Working with composer Hans Zimmer

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Steven Wilson has taken over the Breed Instagram account this week, showcasing some of the 3D and animated pieces created by his studio. Among them is one whose final frame provided the image for a poster for the tour by renowned composer Hans Zimmer. Zimmer is probably most famous for providing the score to The Lion King, as well as soundtracks for numerous films including the Pirates of the Caribbean films and the Dark Knight trilogy. Some may also know him for writing the theme for Going for Gold, or even producing an old Damned single. He’s certainly had a varied career, and Steven is a bit of a fan. We caught up with Steven to ask about his animated work and working with Hans Zimmer.

How did you move into making animated work?

I’ve always enjoyed seeing my work animated, but in the past I’ve had to find different people to animate projects and it can be tricky, especially with tight deadlines, to make it work. So, about a year ago I expanded my studio and now have someone (Pedro Cardoso) working with me full-time, animating and modelling in C4D as well.

Do you see that as forming a larger part of what you do in future?

Yes, hopefully. One of the main things I have always focused on with my work is different working methods and finding new aesthetics. That’s what really interests me. As the focus of my work is experimentation I just see animation, and also 3D, as additional tools and options to experiment with on projects.

What about creating longer-form animations?

Yes, depending on the project that is certainly something we would like to do more of, especially if it’s a project we’re excited about. The short animations are good at the moment, as it is still fairly early days, so it gives us a chance to try out different things without too much commitment. But if a project came up that required a longer animation, and it was a brief we were excited about, we would love to do it.

You’ve long been fascinated with creating the effect of 3D. Would you consider using modern cinematic 3D tech in animated works?

We already are. A number of the animations use 3D, but that may not always be obvious as we have given them very flat and graphic colours.

How did the poster for Hans Zimmer come about?

I do a lot of music posters through the same company, Another Planet Entertainment. I really like doing them because you get given a different artist every time and it challenges me to try and find a way of executing something for each artist that feels relevant to them. And therefore the output of the work really varies. I have created some posters by hand using marbling and traditional relief printing techniques, right up to very technical digital work. The Hans Zimmer was a great one as I am a fan of his work which gives added incentive to produce something special.

Were you already a fan of his work?

Yes absolutely. I love how versatile he is, the way he adapts his creativity to find something unique for each film score he composes. I have a real affinity with that approach to creativity and he is the master at it.

What’s your favourite piece by him?

So hard to choose. I’m probably clouded by nostalgia with this, but I’ll choose the score for True Romance.

Will you be working further with him?

I’m waiting by the phone.

Do you have any other collaborations with musicians in the pipeline?

I usually have at least one music-related project on at any given time. I have just worked with William Prince, a new artist who is incredible.

Who would you like to work with?

I’m a big fan of Nick Cave, and he was also a long-time resident in my home town of Brighton, so I’ll pick him.