Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino (Disney/Pixar’s Up) provided much of the soundtrack to a generation of children who have since grown into adults with a deep admiration for his work. From his brilliant score to The Incredibles (bizarrely missing an Academy Award nomination) to his celebrated work for Ratatouille to his Oscar-winning score for Up, Giacchino balanced younger fare with scores for more mature audiences. His frequent collaborations with director J.J. Abrams led to his unforgettable score for the Star Trek reboot series, one of my personal favorites of Giacchino’s scores.
He also followed inspiration John Williams into Jurassic World territory where he first collaborated with director J.A. Bayona on Fallen Kingdom. Their longtime friendship eventually led to another, strikingly different, collaboration on Bayona’s latest acclaimed film, Netflix’s Society of the Snow.
The film tells a deeply personal, deeply reverent version of the tragic 1972 Andes flight disaster. During a flight from Montevideo, Uruguay, to Santiago, Chile, a plane containing the Old Christians Club rugby union team struck a mountain after flying too low over the Andes. After splitting in two, the plane landed in a secluded ravine where survivors did whatever they could to survive. They were eventually rescued two and a half months after the crash after many died from prolonged exposure to the harsh climate and starvation.
Giacchino’s score for the film emerges as a standout within his celebrated body of work. It echoes the spirit of Uruguay while underscoring the emotion of the film. The score also serves as a voice to those who died on the mountain while celebrating the endurance of those who survived. It wasn’t a simple task to achieve, but Giacchino’s brilliance as a composer, his love of film, and his close collaboration with friend Bayona brought the lush score to life.
Here, in a video interview with Awards Daily, Giacchino talks about his approach to scoring for films. He talks about his friendship with J.A. Bayona and how that led to his work on Society of the Snow. Giacchino also describes his process for finding moments of score within the overall complex narrative of the film, and how the score honors those who lost their lives in the tragedy. Finally, he talks about his growing career as a film director (last seen on Disney+’s Werewolf by Night) and what’s next for him in this arena.
Society of the Snow now streams on Netflix.