Mission Impossible, Rush Hour, and the Red Dragon

Sheridon Stokes and Lalo Schifrin on “Rush Hour 2”

Sheridon Stokes and Lalo Schifrin on “Rush Hour 2”

After the Hollywood Bowl concert, I met Lalo Schifrin and told him about my book on Special Effects for Flute. He started hiring me for his recording sessions which included “the Fox” and the original theme for “Mission Impossible”. One day at a recording session with Lalo, he asked me if I played shakuhachi. I said it didn’t matter because acoustically the flute is the same and I could imitate the shakuhachi. He seemed surprised but he was happy with my imitation.

Many years later, in about 2006, in the movie “Rush Hour 3″, the director wanted a Chinese flute for a three minute scene and Lalo said make up something. I used Chinese inflections and a pentatonic scale with no rehearsal; the director Brett Ratner and Lalo were pleased with the authenticity. A violinist in the orchestra from Beijing said it sounded authentic.

In 2002 I recorded the Scherzo from the Midsummer Nightʼs Dream for a movie called “the Red Dragon”. After the session, Brett Ratner, also the director on this movie asked me if I wanted to coach the musicians and then he said “Why don’t you be in the picture”. I said fine and was on screen. He had me look at the screen after we shot one scene where I was supposed to frown at the player next to me because he was playing badly. I looked at the playback and he said I was overacting. That was always good for a laugh.

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