Years ago, when I was discussing upcoming potential film projects with Jerry Goldsmith, he directed his focus on one in particular, THE LAST CASTLE starring Robert Redford, James Gandolfini and Mark Ruffalo.
Jerry was interested in the cast, the subject matter (a battle against prison inmates and their corrupt warden) and the writer-director who had just made the smart and excellent political film, THE CONTENDER.
Goldsmith thought this was something he could really sink his musical teeth into.
Since this was a DreamWorks picture, I suggested to Jerry that he call Jeffrey Katzenberg to let him know of his interest.
Goldsmith felt uncomfortable doing so.
I reminded him of his long history with Katzenberg including STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE. Goldsmith grumbled a lot of resentments about how Katzenberg hadn’t hired him in years.
I didn’t care.
“When was the last time you spoke with him and let him know you were passionate about one of his projects?”
Goldsmith protested, “If he wanted me, he’d call me.”
I still tried to convince him to reach out to Katzenberg. “Sometimes you have to let your desires be known.”
Jerry would have nothing to do with that.
So, I took a HUGE gamble…
I called Katzenberg’s office myself pretending to be Goldsmith’s assistant and left word using Jerry’s phone number.
Predictably, the next day I got a flaming mad call from Goldsmith.
“I just had the most awkward conversation with Katzenberg who said I had called him. I stammered trying to figure out what had happened.”
I confessed to making the call.
Goldsmith’s anger raged.
I knew this was the risk I took. I knew my actions could lead to me losing one of my biggest and most prestigious clients.
“So,” I asked timidly, “Did you get around to telling Jeffrey you wanted to do his film ”
“I suppose I did,” he mumbled. “But what you did was unacceptable!,” he barked
Saved by the bell, at that very moment I got another call and quickly put Jerry on hold.
A few minutes later I returned to Goldsmith, ” If you would like to keep being mad at me, I understand.”
“Or… would you rather hear about the offer Katzenberg’s office just put in for you to score the film?”
It turns out that Katzenberg was so impressed by Jerry’s interest in his movie, he wanted him on board immediately.
Jerry didn’t quite know how to respond. After a beat, we both started to laugh about the whole experience.
“Just never do that again,” he demanded.
Shortly after recording the score, the attacks of 9/11 occurred.
Jerry dedicated his main theme to the film to the victims, renaming the piece, “September 11, 2001- Theme from The Last Castle.”
It turned out to be one of Jerry’s final scores.