The subtleties of dealing musically with the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks and the threat of global warming were addressed by director Oliver Stone
and musician Melissa Etheridge
, respectively, during panel discussions Tuesday at The Hollywood Reporter/Billboard Film & TV Music Conference.
Discussing his feature World Trade Center
on a panel at the Beverly Hilton with his composer, Craig Armstrong, and music supervisor, Budd Carr
, Stone said that Armstrong was not his first choice to score the picture. "John Williams turned us down", the Oscar-winning writer-director said. "I listened to dozens and dozens of composers."
However, Armstrong -- best known for his work with Baz Luhrmann
on Romeo + Juliet
and Moulin Rouge!
-- ultimately impressed Stone with his delicate approach. "It was very, very subtle music", Stone recalled. "The very first piano theme was right on."
Surprisingly, though shooting was well under way when the Scottish composer joined the project, Armstrong wrote his key theme on the basis of the script.
"It's very helpful to write away from picture, to get the emotional truth," Armstrong said.
The sensitive nature of the subject matter in "WTC" -- the struggle to rescue two New York policemen trapped in the rubble of the towers, and the impact of the search on their families -- was addressed by the filmmakers.