Getting into SXSW is no small feat, but winning the Narrative Feature and Audience awards? That's an even rarer accomplishment.

Well, Bob Trevino Likes It actually did just that.

And a lot of it has to do with the music inside the movie, and how it sets the tone of this dramedy.

Composer Jacques Brautbar did the music for the film, and it was my pleasure sitting down with him to talk about the movie and his career.

Check out the interview below.

Editor's note: the following interview is edited for length and clarity.

Composer Jacques Brautbar

No Film School: Hi Jacques, I’m curious to know more about how you got involved with your most recent project, Tracie Laymon's Bob Trevino Likes It, which just premiered at SXSW.

Jacques Brautbar: Hello, and thank you for having me! I was suggested to director Tracie Laymon by Sean Mullin, one of the producers. He and I worked together recently on his documentary, It Ain’t Over, and on his recommendation, Tracie and I met for coffee. At the meeting we connected instantly, sharing about our lives as they related to the script, and discussing our creative visions for the project.

NFS: What was the experience like to attend the premiere and have this project debut at SXSW?

Jacques Brautbar: The experience at SXSW was incredible. As a composer, my involvement in the film is basically a solitary experience, and I mostly dealt with Tracie and our editor Anisha. But at the festival, I got to meet and spend time with the whole team and there was a real sense of family.

The actual premiere was totally exciting. The energy in the sold out crowd was palpable and that was really special. Again, my work is done mostly alone, so it was a real pleasure to watch the film with an audience; Laugh with them. Cry with them. It was like experiencing the film for the first time.

NFS: I would love to know more about your composition work on Bob Trevino. What or who were some of your creative inspirations that went into the music?

Jacques Brautbar: For the score I looked to Beach Boys’ album Pet Sounds for inspiration. There’s an innocence to that record that I wanted to connect to Lily and Bob’s relationship. I didn’t use that ensemble, or use any one song as reference, but I definitely was thinking “what would Brian do” hahah.

NFS: Can you tell us more about what the music is working to convey in Bob Trevino Likes It? In telling the story of Lily and Bob Trevino (played by Barbie Ferreira and John Leguizamo respectively), what were some of your musical goals or specific nuances you wanted to include?

Jacques Brautbar: It was really important to Tracie and I that the music conveyed the excitement of their new relationship, and the innocence of Lily and Bob’s friendship. We wanted to make sure the story of their relationship was not romantic, but that of a chosen family.

NFS: You previously worked on the documentary To End All War: Oppenheimer & the Atomic Bomb, first off– I’d like to know more about the project and your composition approach for it.

Jacques Brautbar: I was brought onto this project by composer Anna Drubich. She and I collaborate regularly and she asked me to join on the project. She and I came up with a language that mirrored the intensity of the history of the A-Bomb, combining synths and acoustic sounds.

NFS: As a follow-up to that question, how does your creative process and approach differ between music for documentary versus scripted projects, if at all?

Jacques Brautbar: I would say that music for documentaries does a lot less emotional work and needs to stay out of the way of the information. I think of documentary score like songs—the dialogue is the lyrics and my music is there as a bed, a support. To me, there is more room for emotional expression in narrative films. I don’t think either is “better” than the other, either. I love working on documentaries and narrative alike. They each offer different challenges and solutions that are fulfilling to work on.

NFS: Your background is fascinating, having got your start with the indie rock band Phantom Planet. Could you talk to us about your experience as a touring musician and how that prepared you for your work as a composer?

Jacques Brautbar: Thank you! I’d say, being a touring musician and working as a composer are about as opposite in process and lifestyle as you can get! However, one thing being in a band has prepared me for is being part of a team. As a composer, though I do a lot of the work alone, I am still a part of a team. I am on team “Bob Trevino” for example, working with Tracie, and our editor Anisha. Or working with my orchestrator, mixer, and score producer. Being team-minded is essential.

NFS: You also worked as a songwriter and producer with Sony Music. How did your collaborations with so many iconic artists and brands prepare you to collaborate with directors while scoring their films?

Jacques Brautbar: To echo my last answer, being a composer is a collaborative effort and I believe working with so many artists prepared me for that. I am in service of the film, helping the filmmakers realize their vision—it’s not the Jacques Brautbar solo project.

NFS: Finally, you also worked on a fan-favorite documentary of the Sundance festival, Skywalkers: A Love Story, that is coming to Netflix later this year. Can we get any hints as to what the music might be like for that film?

Jacques Brautbar: I worked closely with director Jeff Zimablist on this score. Together we shaped a sound palette that really compliments the excitement, and danger of scaling these super structures while supporting the couple’s growing love story. It is a lot of fun!