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score-film-music-documentary-mainPhoto Credit: Epicleff Media

Star Wars. American Beauty. The Godfather. Frozen.

What comes to mind when you think of these movies? The characters, the setting, the plot?

As we remember movies, we have these visual flashes from when we saw them in theaters or at home, with friends and family, on dates and girls' nights out. With those memories come feelings. Feelings brought on by the acting, the story, and arguably, the music.

The music - the score of the film - can be the defining factor of what a scene is to us, what it means to us, and how it is remembered by us. And that is the essence of a new and insightful feature-length documentary aptly titled Score.

The doc will launch a Kickstarter on February 15th with funds raised going toward final production costs. Supporters will be able to pre-order the film, with their contributions covering the cost of the production. Backers who pledge more could be rewarded with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have their own musical motif written by a Hollywood composer, or a trip to Los Angeles to attend the premiere.

WomensForum spoke with the creative minds behind the project, director and executive producer Matt Schrader and executive producer and writer Trevor Thompson, to get a sneak peak at what movie, music and pop culture lovers alike can expect.

The inspiration for the documentary came with the realization that much attention to film has been the writing, directing and acting. But what about music?

Music is "what establishes the picture’s mood," Thomspon said. "But exploration of movie scores is maybe on the features section of a DVD. We’re giving a full 90 minutes to explore the more in-depth creative process behind it."

Schrader noted that "everyone has a favorite theme song. Music for movies is part of our everyday life in the modern world. What we wanted to do is learn about how these themes are thought up, created from scratch and crafted."

Score follows the struggles and successes behind creating a modern soundtrack from scratch, and notable faces (and sounds) from the film music world will be seen including: Danny Elfman (The Nightmare Before Christmas), Christophe Beck (Frozen), Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings), and John Debney (The Passion of the Christ).

The doc, which has a release date slated for November 2015, will reveal some unique aspects of the film music world.


Christophe Beck talks composing for Frozen (Photo Credit: Epicleff Media)

Are you a fan of Frozen (who isn’t at this point)? Be prepared to hear how different, and much more intense, the score could have sounded.

Ever wondered how much time it takes to make those iconic scores? Score will explore the process, often a grueling one, that can last two to three months and end up being a sound remembered for decades and beyond.

Or if you think Steven Spielberg having directed (soon to be) 52 films is a big deal? His music partner-in-crime John Williams has over 148 composer credits. Tim Burton, who has 30 director credits, is nowhere near his compadre Danny Elfman’s 100 composer credits.


Marco Beltrami, composer for The Hurt Locker, Scream, and 3:10 to Yuma
(Photo Credit: Epicleff Media)

Schrader and Thompson said it is incredible how much work can be done in a composer’s lifetime compared to the directors they team with. Even more incredible is how hard they have to work to get each and every one of those credits.

"These composers pour their heart into these scores," Schrader said. "It is not so much intellectual as it comes from an emotional place… There is so much effort that goes into crafting a score and its tough to do variations. You are looking for the perfect sound for that perfect moment to build on the emotion."

It’s an emotion that can be felt in movie theaters, on laptops and on mobile music devices around the world. This global awareness is perhaps one of the most inspiring aspects of film scores the two came across during the project.

"When you start to go around the world, people are going to know that score," Thompson said. "There are people who have rarely seen movies or speak the language, but they know the score."

Schrader added, "Its as international as music gets. Plus the amount of time and passion that goes into a movie score? You can feel what is happening. These composers are communicating with the world with the notes they choose. You wouldn’t realize how powerful it is until you see it in action. This transcends language… this is something people in China, India, Mexico... they all understand it's a shared experience.”

You can follow the journey for the documentary on Facebook and watch the first video promo below! 

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