John Carpenter's Halloween is more than just a horror movie. It's one of the most influential pieces of genre filmmaking ever produced, which also gave us one of the most iconic pieces of music ever used in a movie. The Halloween theme music is about as iconic as anything else in the movie. Surprisingly enough, John Carpenter has revealed that the Halloween theme music was written in just an hour. That's right, horror fans. One of the most iconic pieces of score from of a movie soundtrack was written in a single hour.
The horror legend is currently promoting the release of John Carpenter Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998, which is a collection of themes from 13 of his classic movies, remastered for a new level of HD quality. While speaking in-depth about his work on each of the movies represented on the album, Carpenter was asked whether or not he was actually scoring to picture on Halloween, as the movie was made on a very tight budget. While discussing the time constraints, he revealed that, shockingly, the theme for Halloween was written in a surprisingly tight window. Here's what he had to say.
"Oh no, hell no, god no. For both Assault and Halloween, I go into a studio and depending on how much time I had, I'd do several pieces. For Assault, I had a day; for Halloween, I had three days...Not the theme, the whole score. That theme was done in like an hour. We moved on."
It's truly remarkable that something so weaved into the fabric of film was done in such a short period of time. Odds are, with the Halloween reboot set to arrive in theaters next year, we'll be hearing the iconic theme yet again in theaters. John Carpenter recently revealed that he's doing the score for the movie, which delighted fans. This particular Halloween movie is going to ignore every single sequel, including Halloween II, which Carpenter was heavily involved in. How does he feel about that? Turns out, he doesn't seem to care very much.
"Well, that was hard to write. I just didn't think there was any more story after the first one. And I had to come up with a story, so I'd get a six-pack of beer and sit down at the typewriter every night. I mean, it was horrible. It was awful. I'm not really a fan of the sequels. But what the hell, they pay me. They pay me money, so I can't knock it."
That may not sound like the most artistic way to approach things, but John Carpenter's work speaks for itself. Hopefully, he'll have more than a couple of days to do the score for David Gordon Green's Halloween reboot, which is set for release on October 19, 2018. For more from John Carpenter on his themes for his movies, you can head on over to Consequence of Sound for the full, in-depth interview.