Soundtrax: Episode 2022-10A Special Edition - October 2022
The Buzzing of the Honeycomb Violin:
Scoring Horror With Andrew Scott Bell
Interview by Randall D. Larson
Film & TV Music News
New Soundtrack News
Documentary Film & Soundtrack News
Soundtrack Reviews will recommence in my regular October column later this month.
Composer Andrew Scott Bell has been writing original music for films and commercial media for more than six years. His music has brought life to over two dozen short and feature films, and incorporates a broad range of genres including orchestral, synth/electronic, rock/alternative, and even world music. No matter what genre or style is called for, Andrew strives to tap into the emotions of a film with carefully crafted music. He is known for scoring WITNESS INFECTION (2020), HOME SWEET HOME (2021), PSYCHO STORM CHASER (2021), and the forthcoming WINNIE-THE-POOH: BLOOD AND HONEY.
WINNIE-THE-POOH: BLOOD AND HONEY is an upcoming independent slasher film written and directed by Rhys Frake-Waterfield (THE KILLING TREE, ALIEN ABDUCTION, FIRENADO, DINOSAUR PRISON). The film serves as a horror retelling of A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh books, and follows the anthropomorphic characters Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet as they become bloodthirsty murderers after Christopher Robin abandons them for college. Development for the film began when the first Winnie-the-Pooh book became a public domain work in the United States in January 2022, resulting in The Walt Disney Company no longer holding exclusive film rights to the characters first depicted in the book. To achieve a unique sound to his score for this film, Bell had a beekeeper insert a violin into one of his bees’ honeycomb boxes, allowing the bees to manufacture their honey within the violin itself; when the “beehiveolin” was removed from the honeycomb frame and the bees had departed, Bell used the unique instrument to create remarkable musical sounds for his score, as he describes in the following interview.
Q: What brought you into film music? How did you start, and how did you prepare for a career in film scoring?
Andrew Scott Bell: When I was a kid my parents didn’t know what to do with me and all of my energy so they signed me up for dance classes and stuff, and nothing really stuck. But we always had a piano in the house, so when I came back to it a little bit later in life with a love of listening to music and learning it by ear, that just activated a curiosity in my brain. Later I heard Alan Silvestri’s score to FORREST GUMP and that was what led me to want to do film music. I think I was just kind of tangentially into it – I wrote some music on the piano just for fun, but then when I was a teenager I got into the GLADIATOR soundtrack and I followed the Oscars pretty closely because Hans was nominated for it. That’s when it clicked, like “Oh! He does this for a living! I want to do this for a living!” So since then, in my teenage years, I set on my path to go to school for music composition and a minor in film studies. I went to a small University in Virginia called Christopher Newport University, but got distracted in some rock bands and left school for a while, but I came back and finished my last semester. I started to score some short films in 2011, and I started looking for jobs through Instagram. We first moved to L.A. in 2015; I found a short film that ended up winning a Student Academy Award and it just seemed that every new iteration of social media or social networking has brought a new opportunity to meet people. I met a woman named Ava DuVernay on Clubhouse, and within a week she hired me for her NBC show HOME SWEET HOME. It just feels like with every new app that’s come out, my career has grown with the progression of social media!
Q: I believe your first feature film horror score was for WITNESS INFECTION in 2020, a horror comedy. What can you tell me about scoring this film, its challenges, and how you navigated between the comedy and horror aspects of the storyline?
Witness Infection: Sometimes the past comes back to bite you. Two rival mob families are transferred from the Witness Protection Agency by mistake to the same city.
Andrew Scott Bell: That was with director Andy Palmer and a lot of incredible voice actors came in – Carlos Alazraqui, he’s the voice of the Taco Bell chihuahua from the ‘90s, Robert Belushi, Maurice LaMarche, Monique Coleman… it was great to work on. Andy brought me on to score it because what he wanted was a big, old school, Hollywood monster movie sound. He had heard something I did for director Samuel Gonzales Jr. who I’ve worked with a few times on some shorts and thought that I was up to the task. We found that balance of comedy and horror by playing an old-school Max Steiner/KING KONG, old Hollywood sound. When you play it seriously in that style it becomes over-the-top and comical. He’d also say “Ok, this part is really GODFATHER, but make it horror!” So we’d have mandolins playing and I had these old trumpet lines. I could find themes that would play both in a low cello – like if a zombie is reaching up and grabbing someone – and that would also later double on the mandolin and octave strings, in a more grandiose, GODFATHER-y way. But it’s the same theme played with different instrumentation that gives another vibe and energy.
Listen to the track “Escape from Miola” from WITNESS INFECTION, via YouTube:
Q: What were your initial thoughts about scoring PSYCHO STORM CHASER when you first came on board, and how did you develop those ideas into the score as it was conceived?
Psycho Storm Chaser: An at home care nurse must survive a category 3 hurricane as well as a storm chasing serial killer who uses storms to cover up his heinous crimes.
Andrew Scott Bell: I had worked with Buzz Wallick once before on a short film (NEED ANYTHING, 2020) that won an award at the Catalina Film Festival. When I first was brought on PSYCHO STORM CHASER, I read the script before they shot the movie and it seemed to me to be more of a slasher film. It was about Carl, the titular character, and in the script it was really just him going around doing killings; but then as Buzz was shooting and sending me the dailies and videos from set and I saw the rain and the lightning, it just started to feel like the storm was taking more of a presence in the film, more of a character. So we pivoted from all the discussions we had before about this slasher with a low cello, JAWS-type sound and we started to discover that the movie, because of the storm, had less of a horror/slasher feel and more of a ‘90s adventure/thriller feel. And from then we started talking about THE LOST WORLD, the second JURASSIC PARK movie, which has a big storm sequence in it, and the tropical storm is a character in the first and second JURASSIC PARK movies. We talked about TWISTER by Mark Mancina, and we talked about some of those James Horner action/adventure thrillers that have the really biting, sharp brass. All of those references, Jerry Goldsmith included, are what I grew up listening to and loving. I started to write a six- or seven-minute suite of ideas; just to say this is the style I’m going to go with, this is the direction I think we’re heading in before I start writing to picture – what do you think? And he loved all of it. That suite ended up being the opening credits sequence of the movie.
Q: How did you develop your thematic ideas for the killer, the potential victims in the house, and the storm itself, and how did they interact as the film progresses?
