“Enemy,” “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” “Simon Killer,” “The One I Love,” “5 To 7” — even if you don’t know the names Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans, you’ve undoubtedly heard the work of the very prolific composing duo. This year alone they’ve had compositions in three Sundance films (“Last Days In The Desert,” “Nasty Baby,” “The Wolfpack“) and now comes the Tribeca Film Festival where you’ll hear even more from them in “The Driftless Area” and “Franny.” And today, we’ve got an exclusive listen to “Franny’s Theme” from the latter picture.
Written and directed by Andrew Renzi, and starring Richard Gere, Dakota Fanning, Theo James, Clarke Peters, Cheryl Hines, and Dylan Baker, the drama follows a rich eccentric man who worms his way into the lives of a deceased friend’s young daughter and her new husband. And the theme music certainly evokes a drama with more than a few layers at play. We recently talked with the composers via email about working on “Franny” and juggling multiple projects at the same time.
How did “Franny” cross your desk?
We have known Andrew Renzi since he produced the first film we ever scored, “Two Gates Of Sleep.” Since then we have been great friends and continued to work together scoring his other films “The Fort,” “Karaoke,” and “Fishtail.”
What did you and director Andrew Renzi discuss in terms of the musical approach?
Andrew really wanted a thematic, iconic score, with a more classical style of film composing. The beautiful, sweeping cinematography needed an equally sweeping orchestral and epic score without being too conventional and impersonal. We also wanted to compliment the many sides of Franny as a character, every cue has layers of strings that convey both his darkness and light.
When working on multiple projects at once, how do you make sure each film gets your full attention?
Well, it helps that there are two of us! The way we work is constantly evolving, we both thrive on being busy and under pressure. We tend to have short term, focused sessions on each film, often writing multiple cues in just a couple of days, then taking a step back for a few days and working on something else.
What inspirations did you bring to “Franny”?
We love Alexandre Desplat’s score for “Birth,” as did Andrew. Aside from incredible orchestration, it’s full of strong melodies which seem to tug you in all different directions at once. We also listened to the “Moneyball” soundtrack by Mychael Danna, which has such a perfectly simple, subtle, emotional landscape.
Was there anything that surprised you in the final music score?
“Franny” was a much more classic, melodic and lush score than usual for us. We had written for the orchestra a few times before but we’re still eagerly dipping our toes in that world. It’s pretty spectacular when things start coming together on this orchestral scale. We were very happy and quite surprised with how cohesive the score is — it sounds kind of like a suite of music as opposed to a bunch of film cues.
“Franny” will have its first screening at Tribeca on Friday, April 17th. Take a listen below.