Interviews with Composer Alan Silvestri and Editors Jeff Ford and Matt Schmidt
Avengers: Endgame marks the end of a long journey for the the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) beginning with Iron Man in 2008. The launch of the MCU was a massive gamble for Marvel Studios. In order to finance the first set of films — Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, the studio risked the rights of all four films to financier Merrill Lynch as collateral. Since production begin in 2007, 23 films have grossed over $22.5 billion worldwide with 2.8 billion of that total from Avengers: Endgame alone making it the highest grossing movie of all time and the MCU the highest grossing movie franchise ever. I think it's safe to say, the risk paid off.
Bringing this universe to life on screen took a team of real-life Avengers. I was lucky enough to sit down with a few of them to discuss storytelling, teamwork and the heroic efforts it took to conclude this phase of the MCU.
With over 100 film credits, two Oscar nominations, two Golden Globe nods, three Grammy Awards, two Emmy awards and countless other film and music awards, Alan Silvestri has created some of the most iconic film scores in movie history.
Silvestri describes his 35-year collaboration with director Robert Zemeckis like a marriage, "You go through a lot, ups and downs. You develop a shorthand and a trust and then 24 films later. It's amazing." Those 24 films include Forrest Gump, Back to the Future trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Polar Express, Castaway and the upcoming adaptation of Roald Dahl's The Witches.
Silvestri's compositions span multiple film genres: From Predator to Overboard, Practical Magic to The Abyss, Tales from the Crypt to The Parent Trap, this genius can never be pigeonholed. Just look at his IMDb credits for proof. No doubt he composed one of your favorite movie scores.
Silvestri's relationship with the MCU began with 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger and continued with his score for 2012's The Avengers, arguably the most memorable theme in the MCU. That theme has woven its way through every film in the universe since. In addition to the two just mentioned and, Avengers: Endgame, Silverstri also scored Avengers: Infinity War.
In one of my all time greatest fangirl moments, I sat down with Alan Silvestri to discuss his work on Avengers: Endgame and managed to get a few other questions in about his impressive decades-long career.
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& Matthew Schmidt
Two of the hardest working real-life Avengers in the MCU are Jeffrey Ford, ACE and Matthew Schmidt. They shared Editor credits on four of the films -- Captain America: Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame and worked together on several more MCU films.
The actors and directors take the lions share of the accolades but its these guys who were literally on the front lines, manipulating the tone, pace, and comedic beats, crafting character archs, and storylines. Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame were shot at the same time often forcing the crew to bounce back and forth relentlessly between films and sequences, juggling constant script changing as they shot, "It was like an extreme sport more than filmmaking," stated Ford.
Before joining the MCU with Captain America: The First Avenger, Ford worked on the opposite end of the genre spectrum cutting films like the beloved Christmas classic, The Family Stone, for which he won an ACE "Eddie" Award. Some of his other credits include One Hour Photo, Public Enemies and Crazy Heart. Schmidt joined the MCU on 2012's The Avengers, having previously worked on comic book and genre pictures including Daredevil and I, Robot. His other credits include Contact, A Perfect Murder, and 2007's Halloween (ask him to tell you his Rob Zombie stories).
I sat down with both of them to discuss the massive undertaking of bringing the Tony Stark lead MCU to an end.
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Sarah Mason's interviews courtesy of Creative COW for The HMC.