Andrew Scott Bell: It’s a very thematic movie. I knew going in that I wanted some of the themes to interact with one another. So we have Abby’s Theme, who’s the nurse, Jack’s theme, her ex who’s the cop, and they have a romantic tension – they were breaking up, and of course you can guess by the end they’re back together. I wanted to write a piece of music for acoustic guitar that plays separately but could then play together at the end. The track is “Morning on the Brody Peninsula,” and about halfway through there’s this guitar part, as she’s brushing her teeth and getting ready, that we wanted to convey that maybe she goes to the bar and who this person is outside of just being a nurse waking up. She likes country music, and I’ve spent some time in the Chesapeake Bay jamming with musicians, so I felt that would work for her. And we hear Jack’s theme in “Crossing the Bridge” and both of their themes play together in the same chord progression so that in the end of the movie when they’re together the themes play together, and it’s the full iteration of what you’ve been hearing. I did that a couple times with Hannah, she’s in a coma during most of the movie and is the person that Abby, the nurse, is treating, so you hear her themes a couple of times. Then between the two women, Abby and Ella, who is Hannah’s sister and owns the house they’re in, a kind of friendship theme is heard as they’re developing a friendship. It plays in heroic moments, in big moments, and in soft moments; it’s the main theme for me; it’s like the glue of the movie. The heart of the film is in friendships and fighting for one another in dire consequences. And so, at the end of the movie when Carl is saying, “Why did you stay behind? You’re wrong for staying behind!” and Abby says “I stayed behind for her!” it plays a variation of that friendship theme, the caring, which is this descending line that you hear a couple of times through the movie. It combines the friendship theme and Hannah’s theme as she’s saying “I stayed to care for her!” It’s one of my favorite moments in the movie, that combination of those two themes. So I wrote all these different themes, knowing I was going to combine them. That’s one of my favorite things, when you can do that.
Listen to the track “Morning on the Brody Peninsula” from PSYCHO STORM CHASER, via YouTube:
Q: How did you deal with jump scares and some of the shocking/scare moments in the film?
Andrew Scott Bell: I think that’s one of the things that horror directors are always chasing, and composers are always chasing – we’re always looking for the right way to hit a moment. It’s not the same every time. The music is very thematic and very present in so many scenes, we’re helping the audience come along with the adventure and when you take music out and it’s no longer thematic, it just plays very sparsely: that builds suspense because the audience has been comfortable with melody and the lush orchestration that we’ve used. When you strip that away and it’s very sparse, maybe just a violin or a cello, that can become unnerving because all of a sudden the music is not helping you.
Q: You’re out of your comfort level.
Andrew Scott Bell: Exactly. It’s like, “wait… what’s about to happen?” And then you pull it out and you do the right sting at the right moment. I’ve taken some notes from Christopher Young. I think he’s really brilliant; not just in his music – which is incredible – but in the timing of his jump scares, especially in the movie DRAG ME TO HELL, which is one of my favorite scores from him. I’ve always been fascinated by that movie because of the scares. Musical stings happen a fraction of a second or however many seconds and frames, after you see the thing that scares you. A lot of composers will put it right on the frame, because we can do that with the computer: we can put the sting right on the monster. When you’re conducting a score, for example, you have a little bit of reaction time. So some of those older scares, because the audience needs to see it – this happens within a blink of an eye. Right when you see the monster, it scares you. It’s hard to find that timing, you have to feel that out; but it works best not right when he comes into frame, but in the moment after. Finding that right moment for every scare is really hard – but when you get it right, you get the proper audience reaction because they’re looking where you think they’re going to see him walking up, but then wait a fraction of a second and then scare them.
Q: You brought in cellist Kimberly Kistler to record some parts on this score. How did this come about and how did you use them as an instrumental configuration of your score?
Andrew Scott Bell: Kimberly is really talented. I met her at the Carmel Film Festival, which I don’t think is a thing anymore. She was a student at the time, she was performing; there was a quartet performing a live version of a score at the film festival. She’s a really talented cellist, and so I knew, going into this movie, that I wanted almost all of Carl’s themes to be these low cello phrases. It doesn’t sound so good coming out of the computer, and I think it’s better to get a real cellist to play the part. I only had a little less than five weeks to do PSYCHO STORM CHASER, so I wrote some thematic ideas I wanted her to record and then we just improvised and played around for an hour on a Zoom call. We did some really interesting double stops, which is when you play more than one note at the same time and you let them ring together – instead of just one string you’re playing two strings. We did some really big glissandos, but the bulk of what I used from those recordings were the moments when she played the motif in different ways. I had her record that in different iterations and I wound up with an hour’s worth of cello stuff from her at her hourly rate. So when I started to write Carl’s scenes I had all this stuff I could play with and add texture to. It added so much life to his themes and his moments. She had a big part in those thematic moments, those low cello moments, making them what they are. We can pull off a lot with a computer these days, but I really don’t think anything is ever going to replace live musicians, because they put the feeling in and you can feel the difference.
Listen to the track “So It Begins/Bridge Closed” from PSYCHO STORM CHASER, via YouTube:
Q: You recently finished scoring WINNIE-THE-POOH: BLOOD AND HONEY. A horror story involving Winnie-The-Pooh sounds wickedly refreshing. What were your initial thoughts about this film and the kind of music this film needed?
WINNIE-THE-POOH: BLOOD AND HONEY (forthcoming): We follow Pooh and Piglet as they go on a rampage after Christopher Robin abandons them for college.
Andrew Scott Bell: When I first started speaking with Rhys Frake-Waterfield, the director, we didn’t really talk about musical styles or references. I just wanted to know more about the movie, the setting, what he’s looking to achieve and how we can accomplish that. One of the first things we talked about was the inherent humor in Winnie-The-Pooh killing people! It’s inherently campy. It’s not meant to be serious, though we didn’t want to try to be funny in the music, because – and I say this all the time – music can’t really make you laugh. It might help a comedic moment, it might help you laugh, but it’s not, alone, going to make anyone laugh. What we talked about was, really, how do we make this fun and play to the inherent humor involved in Winnie-The-Pooh slashing people? The best way to do that, we chose, early on, was to treat it as though it were Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees on screen and to play it, similar to WITNESS INFECTION, with the utmost seriousness and reverence to a slasher film. To play that classic type of horror a little bit. To be honest, through that conversation I immediately started to think of James Horner and some of the early Roger Corman pictures that he did. Those Corman movies are kind of cheesy but they play seriously, and James Horner was deadly serious when he was scoring those movies. He was staking a claim, I think, early on in that career, saying this is what I can do as an orchestrator and a composer, so I immediately started thinking about that – could this, musically at least, feel like a Roger Corman/James Horner collaboration? And that’s what we were going with.
Q: How did you come up with the idea of the behiveolin and how you’ve used it in your score?
