There are folks in Hollywood who hitch their wagons to the right horses, and then there's Michael Giacchino.

A former video game composer who could have continued to enjoy a successful career in that medium, Giacchino changed his trajectory in 2001 when another young up-and-comer, J.J. Abrams, not only enlisted him to compose the music for more than 100 episodes of the hit show 'Alias,' but some 40 or so episodes of 'Fringe' and the complete 'Lost.' Nine years, countless films and an Oscar later, he is a marquee name among the collaborators on 'Let Me In,' writer-director Matt Reeves' remake of the critically-acclaimed Swedish film 'Let the Right One In.'

Giacchino, of course, isn't merely a beneficiary of good timing, or lucky partnerships; his versatility and inventiveness has been demonstrated in everything from 'Mission: Impossible III' to 'Speed Racer' to 'Star Trek.' Cinematical sat down with the composer in Austin at Fantastic Fest, where he was attending a premiere screening of 'Let Me In.'

In addition to talking about taking chances, creating something memorable and moving, and finding the right balance between bombast and subtlety, Giacchino reflected on his influences, his impulses, and his interests as he continues to define himself as one of the industry's finest composers of film and television music.