In many ways, the best thing about Sherlock Holmes is its score (released January 12), featuring exotic Hungarian and gypsy instruments. It's one of about a hundred movie scores delivered by prolific German composer Hans Zimmer, who has earned six Oscar nominations; he won for The Lion King in 1994. On February 2, he earned a seventh Oscar nomination for Sherlock Holmes.
Articulate and charming, Zimmer invited me to his lair in Santa Monica, a sprawling complex housing other composers, plus rooms crammed with synthesizers, computers and towers of servers. He's currently working on Inception for Chris Nolan, for whom he composed the score for The Dark Knight. He gave me a tour, showed me where and how he composes and explained his working process on the scores for Sherlock Holmes, It's Complicated, Gladiator, and The Dark Knight. He even plays a bit.
Part One: The Tour.
Part Two: Sherlock Holmes.
Part Three: Sherlock Holmes, diversity in his work.
Part Four: He plays the Sherlock Holmes theme.
Part Five: Composing so many scores, It's Complicated.
Part Six: The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger's The Joker.
Part Seven: Zimmer plays along with Sherlock Holmes, and talks about collaborating with directors like Guy Ritchie.