Andrew Scott Bell: It’s not just that we put a violin in the beehive. Experimental luthier Tyler Thackray actually put the violin into a beehive frame. A beehive will have eight or ten frames inside, so that a beekeeper can take each frame out and see how the bees are doing. They can check the honeycomb, they can look at this one, they put it down and pull another one out, so he wedged the violin inside a rectangular frame. Then the bees built the hive inside the violin, which is what I was hoping for, because it changes the acoustic properties of the violin. Honeycomb doesn’t completely deafen it – it changes the way the sound resonates, because there are hollow holes throughout. But the bees also built comb in the areas between the violin and the frame – on the outside of the violin. So, originally I was thinking “I’m going to have to throw tarps down in my studio and then I’m going to have to wear a messed-up t-shirt and I’ll get honey all over it,” and I was thinking I would have to play it the way I play my other violins. But we just felt that it would be such a shame to take the violin out of the frame because a lot of the beauty of it is in the comb that’s around the outside. Tyler’s such a genius that he found a way to attach the neck of the violin not to the body of the violin, but to the beehive frame. So the tailpiece that holds the strings is connected to the frame, and then the neck where it would normally connect to the top of the body, is connected to the outside of the frame. The violin body is still inside the frame, and it’s like the whole instrument is the beehive frame and the violin is just resonating inside of it.
But because of that I can’t stick it under my neck – it’s too square. I can’t really get my bow around it. Because of that I have to leave it on a table. Right now I have outfitted my studio bathroom with soundproofing and the beehiveolin is sitting over my sink on wood blocks. So I have to play across it as it’s on the sink; I can’t play it normally, I have to play it like a steel guitar, left and right and then bowing across the strings while it’s set on the wood blocks. So it changes the way I’m using it. Because the neck is attached and not the body, I can’t really bring the strings tight enough, so it’s playing lower notes; it’s a different technique to play, and in general it just sounds different. It sounds really grainy and buzzy. When I record I like to layer my violins, so I’ll sometimes play a violin part sixteen times so that it feels big and grand like a full section. But when I layer this instrument, even when I’m playing one note, you almost lose that musical note and it just becomes a warming, buzzing sound. It just sounds very different! It’s a fun sound to play with.
Q: How did you integrate the beehiveolin with your orchestral score – the violins, cello, trumpet, trombone that you played and recorded?
Andrew Scott Bell: The beehiveolin makes such an interesting sound. So far in my writing, it’s been used to add texture to the mid-low range of the music, but I am rarely using it in fully orchestrated cues. The instrument is really great for adding a quiet, tense texture, though I’ve used it for some glissando effects. In its lower register, it adds a vibrating or buzzing kind of chaos to a cue. It almost sounds like a viola playing sul ponticello, but I think it’s a more aggressive sound than that. There’s definitely a delicate balance for a unique instrument like the beehiveolin. Use it too often and it loses some of its effectiveness; use it too sparsely and it feels foreign and stands out from the rest of the score. I’m still scoring WINNIE-THE-POOH: BLOOD AND HONEY so I very much feel like I’m finding that balance.
Q:I’m assuming by this time the bees have vacated the hive!
Andrew Scott Bell: Yes! All the bees have left the violin. For about a week after I took the beehiveolin home, I kept it in a box with holes in the lid to let the remaining larvae hatch. I would take the box outside twice a day, sometimes three times, open the box, and let them fly away. There’s a small chance they found and were accepted into a new hive. At the very least, I just didn’t want them to perish suffocating in a box or for them to just be loose in our home.
Watch a video clip of Andrew opening the beehiveolin for the first time:
Q: Aside from that “honey” of an instrument, what has been your instrumental palette and thematic configuration for this score?
Andrew Scott Bell: It’s very similar to PSYCHO STORM CHASER and to WITNESS INFECTION, which I’m delighted with, as I like to think those three films work together as a piece. I like it that these three feature films, when you listen to them back-to-back, maybe you’ll hear my growth in the couple of years that I worked on them; but they also, together, have a cohesive sound and style that I’m just developing. I don’t know that we try, as composers, sometimes to choose our sound; sometimes our sound chooses us. Like, for example, when you listen to some of Thomas Newman’s earlier scores they sound nothing like what we think of his music now, it wasn’t until he did AMERICAN BEAUTY and came up with the sound for that movie that filmmakers started to seek him out for that sound. I think sometimes people seek out specific composers because of what they’ve done before. That starts to be your palette; it starts to be what people look to you for, and in this case I feel very blessed that it’s some music that I really love writing. And maybe that’s part of it too, when you love the music you’re writing that joy comes through in the music, and it’s fun to listen to and it’s enjoyable.
Q: Aside from the newly designed instruments, what’s been most challenging for you about scoring WINNIE-THE-POOH: BLOOD AND HONEY?
Andrew Scott Bell: That’s a really great question. This may be a cop-out answer, but the thing that has probably been most challenging is the attention that the movie has been getting, and not letting that get into my head. This is the first time that I’ve worked on something that has national media. I’ve heard stories from composers, and one that sticks out in my mind that seems like the pressure that I’m feeling now – I can’t remember who said it or what the movie was, but he was working on the score and they put up a billboard for the movie while he was working on the score; and the billboard they put up was like in eye sight of the window of his recording studio! It showed when the movie was coming out, and it was like “Weeks Away!” or “Months Away” and he was still working on the score! I think it was in THE SCORE documentary; that’s where I saw it. And he said it was almost like the studio put it there on purpose to say “C’mon! Get it done!” So that’s been challenging to me. I have ADHD, which is part of my writing process, it’s part of how I’m creative, I have something called hyperfocus. That’s what happens to my brain when I get into music and I just stay hyperfocused on it for hours and hours and hours. But also, at the same time, when a trailer for a movie you’re working on comes out and it’s being featured on TMZ and CNN and the BBC morning segments, it’s so easy to go “Oh my God, I want to see all of it! What are people saying?” I think the pressure of, “OK, this movie is going to be seen by millions and it’s probably the first movie I’ve worked on that is going to be seen by that many people.” I think that’s the thing I’ve probably struggled with the most, and not getting in my own head about that, and just doing the best I can.
Q: What’s coming up next for you that you’d be able to talk about?
