‘Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie’ Composer John Powell Treated His First Documentary Score Like A Musical – Sound & Screen TV

In Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, the actor lets Davis Guggenheim inside his daily life with Parkinson’s disease. It represents the first time in the documentary space for composer John Powell, who said studying the way Fox moves led him to score the movie like a musical.

“How does he move?” Powell said during a panel at Deadline’s Sound & Screen: Television event. “I often treat action films like dance sequences. I treated every time I saw Michael moving as a dance.”

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Fox is frank about how far his Parkinson’s has progressed. Guggenheim captures Fox falling down on camera, and slowing down in on-camera interviews. However, Fox’s message remains hopeful, and that was important to both Guggenheim and Powell.

“I think that’s why Davis wanted me,” Powell said. “He didn’t want it to sound dour. He didn’t want it to sound like Parkinson’s. He wanted the real heart of Michael. That’s mainly what we responded to.”

Powell said he never expected to score a documentary because he already tends to write too much music for fiction films. Still demanded more of Powell’s attention, but he said he could spare it for this special occasion.

“There’s 39 minutes of music,” Powell said. “It took me about five months to do. You can’t make a living if you work that slow.”

Check out the panel video above.

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