Halloween was written in approximately 10 days by Debra Hill and John Carpenter. It was based on an idea by Irwin Yablans about a killer who stalks baby-sitters, tentatively titled The Baby-sitter Murders until Yablans suggested that the story could take place on October 31st and Halloween might not be such a bad title for an exploitation-horror movie.
"With Herrmann and Morricone in mind, the scoring for Halloween began in late June at Sound Arts Studios, then a small brick building in an alley in central Los Angeles. Dan Wyman was my creative consultant. I had worked with him in 1976 on the music for Assault. He programmed the synthesizers, oversaw the recording of my frequently imperfect performances, and often joined me to perform a difficult line or speed-up the seemingly never ending process of overdubbing one instrument at a time. I have to credit Dan as Halloween’s musical co-producer. His fine taste and musicianship polished up the edges of an already minimalistic, rhythm-inspired score.
We were working in what I call the "double-blind" mode in 1978, which simply means that the music was composed and performed in the studio, on the spot, without reference or synchronization to the actual picture. recently, my association with Alan Howarth has led me to a synchronized video-tape system, a sort of "play it to the TV" approach. Halloween’s main title theme was the first to go down on tape. The rhythm was inspired by an exercise my father taught me on the bongos in 1961, the beating out of 5-4 time. The themes associated with Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) now seems to be the most Herrmannesque. Finally came the stingers. Emphasizing the visual surprise, they are otherwise known as "the cattle prod": short, percussive sounds placed at opportune moments to startle the audience. I’m now ashamed to admit that I recorded quite so many stingers for this one picture." (John Carpenter).
Instruments and equiment used: expanded Moog modular IIIP comprising of 5-9 box units incl. double sequencer complement, SCI Prophet 10, and a classical piano.