Father & Daughter Film Report
1.) How did you come about making music for film?
During SXSW in like 2007 or 2008 a young filmmaker, Juan Carlos Pineiro Escoriaza, saw my band, The Noise Revival Orchestra play and put a song of ours in his film. He and others said my music had a cinematic element to it. I went from writing songs to learning how to write for strings and then orchestra.
2.) What skills are needed in film compositions that are different than commercial or pop music?
Patience. There are so many variables that make a scene come to life so finding space in that scene is essential. Early on I had a tendency to over arrange and show my skill set but I learned the focus is not the music. Often I think when the music doesn’t stick out, that’s a good sign.
4.) How has film music changed since you entered the film industry?
There are a lot more films being made with the continued growth of the indie film pockets around the world so there is more opportunity to get your feet wet and then some. Also, very few directors want that big Hollywood cinematic sound so a lot of “non” trained musicians are called on.
5.) Who are your major influences in music in general?
I grew up really exploring Pet Sounds and London Calling and I still love those records. I really love Brian Wilson as a composer and arranger as well as Mick Jones, especially his work on Rat Patrol from Ft. Bragg, which never saw the light of day! I also really dig the Polish composer Henryk Gorecki and some of Popol Vuh’s early work with Werner Herzog.
6.) What is the future of film composition?
I’m really bad at predicting things but I guess music goes hand in hand with film so I think music will change based on how film changes. You see a lot of “indie-rock” artists being asked to write scores so maybe a mix of orchestra mixed with singer-songwriter?
7.) What do you try to achieve musically in your film compositions?A vibe. I like to think directors that come to me like how I stylize what I create. I focus on sound quite a bit rather than notes.
8.) What advice would you give one entering into film composition?
Record instruments and play around with mic placements on amps and instruments. With plugins and sample beds readily available I think learning how to track to create your unique sound can help set you apart from other composers. Also learn how to play and understand as many instruments as possible. That way you can communicate with players and sometimes even chip in on a session.
9.) What advice would you give yourself
back when you were starting out?
Intern more frequently and earlier. I now know the benefit of learning from those you want to emulate, so nudging myself to not be insecure about interning or even afraid would have been nice.