Shinno has worked with 15x Oscar nominated composer, Thomas Newman on the music for A Man Called Otto, and they’ve collaborated on 16 projects together. Later this year, Shinno will work with Newman again on Pixar’s upcoming animated film Elementals. Shinnosuke also recorded the music for Sam Mendes’ 1917, which won three Oscars and an award at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) for Best Sound; and served as the music editor/score mixer of the 2022 film Dog starring Channing Tatum.
● Hi Shinnosuke, welcome to OLC! So for everyone out there tell us a bit about yourself?
○ Hi, my name is Shinnosuke Miyazawa, and I am a music editor, score mixer, and music producer. I primarily work on music for motion pictures, including movies, TV shows, and computer games. I am originally from Tokyo, Japan, and currently live in Los Angeles, California. I have worked on many major Hollywood productions such as 1917, Finding Dory, Passengers, Bullet Train, and the TV show Star Trek: Prodigy.
● So what led you to this path that got you to being a music editor for Sony Pictures?
○ I have worked on several projects with Sony Pictures in the past, but this is my first time working as a music editor with them on the film A Man Called Otto. I was appointed as a music editor by composer Thomas Newman. While working as an engineer and in other production roles, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with Sony Pictures on projects such as Passengers and Bullet Train, and I am grateful for the support I have received to foster creativity in those endeavors.
● Have you always been a huge fan of film and if so what’s your favourite film and why?
○ Ever since I was a child in Japan, I’ve always loved movies. I have so many favorite movies that it’s hard to choose just one, but lately, I often remember watching Scent of a Woman with my older brother in the living room of our house when I was in my teens. I recall being impressed by the views of New York, a world different from Japan, and Al Pacino’s powerful acting. It may have been a rerun on Saturday afternoon TV or something, but I remember quietly watching a slightly mature story for us, both of us absorbed in the movie. I never dreamed that 30 years later, I would be working with Thomas Newman, the composer of the music in that movie
● You worked on the incredible film ‘A Man Called Otto’, starring Tom Hanks. What was it like working on that film and what was the most challenging part of it?
○ A Man Called Otto is a wonderful human drama centered around the main character Otto, played by Tom Hanks. The film delicately explores the topic of social isolation and connection to community that Otto faces after losing his wife, and is expertly directed by Mark Foster with a blend of humor and warmth. It was an honor to be involved in creating the music that complements the outstanding drama depicted by Foster and the deep performances of Tom Hanks and Mariana Trevino. Thomas Newman’s music masterfully supports Otto’s emotional changes, confusion, anger, despair, and the warmth and beauty of human connection. As a score mixer, I worked to enhance the sound of his composition. As a music editor, I supported Thomas’s composition process at every stage and worked to ensure that his music could coexist with other sounds in the final process at the dub stage.
● You teamed up again with Thomas Newman, why do you think you both work so well together and what do you like about working with him?
○ I met Thomas Newman 16 years ago, but when we first met, I never imagined that we would collaborate together for such a long time. I feel truly honored.
○ I’m not sure if it’s appropriate for me to answer this question, but I would like to share what I keep in mind. I always try to understand how carefully and delicately he works on his compositions, he puts 100% effort into every moment of storytelling and I work alongside him. His delicate artwork is as intricate as that of a Kyoto kimono craftsman. Perhaps the reason we work so well together is because I, a Japanese person who is naturally skilled at fine and delicate work, am able to support his work. I also try to create an environment where he can enjoy the creative process comfortably.
○ What I feel fortunate about in working with him is that he is a wonderful collaborator. He is always positive about other people’s opinions and is not afraid to incorporate new ideas. He is a great leader who always puts those around him at ease and brings out the best in his colleagues. From working with Thomas over the years, I have learned a great deal about music, but I also feel very lucky to have learned many leadership skills from him.
● How difficult was it scoring the scenes when Otto attempts suicide, I figure that must be a challenging thing?
○ In the scene where Otto attempts to commit suicide by jumping off the platform and onto the tracks at a train station, there were many sounds present such as the noise of the station, the voices of the crowd, and the sound of the train approaching. I remember having many exchanges with the dubbing mixers to combine powerful sound effects and Tom Newman’s music. As a score mixer, I simply adjusted the levels by moving the faders to bring out Tom’s world view. However, as a music editor, I couldn’t control the faders on the dub stage myself. You have to rely on a dubbing mixer to create the world and it’s not just the world of music, but it also has to coexist with the worlds of sound effects and dialogue. I’ve also seen scenes where these different worlds compete rather than coexist. Expressing the intention of music’s storytelling in words and building the mix together with the dubbing mixers is a completely different task from the score mix and sometimes very challenging but I feel very rewarded when collaboration goes well.
● You’re working with Thomas Newman once again for the new Disney Pixar animated film ‘Elementals’, how much different are your processes when scoring an animation in comparison to a real life film?
○ Unfortunately I can not talk about Elementals yet.
● What is the most memorable movie you’ve worked on and why?
○ I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to stay in the UK for several months to half a year multiple times for jobs such as 007 Spectre and 1917. And every time, we rented out a few rooms at Abbey Road Studios for production work and camped out there. Being able to work in Studio 2 where the Beatles loved and Studio 1 where many movie soundtracks were recorded is an invaluable and fortunate memory, I think. Commuting to Abbey Road every day, feeling its deep history, and spending time with the amazing musicians and crews like family were very rich experiences. The night view from the London taxis I took every day to commute, the beautifulness of Regent’s Park I ran through on Sunday, and the summer day of Hampstead Heath I visited by bicycle will be unforgettable memories for me.
● What upcoming movie projects are in the works for you?
○ From 2021 to 2022, I collaborated with Mark Foster and Thomas Newman as a Music Editor and Score Mixer on the best-selling book Wonder by the author – the film adaptation White Bird: A Wonder Story will be released this winter. On Star Trek: Prodigy, I have been collaborating with an amazing young composer Nami Mulmed, who has handled the music for films such as Thour and American Pickle and just won a SCL award, two years in a row as a Score Producer. Season 1 ended in December, but Season 2 will soon be starting. Also I am also working with another young talented composer Julia Newman who is a daughter of Thomas Newman on a new mini TV series which is very exciting.
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