Andrew Scott Bell: I’m very excited about a new short film, that I can talk about because the trailer is out. It’s a proof-of-concept short film called THE HANOVER INCIDENT. I’m trying to personally move on from doing short films and do more features, but the director of this short film is really talented, his name is Charles Berlepsch. What I’m excited about this is we’re going to hire a full live orchestra. It’s a short film but it’s big in its scope and it’s something they may make into a series or a movie down the line. It takes place in the ‘90s and the music is going to be very much what we’ve been talking about this whole time, which is like James Horner, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith – that rich orchestral landscape that was popular again in the ‘90s in large part because of STAR WARS and JURASSIC PARK. Orchestral music was really popular in the ‘60s, and then in the ‘70s a lot of movies tended to go toward popular music, and then synthesizers exploded in the ‘80s and composers could, on a very low budget, write really huge, grand, incredible scores – I’m thinking about Vangelis with BLADE RUNNER and how massive that sound is. But then in the late ‘80s and the ‘90s tastes shifted back towards orchestral music even in the horror space, where you have people like Marco Beltrami in SCREAM doing this huge, incredible orchestral score that blew people away. So I’m really excited about this short film; it has a ‘90s movie feel to it. It’s a really fun little movie and they’re allowing me to bring in a full orchestra, which is going to be a delightful thing. I don’t get to do that very often; as music budgets get tighter and tighter I often have to find ways to make my music feel organic and natural and breathe life into it. It’s going to be a joy to work with a live orchestra and just see what they can do. It’s a really cool film and I think it’s going to do well in film festivals.
Watch the trailer for THE HANOVER INCIDENT:
Watch the entire amazing 23-minute video about creating the beehiveolin for WINNIE THE POOH: BLOOD AND HONEY:
Special thanks to Andrew Scott Bell for taking time out to discuss these scores with me in detail.
For further information on the composer, see his website: https://www.andrewscottbellmusic.com/
Hollywood Records has announced the launch of THE BIG SCORE, an original series offering first-person audio and video vignettes that delve deep into the creation of film and television music for influential and award-winning movies and series from Searchlight Pictures, 20th Century Studios, Hulu, Freeform, FX, National Geographic, Onyx Collective and more. Whether watching and/or listening, audiences will gain personal perspectives, stories, and insights from some of today’s most innovative composers and artists, plus exclusive behind the scenes access into the recording process and creation of their scores. Fans can catch THE BIG SCORE wherever they listen to podcasts, while the accompanying docuseries premieres on YouTube. The first three episodes of the video docuseries debuted October 6th with a dynamic slate of special guests, including six-time EMMY® Award nominee Siddhartha Khosla [THIS IS US, ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING], Rock and Roll Hall of Fame® Inductee Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam [FX’s UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN], and Pierre-Phillipe Côté a.k.a. Pilou [NOT OKAY.] Video episodes will run 5-7 minutes, intercutting the main interviews with direct scene commentary and behind-the-scenes footage. Meanwhile, the podcast will span 20-30 minutes, providing in-depth perspective from the composer. Other interview subjects will include directors, music supervisors, and artists who contributed to writing, recording, performing, or music production. Catch THE BIG SCORE wherever you listen to podcasts and watch THE BIG SCORE docuseries on Hollywood Records YouTube channel. Subscribe to be updated when new episodes appear. WATCH the series here, follow the podcasts here, play the podcasts here
Upcoming episodes schedule will feature:
10/6 - Khosla - Only Murders in the Building (Hulu) - Podcast + Docuseries
Jeff Ament - FX’s Under The Banner of Heaven (Hulu) - Docuseries
Pilou - Not Okay (Searchlight Pictures) - Docuseries
10/11 - Daniel Pemberton - See How They Run (Searchlight Pictures) - Podcast + Docuseries
10/18 - Ian Hultquist and Drum & Lace - Rosaline (20th Century Studios/Hulu) - Docuseries
Jones - Super/Natural (National Geographic/Disney +) - Docuseries
10/25 - Carter Burwell - The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures) - Podcast + Docuseries
11/2 - Daniel Pemberton - Amsterdam (20th Century Studios) - Podcast + Docuseries
11/9 - Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest - Reasonable Doubt (Onyx Collective/Hulu) - Podcast + Docuseries
In his Marvel film directorial debut, Oscar®-winning composer of UP and other Pixar favorites, longtime Marvel Studios collaborator Michael Giacchino directs WEREWOLF BY NIGHT; he also composed and produced the music for the Marvel Studios’ Special Presentation, which debuted Oct. 7th on Disney+. The WEREWOLF BY NIGHT soundtrack is available at these links. Giacchino, who admits that he is a Werewolf by Night comics fan (and still has all his comics), was excited to bring Jack Russell to the screen. “With my love for the Universal films of the ‘30s, the Hammer Horror films right into Sam Raimi’s EVIL DEAD, WEREWOLF BY NIGHT is a giant mashup love letter to those movies that I absolutely loved and devoured while growing up.” Giacchino has a classic approach to horror, believing, “Horror is all about what you don’t know and what you think is about to happen or what you think you see or what you think you hear. I am trying to use that for us as much as possible. That was the goal from day one on this project.” In Marvel’s WEREWOLF BY NIGHT, a secret cabal of monster hunters emerge from the shadows on a dark and somber night and gather at the foreboding Bloodstone Temple following the death of their leader. In a strange and macabre memorial to the leader’s life, the attendees are thrust into a mysterious and deadly competition for a powerful relic – a hunt that will ultimately bring them face to face with a dangerous monster. Inspired by horror films of the 1930s and 1940s, the chilling special aims to evoke a sense of dread and the macabre, with plenty of suspense and scares along the way as we explore a new corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The special stars Gael García Bernal (MOZART IN THE JUNGLE, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN), Laura Donnelly (THE NEVERS, OUTLANDER) and Harriet Sansom Harris (LICORICE PIZZA, HACKS).
Watch the official trailer here:
Decca Records presents Bond 25, an orchestrated album featuring all 25 of the iconic Bond themes expertly reimagined and newly recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The album, recorded at Abbey Road Studios, includes brand new arrangements of the iconic title themes including FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, LIVE AND LET DIE, GOLDENEYE and DIE ANOTHER DAY, tracklisted chronologically from 1962’s DR. NO to 2020’s UK No.1 single NO TIME TO DIE. The album is tied in with THE SOUND OF 007: LIVE from the Royal Albert Hall, an exclusive recording of the live 4th October charity concert, which is available on Prime Video; and the feature documentary film about James Bond music THE SOUND OF 007, which is also available now on Prime Video (see more details in Documentary Film & Soundtrack News below).
