Film.Music.Media: Podcast
Tom Holkenborg (Composer: Army Of The Dead | Justice League)

Tom Holkenborg (Composer: Army Of The Dead | Justice League)

May 13, 2021

Tom Holkenborg has proved his versatility across many genres, and his most recent projects showcase his abilities to craft narratives from big action set pieces down to nuanced emotional character arcs. While Tom has been a guest on Film.Music.Media in the past, this is our first All Access and we take the time to dive into Army Of The Dead, Zack Snyder’s Justice League and Godzilla vs. Kong.

Tom takes us through his thoughts and emotions when he finally learned that Zack would be returning to finish his vision of Justice League. Tom tossed out all his initial work and started fresh for Justice League, and he takes us through how exactly he mapped out and structured his approach in tackling this 4-hour epic.

Tom also discusses working with Zack Snyder again for Army Of The Dead and how the film and score may play with expectations and provide some fun surprises for the action-horror zombie heist flick.

We also touch on Godzilla vs. Kong and how Tom’s love for the entirety of the Godzilla franchise helped him shape his own take on the two titular screen monsters. We discuss the trick to scoring massive action fights, creating momentum through music, and how he approached each of them thematically to give unique musical identities.

Tom also discusses where he sees himself currently in his career, and how his curiosity and thirst for knowledge has become almost an addiction that keeps him busy outside of his music career. Tom shares about learning new languages, perfecting a cup of coffee, and working on his culinary skills among many other things that help keep him craving to learn new things. We also chat about how his popular Studio Time series got started, and why he dedicates tons of time to providing knowledge for free to those who are interested.

Tom’s passion for music, instruments, and gear shine through his warm personality. He’s one of the most creative minds in the industry, and it’s always an honor to have him sit down and share some stories and insight.

Charlie Clouser (Composer: Spiral - From The Book Of Saw)

Charlie Clouser (Composer: Spiral - From The Book Of Saw)

April 29, 2021
Charlie sits down for this All Access interview to discuss his path to a career in music, his techniques, what he learned from his career in music before composing, and of course we explore some of Charlie’s scores including his most recent one for Spiral: From The Book Of Saw.
 
Charlie discusses his early childhood and how he ended up on the music path, including his days as part of Nine Inch Nails and working with other artists. We look at Charlie’s first foray into scoring for visual media with the TV series Fastlane. Charlie then tells the story of how he got the job to score the first Saw film.
 
We discuss the evolution of the Saw franchise and what it’s like being one of the only people to have worked on all 9 films, and how to play within a horror franchise’s formula. Charlie talks about working with the various directors who came into the franchise and how he approached the industrial sound that the films needed. We also discuss how Spiral is branching away from the formula and how it required a different approach with the music.
 
We tackle topics like scoring against sound effects, finding the right tones and atmosphere, working with directors, scoring television, and where he thinks the entertainment industry is heading towards during these times of change.
 
Charlie is one of the most fun and insightful people to have a chat with, and his ability to wear many hats has proved to make him a versatile storytelling force.
 
A Film.Music.Media Interview | Produced & Presented by Kaya Savas
Howard Shore (Composer: Funny Boy)

Howard Shore (Composer: Funny Boy)

February 25, 2021

Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy-winning composer Howard Shore joins us for a short chat about his new score to the film Funny Boy. Directed by Deepa Mehta, Funny Boy is a character-focused coming-of-age story set amongst the backdrop of the Sri Lanken Civil War.

Howard talks about how he got involved with the film, and how he took a light approach to the score to make sure the music worked with the picture. Howard discusses working with director Deepa Mehta, he goes over how the film was spotted, and he talks about the thematic structure of the score. Funny Boy is currently streaming on Netflix at the time of this interview. Howard also talks about some of the projects he has coming up on the horizon.

We end our chat with one of the most pressing questions that Howard needed to answer: Who would win in a band battle, Howard Shore And His All-Nurse Band or Howard Shore And His All-Bee Band?

*Due to Howard's busy schedule we only had time to discuss his most recent score.

A Film.Music.Media Interview | Produced & Presented by Kaya Savas 

Anthony Willis (Composer: Promising Young Woman)

Anthony Willis (Composer: Promising Young Woman)

February 2, 2021
Composer Anthony Willis joins us for a special All Access in giving an in-depth and very authentic look at what it's like to be a young composer in Hollywood. Anthony has been a go-to talent for many composers such as Henry Jackman, John Powell, Harry Gregson-Williams and many others where he has served as an additional composer and various other titles as part of music teams for the industry's top talents.
 
