 with Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda; he’s also worked on TV digs like “Tron: Uprising” and “Dexter” in between.
When it’s come to working with the array of musicians he has, Trapanese said it’s a lot of give and take.
“What’s interesting about these collaborations is from day one, you really have to wrap your head around what skills am I gonna bring to the table, what skills is my collaborator gonna bring to the table, when are they gonna drive, when am I gonna drive,” he said. “It’s about creating a comfortable and safe environment for people to really speak their mind.”
Of Daft Punk, he said the duo is “really inspiring, they work really hard,” and buck the image of pop stars that are “full of themselves” and egotistical. “Daft Punk is not like that at all.”
Of “Tron 3,” Trapanese said that “we’re doing our best to get it off the ground,” that he’s waiting for a signal from Disney and “Tron: Legacy” director Joseph Kosinski on when that sequel’s a “go.”
Kosinski has another project due before that will reunite him with his “Oblivion” actor Tom Cruise. “Go Like Hell” is based off of the book “Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans” and the 1966 Le Mans race; Brad Pitt is still a “possible” addition, according to Trapanese. He said he’s eager to see what Kosinski — who, up to this point, has only directed sci-fi bent “Oblivion” and “Tron” — can do with “something historic.”
“I love what he does,” Trapanese said of Kosinski. He went into how “Tron: Legacy” was received and Kosinski’s touch on the material. “One of the things that people never really understood about the sequel ‘Tron: Legacy’ is that if you watch the original, it’s so campy, it’s so funny in many ways. That kind of went over people’s heads, who are used to something more Nolan-esque, serious, and thought ‘Tron: Legacy’ would be trying to do more of the same. If you look at it with a nod to the original film, it’s even better than what people give it credit for.”
Watch the rest of our interview for Trapanese’s thoughts on synths, hip-hop, Moby and Death Grips, and what the 40-year-old stock broker guys will be trading their guitars for in the future.