The feature film adaptation of the popular video game THE SUPER MARIO BROS involves a plumber named Mario who travels through an underground labyrinth with his brother, Luigi, trying to save a captured princess. This is the third feature film adaptation of Nintendo’s Mario video game franchise, following the anime film SUPER MARIO BROS.: THE GREAT MISSION TO RESCUE PRINCESS PEACH! (1986) and the Hollywood live-action film SUPER MARIO BROS. (1993). Brian Tyler is set to compose the score for the film, collaborating with Japanese composer Koji Kondo, best known for his numerous contributions to the SUPER MARIO and LEGEND OF ZELDA series of video games, among others. The SUPER MARIO BROS. movie is scheduled to be released by Universal Pictures on April 7, 2023 in the United States, followed by release in Japan on April 28. It will be available to stream on Peacock 45 days afterwards. Watch the film’s teaser trailer:
Based on the ADDAMS FAMILY cartoons and TV/film series, WEDNESDAY is a sardonic coming-of-age supernatural mystery comedy focusing on Wednesday Addams and her years as a high school student at Nevermore Academy, wherein she attempts to master her psychic powers, stop a monstrous killing spree of the town citizens, and solve the supernatural mystery that affected her family 25 years ago – all while navigating her new relationships. The series trailer dropped October 8th by Netflix. Danny Elfman has composed an original series theme for WEDNESDAY, and both he and Craig Bacon (MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL, BATES MOTEL series, SHERLOCK GNOMES) will score the series’ episodes. Jenna Ortega plays the titular character in the series, supported by Catherine Zeta-Jones (Morticia Addams) and Luis Guzmán (Gomez Addams), Fred Armisen (Uncle Fester), Isaac Ordonez (Pugsley Addams), Iman Marson (Lucas Walker), Lucius Hoyos (Young Gomez), and Christina Ricci as Marilyn Thornhill, an original character created for the series. The eight-episode series is scheduled to premiere on Netflix on Wednesday (of course), November 23, 2022. Watch the trailer here:
Corey Wallace has scored Comedy Central’s highly anticipated upcoming supernatural comedy, CURSED FRIENDS. The new film stars the hysterical Harvey Guillén (WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS), Jessica Lowe (MINX), Joey Fatone (NSYNC member), Will Arnett (THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE), Nicole Richie (THE SIMPLE LIFE), Ken Marino (RENO 911) and many more. It premiered Saturday Oct. 8th.
In HALLOWEEN ENDS, Jamie Lee Curtis says goodbye to Laurie Strode – the character that launched her career more than four decades ago. Four years after the events of last year’s HALLOWEEN KILLS, Laurie is living with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) and is finishing writing her memoir. Michael Myers hasn’t been seen since. Laurie, after allowing the specter of Michael to determine and drive her reality for decades, has decided to liberate herself from fear and rage and embrace life. But when a young man, Corey Cunningham (Rohan Campbell), is accused of killing a boy he was babysitting, it ignites a cascade of violence and terror that will force Laurie to finally confront the evil she can’t control, once and for all. In addition to serving as an executive producer, HALLOWEEN’s original creator and composer John Carpenter also resumes scoring the franchise with his music and iconic themes for HALLOWEEN ENDS, along with co-composers, his son Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies, both of whom joined him for HALLOWEEN (2018) and HALLOWEEN KILLS (2021). Watch the final HALLOWEEN ENDS trailer #2:
From 87North, the bare-knuckle producers of NOBODY, JOHN WICK, ATOMIC BLONDE, DEADPOOL 2, BULLET TRAIN and FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW comes a coal-dark holiday action-comedy with VIOLENT NIGHT. When a team of mercenaries breaks into a wealthy family compound on Christmas Eve, taking everyone inside hostage, the team isn’t prepared for a surprise combatant: Santa Claus (David Harbour, BLACK WIDOW, STRANGER THINGS series) is on the grounds, and he’s about to show why this Nick is no saint. The film also stars Emmy winner John Leguizamo (JOHN WICK), Cam Gigandet (WITHOUT REMORSE), Alex Hassell (COWBOY BEBOP), Alexis Louder (THE TOMORROW WAR), Edi Patterson (THE RIGHTEOUS GEMSTONES) and Beverly D’Angelo (NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION franchise). Composer Dominic Lewis (THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, THE KING’S MEN series, JOLT, BAYMAX!, BULLET TRAIN) is scoring the film. VIOLENT NIGHT had its world premiere at the New York Comic Con on October 7, 2022, and is scheduled to be released in the United States on December 2, 2022, by Universal Pictures.
Watch the VIOLENT NIGHT Trailer:
NIX sees a return of director Anthony Ferrante from his audacious comedy SHARKNADO thrillers to a more psychological blend of horror. Inspired by Germanic folklore, a tragedy at a mysterious lake continues to haunt a family years after the incident. While Jack Coyle struggles to keep his shattered family together, a strange and powerful entity reveals itself again, opening the wounds for another tragedy to occur. As Jack deals with the consequences, he also must protect his young niece from this frightening creature which threatens to destroy everyone. The film stars Dee Wallace, James Zimbardi, Angie Teodora Dick, Michael Paré, and Angela Cole. “Once we landed on the concept for NIX and realized its potential, I was excited to get back to my horror roots with this elevated, original horror film,” said Ferrante about his new film. “It was also an opportunity to dig into these fractured and haunted characters and explore the depth and emotion within this dark setting while still providing solid thrills and chills.” For NIX’s musical score, Ferrante is rejoined by his SHARKNADO composing team of Christopher Cano and Chris Ridenhour, veteran composers of the Asylum movies and more, with Alan Howarth (John Carpenter’s go-to associate on HALLOWEEN 2-5, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, CHRISTINE, PRINCE OF DARKNESS, and THEY LIVE, and veteran sci-fi/horror synthesist and composer) also onboard to co-create NIX’s surplus of musically spooky sonorities. NIX is now streaming on Amazon Prime, iTunes/Apple.com and Vudu. Watch the NIX trailer:
The Malaysian supernatural horror film DON’T LOOK AT THE DEMON follows a team of paranormal investigators heading for the highlands of Fraser’s Hill, Malaysia, to probe a series of alleged disturbances at a house with a dark past. Directed and from a story by Brando Lee (GANGSTER WARS, CHOW KIT), the film stars Jordan Belfi, Ashlyn Boots, Malin Crépin, Harris Dickinson, Fiona Dourif, and Jessie Franks. The film has been scored by Vincent Gillioz (THE SAND, CHAIN LETTER, THE INVOCATION, EROSION, DARK HOUSE, SCARECROW).