He recently scored the acclaimed Promising Young Woman starring Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Adam Brody, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge and many others. The film is written and directed by the talented and versatile Emerald Fennell who is making her feature debut.
 
In this All Access Anthony shares his story of how he discovered music, pursued it while growing up in the UK, and made the leap to come study it here in Los Angeles. Get to hear about all the events that led Anthony to meet composers like Harry Gregson-Williams, Henry Jackman and John Powell. Anthony's reflections serve as a wonderful bounty of information for any young composer wondering how to get their foot into the industry.
 
We also dive deep into Anthony's score to Promising Young Woman, and how he approached the film which aims to blur genre lines between thriller, drama, and black comedy. We discuss how he balanced his score with the song choices in the film and how writer/director Fennell's love for the Brittney Spears song "Toxic" led to Anthony doing a haunting orchestral cover of the song for the film (also featured in the trailer).
 
Anthony is an immense talent who has been working and learning under some of today's top composers, and with Promising Young Woman has showcased a heap of promising talent of his own.
 
Due to the pandemic, Promising Young Woman is now available to rent digitally with "Theater At Home".
 
A Film.Music.Media Interview | Produced & Presented by Kaya Savas
Geoff Zanelli (Composer: Fatale)

Geoff Zanelli (Composer: Fatale)

December 21, 2020

Emmy-winning composer Geoff Zanelli joins us for another quarantine All Access as we catch up with Geoff and talk about his newest scores to Fatale starring Hillary Swank and Michael Ealy as well as You Should Have Left starring Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried

It’s been a while since Geoff was a guest on All Access so we catch up on some of the scores he’s written since then including Christopher Robin, Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil, and more!

Geoff discuss many other topics including overcoming self-doubt, building relationships with directors like Deon Taylor and David Koepp, breaking down the psychology of music and much more!

A Film.Music.Media Interview | Produced & Presented by Kaya Savas

*Apologies, Zoom accidentally defaulted back to the microphone on Kaya’s AirPods at the start of the call.

Henry Jackman (Composer: Mosul | The Comey Rule)

Henry Jackman (Composer: Mosul | The Comey Rule)

December 11, 2020

Composer Henry Jackman joins us once again for another All Access as we chat and discuss about a bunch of projects that have come out since the last time Henry was on All Access. We discuss scores such as Detective Pikachu, 21 Bridges, Jumanji: The Next Level, Extraction and more!

We dive deep into two of Henry’s most recent scores, which are Mosul and The Comey Rule. Henry talks about scoring a foreign language film that was written and directed by an American, as well as what enticed him to score the first dramatization of Donald Trump’s presidency. We discuss the balance you have to have when dealing with real-life events, and how tricky political dramas can be to score.

As usual, we branch into a multitude of other topics with Henry who always has so much great insight. You can check out Mosul on Netflix right now and catch The Comey Rule on Showtime.

A Film.Music.Media Interview | Produced & Presented by Kaya Savas

The Newton Brothers (Composers: The Haunting Of Bly Manor | Doctor Sleep)

The Newton Brothers (Composers: The Haunting Of Bly Manor | Doctor Sleep)

October 25, 2020

The Newton Brothers may not be related by blood, but their shared musical passion and skills that compliment one another led them to form an incredible friendship and creative partnership.

Andy Grush and Taylor Newton Stewart join in for this virtual All Access where we dive deep into their careers, their approach to scoring films as a duo, how they work with directors, where their inspirations come from, and we look at many of the collaborations they’ve had with director Mike Flanagan.

Andy and Taylor talk about their work with director Mike Flanagan, including the incredible Doctor Sleep which was a follow up to The Shining. We discuss how the Kubrick estate let them take a look at much of the material that was rejected from Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind-Tourre in the original The Shining. Plus how they approached scoring the film in their own unique voices.

We also dive into the “Haunting” anthology series, and compare and contrast The Haunting Of Hill House and The Haunting Of Bly Manor. Hear Andy and Taylor discuss how they wanted to connect the two series through recurring themes and motifs, and how certain themes aren’t necessarily attached to any particular character. We break down how to appreciate and recognize many of the archetypes and formulas of the horror genre so that you can approach it in your own unique way.

Andy and Taylor are two fantastic talents who have proven their versatility in a wide spectrum of genres, and with their partnership with Flanagan have proven to hone their abilities to craft emotionally deep scores in a genre that doesn’t see that approach too often.

