The documentary film “Was I Next? The Sean Cribbin Story” finished production last year, and went on the international film festival circuit, was awarded over 100 awards from film festivals all over the world, and was picked up for distribution, so keep your eyes peeled on Netflix or your nearest theatre!
The soundtrack for the film was written by yours truly, and the film received several “Best Original Score” awards among the others, and I’m incredibly honoured.
Check out the film’s website at wasinext.com for all kinds of interesting information about the film, including a “Music” page, which contains an interview with me about the process of scoring documentaries, and some great samples of the music used in the film.
Here’s the third instalment of my project to “re-imagine” some of my favourite movie scenes, with my own music instead of the original score. My first two have gotten quite a few very positive and constructive comments, and I’m pleased that people have taken the time to listen and give me such wonderful feedback! Thanks so much!
For my third outing, I decided I wanted to tackle something non-Western, to see how I would fare with some musical idioms that I wasn’t familiar with. It’s a task that’s handed to many a film score composer when the film takes place in an exotic locale. And to do it right, without “patronizing” the music and culture of the destination, is really quite difficult. But where to go? Well, I’ve always loved the sound of the Indonesian Gamelan … the shimmering, wonderfully out of tune quality that they build into the instruments purposefully, the huge wall of sound that 30 people banging on metal bells and gongs produces, and the intimidatingly complex circular playing structure that, as it turns out, is unique to gamelan composition. OK, there was the challenge, now, what movie? Well, in a twist of fate, after doing “Dead Poets Society” for my first film, I started reacquainting myself with my “Peter Weir Collection”, coming to the realization again (as I had years ago) that the talented Australian Filmmaker was (and is), at least as far as I was concerned, somewhere very close the pinnacle of filmmaking genius. His films are sprawling and gorgeous, a visual feast, made all the more luxurious because he has a slow and steady hand on the camera, letting shots linger so little details catch your eye. He’s also a master of the “… and the music swells …” moment that so few directors get right … a wee bit too over the top and it’s ham-handed, but not quite enough and it’s not the emotional bombshell that it could be … Mr. Weir has utterly perfected that balancing act (which, of course, relies just as heavily on the music swelling like it should, as on the deft visuals) – which is probably why after only 3 attempts, I’ve already done 2 Peter Weir films – he knows how to use film music in a very powerful way!
Continuing on with the ReSCORE project, I thought for my second time out, I would tackle something that is (a) a little more recent, and (b) is scored by one of my heroes, Hans Zimmer. Zimmer has written a truly staggering number of film scores, and while he receives a bit of flak for reusing ideas between projects, I’ve found that when he’s presented with an interesting challenge, he invariably comes up with highly original music that adds a great deal to the film. One such challenge was the score for “Sherlock Holmes” – after writing a jangly, highly recognizable theme for the first Guy Ritchie film, and populating that score with wild fiddle playing and broken pianos, he was presented with the unenviable task of creating something new, but sort-of the same, for the second film, “Sherlock Holmes – A Game of Shadows”.
So, at the urging of a film director friend of mine, I’ve started a personal project that I’m calling “ReSCORE” … the purpose of the project is to take some of my favourite movie scenes, particularly ones where I thought music was particularly effectively used, and compose my own music for the scene. It is my hope that my “rescored” version will be at least as good as the original. I’ll leave that judgement call up to you, of course! Given that I’m just breaking into the film scoring business, my director friend feels that this effort will act as a sort of “demo reel” of the kind of work I’m capable of. I just think it’s a really cool way to hone my craft! I’ll be doing a number of these scenes over time, and will post them here as I complete them.
I’m really jazzed about this first one – the film is Peter Weir’s wonderful “Dead Poets Society”, the film where the world learned that Robin Williams wasn’t just a zany comedian, but could really act, as well.