Hollywood Records announces the release of AMSTERDAM (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) with music by Academy® Award-nominee Daniel Pemberton. The 47-track album also includes the original song “Time,” which was co-written by Pemberton, Award-winning icon Drake, and GIV?ON, released by Epic Records, as well as the songs “Le Soleil Rouge,” “Dinah,” and “Peanut Vendor,” performed by cast members Christian Bale, John David Washington, Margot Robbie, Mel Fair, and Vaughn W. Page. “Amsterdam is a story about three unsung heroes who changed the course of history,” said Pemberton. “I wanted to create a score that reflected the film’s optimism, lightness, emotion, and humor so I decided to turn to the unsung heroes of the orchestra – the woodwinds! Writing predominantly for flutes, clarinets, saxophones, oboes, and bassoons I also added crotales, drums and plucked piano strings to try and create a more unique and unusual sound palette for the score. There are some very personal moments for me within this score, alongside a good dose of mystery, adventure, and intrigue. I hope people find it as intriguing a musical journey as the movie itself” The soundtrack is available from these links.
Lakeshore Records has released THE LOST KING Original Motion Picture Soundtrack featuring music by two-time Academy Award-winning composer Alexandre Desplat, digitally on October 7. Desplat conducts a vibrant orchestra creating a nimble backdrop to the film based on an extraordinary true story. THE LOST KING, developed by Pathe´ & BBC Film, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Sally Hawkins, Steve Coogan and Harry Lloyd, is about an amateur historian who defies the stodgy academic establishment in her efforts to find King Richard III’s remains, which were lost for over 500 years. Says Desplat: “Stephen Frears is a master at mixing comedy and drama; we share I think the same love for stories with depth, wit, and social content. THE LOST KING is our sixth collaboration, with again impeccable actors on screen and our modus operandi hasn’t changed: Stephen guides me with few words, leaving space for my imagination to blossom, allowing me to balance technique and instinct gracefully. His knowledge of film music is often a bridge for us to start exploring a new score as we both enjoy the works of iconic composers like Delerue, Waxman, Jarre, or Herrmann.” The album streamed or purchased from these links.
Lakeshore has also released ALMOST PARADISE Season 1 Original 2020 Amazon’s premium free streaming service Freevee, featuring music by Fred Coury. The score, a mix of rock (Coury is the drummer for the multi-platinum rock band Cinderella) and island instruments, reflects both the nonstop action of the series as well as the fun and colorful aspects of the setting. Season one of the series, an Electric Entertainment production starring Christian Kane, Samantha Richelle and Art Acuña, the series follows a former DEA agent forced into early retirement who runs a gift shop in the Philippines who finds himself drawn into cases where he uses his skills as a longtime operative to put away the bad guys that cross his path. Says Coury: “Dean [Devlin] told me about a new show that he was doing and told me he’d like me to score it. He wanted a rock-heavy score for the action/fight scenes. I incorporated island instruments and tried to lean into Filipino instruments but use them in different ways than we’re used to hearing them. Once Dean heard/saw a few pieces, he let me run with it. I try to use as many real instruments as possible. The show is pretty much wall-to-wall music and it’s so much fun to watch. I just had a blast creating this score.” Get the album here.
La-La Land Records, Paramount Pictures, and Geffen present a remastered and expanded, two-disc 20th Anniversary release of composer Hans Zimmer’s original motion picture score to the 2002 feature film supernatural thriller THE RING, starring Naomi Watts, and directed by Gore Verbinski. The film is a remake of Hideo Nakata’s 1998 Japanese horror film RING, based on Koji Suzuki’s 1991 eponymous novel. Watts portrays a journalist who investigates a cursed videotape that seemingly kills the viewer seven days after watching it. This hit genre film united filmmaker Verbinski with Zimmer, kicking off a powerhouse creative collaboration that has since become legendary. Zimmer’s score is a masterpiece of atmosphere – haunting, dreadful, beautiful, poignant, tense – it effectively envelops the film and the listener in an unforgettable sonic dreamstate. Produced by Dan Goldwasser and mastered by Doug Schwartz, this remastered and expanded CD release features the 23-track score presentation on Disc One and 17 additional music bonus tracks on Disc Two. The exclusive liner notes by film music journalist Kaya Savas feature a brand new interview with the film’s composer and director, and the sharp art direction is by Goldwasser. This edition of THE RING is presented in a limited edition release of 3000 Units. Order it directly from La-La Land Records.
From the storied collaboration of Robert Zemeckis and Alan Silvestri comes the devilishly fun 1992 horror–comedy score, DEATH BECOMES HER, about a fading actress who learns of an immortality treatment and she sees it as a way to outdo her long-time rival. Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn star with Bruce Willis caught in the middle as a plastic surgeon. Varèse Sarabande has released an expanded CD of 27 tracks and over 51 minutes (versus their 16-track/35-minute original 1992 CD). Silvestri’s score captures, as always, a perfect sense of the film’s tone: grand yet wry, large-scale and symphonic for the supernatural drama, but with a lighthearted touch of the macabre. Particularly noteworthy is a Devilish fiddle for the Faustian bargain the characters make with immortality. “I always loved this idea,” says Silvestri in a new interview with Al Kaplan for this release, “while the world is unraveling, the Devil is just quietly sitting on a wine barrel or some such thing and just kinda fiddling along while everybody just shows up. There was something about the greed, all of these human qualities, the vanity…and the idea that, ‘Ah, the Devil’s just sitting there. He’s got nothing but time.’” This release is paired with another expanded Silvestri edition, LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER – THE CRADLE OF LIFE (2003), the second of two action-adventure movies starring Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft, the protagonist of the popular Tomb Raider (1996) videogame series. Given competing mandates of traditional/symphonic (by director Jan de Bont) and contemporary/rhythmic (by the studio), Silvestri fused both concepts into an expansive, pulse-pounding and dynamic score for the film’s world-spanning adventure. As always with Silvestri, he doesn’t just capture the film’s action and settings, but its emotions. This deluxe edition expands the program to 94 minutes across two discs, featuring the glorious Silvestri symphonic approach that has been a hit from BACK TO THE FUTURE to THE AVENGERS. Both CDs are limited to 2000 copies; DEATH BECOMES HER is available now; CRADLE OF LIFE is expected to ship by October 28, 2022. For details see Varese Sarabande https://varesesarabande.com/.
Ben Lovett’s score for Spyglass Media Group’s 2022 reboot/remake of HELLRAISER has been released digitally by Lakeshore Records. Lovett (THE RITUAL, THE NIGHT HOUSE) reunites with director David Bruckner as he reimagines the score to the reinvented iconic horror classic, which debuted October 7th in the U.S. exclusively on Hulu. Lovett brings his unconventional composing approach and signature intensity to a franchise known for its music, with dramatic orchestrations that uniquely enhance the new storyline and reimagined characters. Says Lovett: “Christopher Young’s score to the original film is one of the most iconic pieces of music in the genre, and it looms large over that world and anyone who steps into it. Musically our goal was to try and capture the spirit and character of what defined those early works, but to also bring a new sound that could also describe that world. It was a challenge as daunting as it was inspiring. I simply couldn’t imagine writing a HELLRAISER score that didn’t pay homage to those original melodies, and was fortunate to receive Mr. Young’s blessing to reinterpret some of those original themes into the score for the new film.” Purchase/Stream the soundtrack here.