A Film.Music.Media Interview | Produced & Presented by Kaya Savas

Rachel Portman (Composer: ask the river)

Rachel Portman (Composer: ask the river)

July 8, 2020

Oscar-winning composer Rachel Portman is one of the most prolific composers working today. Her amazing filmography spans so many different genres with amazing filmmakers with films like Emma, The Cider House Rules, Hart's War, Chocolat, Oliver Twist, The Joy Luck Club and many many more.

Rachel discusses her path to becoming a composer, and how she decided to stay in the UK and build her life and career there. We deep dive into her writing process, and she talks about where the first note typically comes from. We also discuss what traits she loves in directors that make her job a lot easier, and how she's gotten to work with some amazing directors.

We also explore her new album, ask the river. Rachel composed this instrumental album over a year as a way to really get in touch with the natural world around us. It's a beautiful album experience that allowed her to write freely away from picture for something that's truly personal. Rachel also performs a piece from the album on her piano.

Rachel Portman's storytelling abilities with music are truly astounding. She has managed to carve her own unique path with her career, which has made her one of the most respected and admired composers in the field. Her score to Emma also made her the first female composer to ever win an Academy Award. It was a true pleasure having Rachel Portman on this episode of All Access.

A Film.Music.Media Interview | Produced & Presented by Kaya Savas

Queenie Li (Music Production Coordinator: Bad Boys For Life | Mission Impossible: Fallout)

Queenie Li (Music Production Coordinator: Bad Boys For Life | Mission Impossible: Fallout)

May 30, 2020
Filmmaking and visual storytelling overall are a team effort, and to truly understand the process it's important to shine the light on some of the amazingly talented people working behind the scenes. For this interview we have the pleasure of being joined by the talented Queenie Li.
 
Queenie is a Music Production Coordinator who has been working with composer Lorne Balfe over the past few years. Queenie is an integral part of Lorne's music team, and she has worked on everything from small dramas to some of the biggest blockbusters of the year. Take a unique inside look of what it's like to work with one of the most in-demand composers working today.
 
Queenie talks about how she applied for an internship at Remote Control Productions, which led to her meeting Lorne. We discuss what her responsibilities are, and what she's doing at every stage of the scoring process working alongside Lorne.
 
Queenie shares how Lorne has become more than a boss, but a friend and mentor who has helped her learn the ropes of the industry. We talk about some invaluable lessons that can only be learned by diving in and overcoming nerves. Queenie also shares some of the skills and programs that anyone looking to work in this industry should master.
 
Queenie is an incredibly talented and hard-working industry professional whose work is integral to how production moves forward during the scoring process. It was an absolute pleasure to gain her insight and hear her perspective on what it's like working in this industry.
 
A Film.Music.Media Interview | Produced & Presented by Kaya Savas
 
 
Rebecca Sugar (Creator: Steven Universe)

Rebecca Sugar (Creator: Steven Universe)

March 1, 2020

Rebecca Sugar helped define a generation with her groundbreaking series, Steven Universe. For this All Access we welcome the creative mind behind the world of Steven Universe as she shares her story of growing up in suburban Maryland, her love of animation and music, and how she landed at Cartoon Network Studios where she ultimately pitched the idea for Steven Universe.

For this All Access we sit with Rebecca as she talks about what her initial dreams and aspirations were when she was young, and show she discovered animation. She shares stories of going to school, and how she was hired at Cartoon Network Studios where she was part of the crew for Adventure Time. We talk about how Steven Universe started at the ground level, and how the series has evolved over the seasons. Rebecca also shares the process of creating the ambitious Steven Universe: The Movie, including an in-depth look at her songwriting process and mapping out the songs in the movie. Rebecca also talks about working with composers Aivi & Surasshu on the series as well as on the movie. She talks about what she loved about their sound, and how their score to Steven Universe brings the world to life.

Other topics that we discuss include being open and vulnerable in storytelling, overcoming the pressure of putting yourself out there in the world, what themes and ideas she wanted Steven Universe to cover, working with her entire production team and how the team became a family, the overall animation process, and so much more.

Rebecca's skills as an artist, writer, director, producer, musician, singer and songwriter all make her one of the most talented storytellers working today. She wears many hats, but also loves the collaborative process of animation. We are thrilled to have Rebecca on this episode of All Access.

You can catch Steven Universe: Future on Cartoon Network, new episodes begin airing on March 6th, 2020.

A Film.Music.Media Interview | Produced & Presented by Kaya Savas

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