Chances are even if you don't know Harold Faltermeyer by name, his work is immediately familiar. In the 1980s, he not only composed the scores for Fletch, Beverly Hills Cop, and Top Gun, but he worked with musical luminaries like Giorgio Moroder, Donna Summer, Barbara Streisand, Patti LaBelle and many more. "Axel F," probably his most famous piece of music, went to Number One on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Chart and Number Three on their Hot 100 Chart, and further cemented Eddie Murphy's status as a superstar when it was released in conjunction with Beverly Hills Cop in 1984.
Suffice it to say that Faltermeyer has been out of the news for a while, but this week he returns as composer of the score for Kevin Smith's Cop Out. A buddy cop adventure that the Clerks director hand-picked Faltermeyer to provide music for, the movie pays homage to the decade in which the film composer flourished, and provides a musical backdrop that suits its style and tone, and most importantly, stands out as a terrific and entertaining collection of themes.
Cinematical recently caught up with Faltermeyer via telephone to discuss his work on Cop Out. In addition to describing his collaboration with Smith, he talked about the task of updating his signature '80s sound, and reflected on the music and memories that made him famous.
Cinematical: How did you get involved with Cop Out, and what direction or mandate did Kevin Smith give you when he enlisted you to compose the score?