||When I get a fantasy film job, the first thing I look for is the non-fantasy element to build the music upon. The human side of the film is what's important, not the hardware. My work on 'Poltergeist' is a perfect example. Most people saw it as a ghost story and a horror story. I saw it as a love story and wrote the music with that emotion in mind. There is no formula to finding what musically fits a science fiction film. I just look for the emotion. When I don't find those, it makes things more difficult.
||I would have burned out a long time ago if I just took a job, the money and ran with it. There's still a challenge for me in scoring films. I'm willing to tackle an interesting project if it offers me a chance to do something I haven't done before. When I'm excited about something, the creativity just flows. I like a good creative fight. The soundtrack will always get done. But I'm not happy until it gets done well.
||A good string section and an orchestra are the first things I think of when I start a project. The strings are particularly important to me. With them I can do any kind of picture. After the human voice, they are the most expressive instrument I know.
||[lecturing film school students about writing music for a scene] "If you are scoring a scene for a man on a horse galloping away - you don't score the gallop but you score the fear of the rider."
||(On the Planet of the Apes (1968) commentary track, he explains why he didn't score the final scene) " Charlton Heston was a bit over the top by himself, and didn't need any score to accompany him."
||If our music survives, which I have no doubt it will, then it will be because it is good.