January 22, 2018
Sundance 2018

How to Build a Score That Raises Your Audience's Expectations [PODCAST]

Your music can be just as effective a tool as your camera. Don't waste it.

Well, here we are, live from Utah and our first interview out of Sundance is for a film called Arizona. Bizarre right? Well, not nearly as bizarre as the film itself.

Set in the midst of the 2009 housing crisis, this darkly comedic story follows Cassie Fowler (played by Rosemary DeWitt), a single mom and struggling realtor whose life goes off the rails when she witnesses a murder. The man who commits the murder (played by Danny McBride) proceeds to take her hostage and she must do her best to escape the grasp of his insanity.

The result is a film that quickly alternates between dark comedy and horror/slasher, which makes sense considering the team behind it will be responsible for the Halloween sequel coming later this year. But how do you toe that line without lessening the effects of either genre?

Director Jonathan Watson has been part of David Gordon Green and McBride's Rough House Pictures since Eastbound and Down, but this is his first shot at the helm of a feature. To enhance that slasher vibe, he employed the talents of composer Joseph Stephens.

In our interview, we talk about how a great score can be used to influence your audience, the typical workflow of audio post-production and how a composer can stand out in the biz.

Listen to the episode by streaming or downloading from the embedded player above, or find it on iTunes here.

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For more, see our ongoing list of coverage of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

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No Film School's podcast and editorial coverage of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival is sponsored by RODE Microphones and Blackmagic Design.     

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