Andy Hill took some time recently to speak to Solzy at the Movies about his new book, Scoring the Screen: The Secret Language of Film Music (Hal Leonard Books).
Thanks for joining Solzy at the Movies today. How are things treating you?
Andy Hill: Pretty well, thanks. Having a book newly out is always nervous-making, particularly when it’s on a subject that so many people have strong opinions about. But it’s also exciting.
You recently wrote and published Scoring the Screen: The Secret Language of Film Music (Hal Leonard Books). It’s the first book since Roy M. Prendergast’s 1977 book, Film Music: A Neglected Art, to look at film music as something worthy of being studied. When did you conceive the idea for this?
Andy Hill: Late in my directorship of the MFA program at Columbia College Chicago. That’s when I finally felt I had the material and the broad knowledge to pull it off. But the seed was there long before that. When I decided, back in the early 1980’s, that I wanted to write music for film, the Prendergast book was about the only thing out there. That and a book by Earle Hagen, whose claim to fame was having written the theme for Leave It To Beaver. There were very few classes in existence, and no way to see what the music looked like on the page. I was clueless. With Scoring The Screen, I tried to write the book I wish I’d had back then.