Listen to the track “End Titles” from Ben Lovetts HELLRAISER, via YouTube:
VESPER is a science fiction adventure drama (released in France as VESPER CHRONICLES). The film is a French/Belgium/Lithuania co-production, directed by Kristina Buoyt? & Bruno Samper, and starring Raffiella Chapman (HOMEBOUND, INFINITE, HIS DARK MATERIALS, MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN), Eddie Marsan (THE PACT, DEADPOOL 2, ATOMIC BLONDE), Rosie McEwen (CLOSE TO ME, THE ALIENIST), and Richard Brake (KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, HANNIBAL RISING, ROOM). The movie is set in a bleak post-apocalyptic Earth; struggling to survive with her father after the collapse of Earth’s ecosystem, 13-year-old Vesper must use her wits, strength and bio-hacking abilities to fight for the future. The film is scored by Dan Levy, a French composer and actor, known for FOR MY COUNTRY (2022), LOVE, DEATH & ROBOTS (episode: The Tall Grass, 2021), and I LOST MY BODY (2019). In a review of the soundtrack, John Mansell of MovieMusic International described the score: “Levy has created a haunting and at times complex work, which effectively enhances the storyline and punctuates its numerous twists and turns... The richness of the core themes is stunning and filled with a wonderment and an aura and style that compels one to listen and go deeper into the music.” (read the full review here.). The soundtrack is available digitally from Amazon, Apple, Amazon Digital (UK), and other sources.
Watch the trailer for VESPER:
Austin Wintory has released his soundtrack to Gary Whitta’s podcast GUNDOG. GUNDOG is an original sci-fi serial created by Gary Whitta (ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, THE BOOK OF ELI) and performed by Shannon Woodward (WESTWORLD). In the near future, Earth has been conquered by a race of brutal alien machines known as the Mek. When a young woman stumbles across a map that may hold the secret to humanity’s liberation, she embarks on a dangerous odyssey that leads her to an amazing discovery — a long-lost prototype war machine known as a Gundog. “What do you do when your friend says he’s going to release his dystopian cross-country sci-fi action Mech novel as a serialized audio broadcast on Twitch?” Austin commented on his Bandcamp page. “Propose weekly introductory ‘overtures’ to set the mood! GUNDOG was entirely born of the pandemic’s spurring to create, and avoid sitting around. And it’s been an absolute delight. Gary Whitta’s fun and engaging novel, beautifully performed by Shannon Woodward and Troy Baker were the perfect setting (as a bonus I had the pleasure of engineering a solid 1/2 of Shannon’s sessions myself!).” Austin’s complete “soundtrack” for your enjoyment is available on Bandcamp, here. More on GUNDOG here.
Also from Lakeshore Records is LOVE, DEATH & ROBOTS: SEASON 3 – Soundtrack From The Netflix Series featuring music by composer and series music consultant Rob Cairns, Award-winning composer Jason Hill (who scored the David Fincher-directed episode “Bad Travelling”), iconic DJ/composer Tom Holkenborg (AKA Junkie XL), and renowned electronic artist Killawatt (who scored the double Emmy-winning episode “Jibaro”). The album was released digitally on September 30. The multiple Emmy Award-winning series was created by Blur Studio and airs globally on Netflix. For more details read the extended news item at musiquefantastique. The label also has released THE GOOD HOUSE Original Motion Picture Soundtrack featuring music by Emmy-winning composer Theodore Shapiro. Shapiro foregoes the minimal cool of his SEVERANCE score embracing much warmer orchestrations that reflect the interpersonal relationships within a picturesque New England town. The Roadhouse Pictures film produced by Amblin Partners is directed by Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky and stars Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline. Based on Ann Leary’s novel of the same name, THE GOOD HOUSE depicts how life for New England realtor Hildy Good begins to unravel when she hooks up with an old flame of hers from New York. Notes Shapiro: “The music of THE GOOD HOUSE was inspired primarily by the film’s setting. The choices of orchestration and harmony come from my impressions of New England. I also explored the sounds of pitched wine glasses – both struck and rubbed – as a way of sonically entering the world of Hildy’s struggle with alcoholism.” Streaming & purchase link: https://lnk.to/TheGoodHouse
HOCUS POCUS 2 takes place twenty-nine years after the events of the original film (1993) when someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century Sanderson sisters, and they are looking for revenge. Now it is up to three high-school students to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before dawn on All Hallow’s Eve. The film’s original soundtrack is available digitally from Walt Disney Records with a CD set for release on November 11th. The album features 9 songs and 19 original score tracks composed and produced by Emmy®-winning and Oscar®-nominated composer John Debney. Among the songs are “The Witches Are Back,” and “One Way or Another” (HOCUS POCUS 2 Version) performed by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker (with additional lyrics by Midler and Tony®, Emmy®, Grammy®-winning and Oscar®-nominated composer and lyrist Marc Shaiman, who also co-produced the two songs and serves as the pianist on all score cues. Debney comments, “Having started my career with HOCUS POCUS 1, what a wonderful bookend to have just completed HOCUS POCUS 2. To re-explore the wonderful world of our beloved witches has been an absolute joy.” The digital soundtrack is now available from these links.
Milan Records/Sony Masterworks have released the soundtrack for REBEL, the new feature film by Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah (BAD BOYS FOR LIFE, MS. MARVEL). After BLACK & GANGSTA, the two directors once again worked together with the talented composer Hannes De Maeyer (PROFESSOR T, TORPEDO). The drama thriller follows a 13-year-old Moroccan teenager searching for his identity after his father’s death while his mother tries to keep him away from becoming a gangster. All music was composed by De Maeyer, whose compositions infused with Oriental accents are real odes to the travels of the protagonists between Belgium and Syria and are even taken to the next level by the wonderful voice of Moroccan artist Oum on the titles “Lullaby” and “Leila’s Journey.” In addition to De Maeyer’s score, songs were co-composed by Oum & Aboubakr Bensaihi. The album is available at these links
Emmy-winning and Grammy-nominated composer Jeff Russo (TV’s STAR TREK: PICARD, FARGO, THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY) has composed the music for THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH. Lakeshore has released the Original Series digital soundtrack; the new album is the companion to The Man Who Fell to Earth: Themes and Sketches album that was released on June 10 (see news and watch trailer here). The SHOWTIME drama series is inspired by the Walter Tevis novel of the same name and the iconic David Bowie film; it follows a new alien character (Ejiofor) who arrives on Earth at a turning point in human evolution and must confront his own past to determine our future. Harris plays Justin Falls, a brilliant scientist and engineer who must conquer her own demons in the race to save two worlds. Says Russo: “The performances in THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, coupled with such an engaging and emotional story, made writing this score incredibly thrilling. I really got to open up melodically and also have so much fun with it.”
