SpectreVision, the genre film production company spearheaded by Elijah Wood along with filmmakers Daniel Noah and Josh C. Waller, is set to unveil “Spectrevision Music: Score Selects,” an innovative new service which allows filmmakers the ability to sample and explore the works of a diverse spectrum of composers.
The news of the new service will be announced this afternoon during a keynote presentation at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas.
In advance of the announcement, Indiewire spoke with Daniel Noah, partner and co-founder of SpectreVision and Tim Husom, President of Spectrevision Music.
They explained that when a filmmaker submits a scene from their film, Spectrevision Music: Score Selects will assemble a focused selection of available composers from their roster of composers as well as artists they don’t represent. Each composer will have an opportunity to craft an original score for that scene for consideration by the filmmakers.
“Everybody wins. The composers are creating music that is specific to the film they’re hoping to engage with, and if they’re chosen, it’s a win, but if they’re not, they’ve still created this amazing film score that they own which they can apply to another film or use to sample,” explained Noah. “For the filmmakers, as a director you’re a kid in a candy store if you don’t have to guess at what this person is going to do. You can actually hear it.”
The roster of composers at Spectrevision Music Management includes Kreng (“Cooties”), Hauschka (“The Boy”), Emmy Award-winning Dustin O’Halloran (“Transparent”), Academy Award-nominated Jóhann Jóhannsson (“The Theory of Everything,” “Sicario”) and others.
Composers represented by Spectrevision Music have already been working on SpectreVision films, but now they’ll broaden their scope to include non-SpectreVision films as well as composers not represented by the company’s music division.
The composers that Spectrevision works with, Noah explained, are “non-traditional for film composition. We’re very immersed in the world or neo-classical and electronic and avant-garde music. Our belief is that film music has largely gotten kind of stuck, and that there are these great masters who really defined the way that music sounds, such as John Williams and Hans Zimmer, who we owe everything to, but there is a kind of unfortunate tendency to replicate those signs.”
He continued: “Our whole premise is that that’s one choice, and a good choice, but maybe sometimes you want to hear entirely different sounds for a film that are new and surprising and unusual. Where are these people? A lot of them are not in the world of film scoring. They’re making studio records, they’re scoring for dance troupes or theater companies, a lot of them are in Europe. It’s introducing these incredibly exciting new talents to the people that hire composers. You get them together and you suddenly have really really progressive sounding films.”
Spectrevision is currently demoing the new service with their new film, “The Greasy Strangler.”
“Several of the composers who are demoing are our clients, several are not, they’re people the director had an eye on and was interested in hearing from,” explained Noah.
Though Husom acknowledged that “there’s sort of a negative spin in the film industry about having composers demo on films,” he said this new service has a different dynamic. “In this situation, it’s just a win-win for both people because the composer gets to create an asset for herself or himself and the director gets a composer where there’s a really good chance it will work and they won’t have to switch anything because they’ve selected out of five or six different people.”
But note that this is not an opportunity for aspiring film composers to get a break. “We’re not going to be accepting random people saying ‘I want to write songs!’ Since we’re super-knowledgable about the type of composers we think directors are looking for depending on what score they want, we reach out to put a team of people together for them,” explained Husom.
Spectrevision composer Kreng, who wrote the score for “Cooties,” Spectrevision’s latest release, and “Camino,” which will premiere at Fantastic Fest, said working with the SpectreVision roster of composers has been inspirational. “It gave me an opportunity to actually become familiar with scoring a film. There’s a big difference between writing for theatre (which I have been doing for over 15 years) and scoring a full feature film,” he said. “Being surrounded by these guys forces me to up my game. I cannot churn out run of the mill material when my colleague is someone like Johann Johannsson. They force me to grow and get better everyday. I don’t look at them as ‘competition’, it’s more an experience of being continuously inspired by the work that surrounds me.”