EXCLUSIVE: 'Dances With Wolves' Original Trailer Music Uncovered
APRIL 12, 2013 | Submitted by Sean Saulsbury / Soundtrack.Net
In June of 1990, composer Stephen Graziano wrote the teaser and trailer music for Kevin Costner's Dances With Wolves. The movie itself featured an Oscar-winning score by John Barry and won six other Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director.
Graziano's music has never been published or released, but after some investigation, Soundtrack.Net has uncovered the original teaser trailer music and has gained permission from the composer to post it here for fans to listen to.
Q. How did you come to score the teaser and trailer music for 'Dances With Wolves'?
A. While living in New York, a friend introduced me to John Bloom who owned a trailer company in Los Angeles, so when I moved here from NYC in '90, they gave me a shot. I had scored a few trailers in NY but felt I needed to be here to pursue a film composing career. The teaser / trailer for Dances With Wolves was my first gig here in L.A. and it changed my life.
Q. Who hired to do the job? What direction were you given? Did you have do any revisions and if so why/what were they?
A. John Bloom heard a trailer score I wrote in NYC for a movie called Everybody's All American. It had a grand sound which I'm told is why they gave me a shot.
They hired another composer for the Dances trailer and weren't pleased with the score so they called me. The direction was: "Don't do what the other composer did."
I spent quite a bit of time writing a demo (several days) and never felt very good about it. I took it to them and could see they weren't crazy about it either. I knew I could do a better job so I begged them to give me another chance and they reluctantly did. I went home and wrote the final version in about five minutes which they loved. I got lucky.
Overnight, I became the busiest trailer composer in town and from 1990 to 1993. I scored over a hundred teasers/trailers/tv promos for movies. I worked nonstop doing trailers for nearly four years (until I segued into TV series and TV movies).
The client for Dances With Wolves didn't want to spend any money on the music (or at least very little). I was told the studio (Orion) wasn't enthusiastic about the movie and was calling it, "Kevin's Gate." But after seeing the teaser, I felt it needed an orchestral score. So, I spent every nickel they paid me and hired an orchestra believing it would be a good calling card for me. It was the best money I never made.
Q. Did you have any involvement or interaction with John Barry while working on the film?
A. No, he was writing the movie score, or probably just finishing composing the score as I was scoring the trailer. I heard that Costner liked my score so much that he took a copy of it to Barry and told him this is what he wanted. But Barry was about to record the score in a couple of days so I'm sure he was pretty much finished composing and everything was probably sent to the copyists at that point.
Q. Do you know if they considered having John Barry write the trailer music?
A. I don't think they couldn't afford him. The only film score I can think of where the film's composer wrote the music for the promos for the same film was The Social Network. It's very rare.
Q. What are you working on currently?
A. I haven't been writing a lot of music lately. The last score I wrote was for a short film that I wrote, produced & directed. Prior to that, I scored a bunch of television movies. When I started out here in Los Angeles I scored trailers, etc., nonstop for about three to four years, then started composing for TV series and TV movies which was more lucrative, mainly because the royalties were more significant. Lately, I've been doing more writing / producing / directing than scoring.