Director Alex Lehmann learned a lot from his composer about how to use music in his film, but he also gained some knowledge about working together: "You can squash amazing collaborations just by being afraid."
No Film School sat down with Lehman and composer Crystal Grooms Mangano at SXSW 2016 to talk about their collaboration on the soundtrack of Lehman's feature documentary Asperger's Are Us. The film, picked up by Netflix after the SXSW screenings, follows a group of friends who deal with their own Asperger's through stand-up comedy. In our podcast, the pair humorously and candidly describe their collaborative process, how a composer can elevate your film with music, and how to walk the fine line between laughing with the main characters and not at them. And we get to listen to a few pieces from the film's original soundtrack, too!
I had heard what they were using for the temp[orary soundtrack], so I knew what they were liking and leaning to initially…but eventually I turned off the temp and just tried to capture the energy of the troupe.
One of the trickiest things is to find that line between 'make it fun and wacky and silly,' but NEVER make it feel like we’re making fun of or laughing at them.
You're so desperate for it to be the final result but you are a work in progress....Your shit doesn't have to be perfect in progress. Don't shut anybody down. Because they might bring you that next great freaking idea that makes your thing so much better.
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No Film School's coverage of the 2016 SXSW Film Festival is sponsored by SongFreedom.