Digital album purchase link. Watch the series trailer #2:
Klaatu Records presents the score for DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW 2, the sequel to the 1981 cult classic horror film. The score is by up and coming composer Joe Stockton. In the film, a dark terror lies just below the surface of the small-town Chris Rhymer and her young son Jeremy have settled in. One day while looking for Jeremy, she comes upon a weathered old scarecrow, and realizing that is only an inert effigy, she tells it her secret for being there. Now suddenly after forty years, a dark terror stalks the cornfields. Is it on a mission of revenge or is it protecting Chris from outside threats? The legend of the Scarecrow continues... For this and other notable horror film soundtracks, see the label’s bandcamp page.
Film composer Maximilian Mathevon has a new electronic music album coming out on October 21 on streaming and digital download. SHOCKWAVE 2044 is the meeting of an electronic music album and an original soundtrack – that of an imaginary film, an unmade fantastic B movie from the 80s. Created with the support of the Centre National de la Musique, Shockwave 2044 is also the meeting of musical styles that are dear to the composer: the retro electronics of the 80s (the soundtracks of John Carpenter, those of Harold Faltermeyer, Brad Fiedel, Giorgio Moroder, the music of Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Jean-Michel Jarre), contemporary sound design and film music (Hans Zimmer...), and orchestral film music (Michael Giacchino, Elliot Goldenthal). “These musical styles inspired the sound palette that I used: the vintage sonorities of analog synths from the 80s, those, modern and evolutionary, specific to contemporary sound design and orchestral samples (strings, brass and voices),” said the composer. The album will be released by Plaza Mayor Company; for info see Mathevon’s website which should have links on the 21st.
THE SOUND OF 007, a feature documentary about James Bond music, premiered exclusively on Prime Video from October 5th in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide. Directed by BIFA and BAFTA-nominee Mat Whitecross (THE KINGS, OASIS: SUPERSONIC, THE ROAD TO GUANTÁNAMO), the feature documentary pulls back the curtain on the remarkable history of six decades of James Bond music, taking viewers on a journey from Sean Connery’s DR. NO through to Daniel Craig’s final outing in NO TIME TO DIE – and from Malcolm Arnold/John Barry to Hans Zimmer. The film charts the incredible history of the music, enthralling true tales behind the tunes and famous faces who have recorded some of the most beloved soundtracks in cinema; the doc is now available on Prime Video.
“If the camera is predatory, then the culture is predatory.” BRAINWASHED: SEX – CAMERA – POWER investigates the politics of cinematic shot design, and how this meta-level of filmmaking intersects with the twin epidemics of sexual abuse/assault and employment discrimination against women. In this eye-opening documentary, using clips from hundreds of movies we all know and love – from METROPOLIS and VERTIGO to PULP FICTION and LOST IN TRANSLATION – director Nina Menkes convincingly makes the argument that shot design is gendered, showing how these not-so-subtle embedded messages affect and intersect with the twin epidemics of sexual abuse and assault, as well as employment discrimination against women in the film industry. The doc features interviews with an all-star cast of women and non-binary industry professionals including Julie Dash, Penelope Spheeris, Charlyne Yi, Joey Soloway, Catherine Hardwicke, Eliza Hittman, and Rosanna Arquette. The result is an electrifying call-to-action that will fundamentally change the way you see, and watch, movies. Sharon Farber has scored the film. Watch the trailer:
The documentary feature THE LETTER: A MESSAGE FOR OUR EARTH is produced by Off The Fence, the Academy Award-winning production company behind MY OCTOPUS TEACHER, in co-production with the Laudato Si’ Movement – a global Catholic climate change organization – and YouTube Originals. It is directed by Emmy-winning director Nicolas Brown with an original music score by RTS-winning composer William Goodchild. The movie is about climate change, but it’s also about the power of human connection and compassion in the context of suffering. It brings a deeply personal perspective to a global problem of extreme magnitude, and is extraordinarily moving. The score is performed by the Budapest Art Orchestra conducted by Péter Pejtsik. The world premiere of THE LETTER took place in the Vatican’s Synod Hall, Rome on October 4th, 2022. The film is also released on YouTube Originals and is available worldwide on this platform for viewers to stream without a paywall – see here. For more details, see https://lnkd.in/epzwK8gq
Death Waltz Records announces the vinyl soundtrack of the horror hit SMILE. Rose Cotter (SCREAM: THE TV SERIES) stars as a psychiatrist who is shocked when a patient commits suicide in front of her. Haunted by the incident, she begins to experience startling and horrific occurrences that she cannot explain, and soon discovers the only way to save herself may be to delve into her traumatic past. But how do you defeat something that others say doesn’t exist? SMILE is graced with a unique and terrifying score by Chilean-Canadian composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer (UTOPIA, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS), who brings his acclaimed mysterious and otherworldly style to provide a fearsome musical underscore for Rose’s frightening journey. “The score is full of dreamy synth tones and ethereal drones, lulling you into a false sense of security before unleashing a wall of piercing metallic tones stabbing your eardrums and psyche. Vibrating and rumbling whalesong-like colors make you feel that you’re being dragged onto a new plane of existence, and all you can do is ride the wave – and remember to SMILE” -Charlie Brigden. With a disc pressed on 2x 140 Gram Pearly white vinyl, SMILE is housed inside a single pocket die-cut sleeve that features artwork by Matt Ryan Tobin. A numbered edition of 1000. Also available on 2x 140 Gram eco vinyl. See Mondo to pre-order or purchase.
Randall D. Larson was for many years publisher of CinemaScore: The Film Music Journal, senior editor for Soundtrack Magazine, and a film music columnist for Cinefantastique magazine. A specialist on horror film music, he is the author of Musique Fantastique: 100+ Years of Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror Film Music and Music from the House of Hammer. He currently writes articles on film music and sf/horror cinema, and has written liner notes more than 300 soundtrack CDs. He can be contacted via https://musiquefantastique.com/ or follow Musique Fantastique on Facebook.