Composer/Editor John Ottman Talks X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, Deleted Scenes, Writing the Music, Big Last-Minute Changes, and More

by     Posted 178 days ago

John-Ottman-X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past-interview

Over the past two decades, whenever Bryan Singer made a movie, he usually turned to John Ottman to compose the score and edit the film (the only exception being the first X-Men movie).  During their fruitful partnership, the two have enjoyed success in multiple genres, culminating most recently with X-Men: Days of Future Past, which is currently the number one movie around the world.

Last week, I landed an exclusive video interview with John Ottman.  He talked about his home studio, when he learned he would be working on Days of Future Past, his writing process, the difficulties of scheduling all the actors for their scenes, how the change in release dates affected his editing process, his composing schedule, what scene they had to alter at the very last minute, deleted scenes, the level of excitement on set and reuniting with the X2 cast, and so much more.  It’s a great interview so check it out after the jump.

x-men-days-of-future-past-poster-jennifer-lawrence-hugh-jackmanJohn Ottman Time Index:

  • 0:05 – Introduces viewers to his home studio where he wrote the score for the film.
  • 0:50 – Reveals the moment he learned he’d be working on the movie, and shares memories of working on X2.
  • 1:55 – Talks about how he worries about writing the score for movies at the outset, and the process of composing and editing the film.
  • 3:10 – Comments on his method of editing and how quickly he gets an assembly cut together.
  • 4:30 – Talks about the difficulties of scheduling all the actors for their scenes.
  • 5:20 – Reflects on the level of excitement on set and reuniting with the X2 cast.
  • 6:15 – Talks about the change in release dates and how that affected his editing process.
  • 6:35 – Reveals his process in composing the score for the film and watching his cut of the film first without any temp music.
  • 8:05 – Talks about objectivity in editing the film and whose opinions he trusts.
  • 9:15 – Comments on the amount of material cut from the film and the eventual deleted scenes.
  • 10:35 – Talks about the deleted scene with Professor X, Magneto, and Rogue, and why it was cut.
  • 12:05 – Talks about his composing schedule.
  • 13:20 – Comments on the easiest and most challenging scenes for him to compose music for, including an 11th hour major change to the score.
  • 17:25 – Talks about his physical and emotional reactions to being done with the film.
  • 18:20 – Comments on his editing software and equipment that he uses to compose, and the challenges of music composition and music production.
  • 21:15 – Talks about his immediate plans after wrapping on the film.
  • 22:00 – Comments on sequences he was sad didn’t make it into the film.


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  • Mac

    I’ve been trying to find more details about the deleted Rogue scene all week. Is Ottman referring to it being inter-cut with the break out of Magneto with Quicksilver?

  • Mac

    I’ve been trying to find more details about the deleted Rogue scene all week. Is Ottman referring to it being inter-cut with the break out of Magneto with Quicksilver?

    • Mac

      Also, since this would have been about halfway through the movie, there would be several more shots/scenes of her removed from the future leading up to the Sentinal attack at the end

      • rar

        no, he is referring to closer to the end of the movie when they return to DC.

  • The Flobbit

    This man is super cool. A composer AND an editor, and a damn good one as well.

  • computerbenefit

    Hey guys. A suggestion: Is there anyway you could maybe create a youtube account (or if you have one already, then awesome) and upload these interviews there? I love listening to these conversations and Steve usually gets some really good stuff out of these guys, but I always have a problem loading these videos, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this. I’m also a hundred percent sure uploading it on youtube would increase your viewer count to a far greater number than you have already. I hope you’ll consider it. Thanks.

    • Chris Parker

      I understand why they want to protect their content and shield it from YouTube – but I agree, whatever platform they are using isn’t working very well. Terrible loading/buffering problems.

      • tardar

        It seems that youtube would give them a better platform to get views and site hits too- maybe they aren’t allowed to put their content on youtube or something – but yes omelette is garbage.

  • Chris Parker

    This is fascinating – I don’t think I’ve seen somebody doing both the score and editing, but it makes so much sense. I’ve always imagined the score organically growing out of the way the film was edit, and vice versa.. so I can imagine it is a huge advantage for one man to be doing both. Although, it must be a colossal job.

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