KASMAN: How do you work with your composers? Do you describe the type of music you want over a scene?
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DE PALMA: Exactly. And I select music that I think will inspire the composer for that theme. Some composers don't want you to do that at all. Some composers don't want you to put temp tracks in, and you have to describe the music or say “it should be a little like Mahler's 3rd” or “a little of Puccini here,” you sort of describe the music to them and they go off. Morricone was like that, Herrmann was like that. But some people like you to give musical suggestions and I give them very clear musical ideas of what I had in mind. With Bernard Herrmann, you never give him any soundtracks or he'll kill you. I once had one of his soundtracks as a temporary score in one of my early movies, and he got furious. He screamed, [imitating Herrmann] "Get that out! Stop! STOP! I can't hear a thing!" I think it was the score from Vertigo that I was playing [laughs]. I also worked with Johnny Williams in The Fury, and he's very much from the Herrmann school. Some composers like you to put temp tracks in with the footage so they can get an idea of the kind of moods the film is going for, and with others, like Ennio Morricone, you have to describe the feeling of the scene, the emotion of it, sometimes point them to classical pieces so they get ideas.