Scoring The Last Tenant

I meant to post last night, but my body had other ideas and decided that 10pm was the optimal time to crash.  My brain wasn’t ready, but I gave in.  

After I scored Broken Hearts Club, a romantic comedy, I got an email from Mike Halper of Ascentia Films asking if I was interested in scoring his horror film The Last Tenant.  I had come off 2 horror films before BHC, and was jonesing for another one.  He sent me a rough cut and I realized right away that TLT was great: serial killer, screaming victims, blood, creepy violence.  

There was a short window to get the film scored, about a week.  There were festival submissions and a premiere party set and they were hoping to have the score finished in time.  I’d recently upgraded my library to the EastWest Platinum Orchestra and it was the perfect opportunity to test out some of the string effects on a horror film.  

The basis around the score was to provide a creepy, ambient sound to the background, with intense drums and strings during the murders.  The EWQL library was incredibly easy to work with, the first thing I noticed was that the strings needed very little reverb or EQ to make them sound terrific; they were already great out of the box.  

Mike was incredibly detailed in what he wanted and where he wanted it, down to the exact frame where a stinger would hit.  It actually made my job easier, there was less back and forth because we were able to dial things in quickly.  I enjoy working with a director who is detail oriented; it takes the guesswork out of what he/she wants in a score for their film.  Although it’s my music I’m adding to the film, it’s the film that dictates what kind of music I write.  Scoring for film is not a self-indulgent kind of work, you have to let go of the pieces of music you write and be prepared for them to be dissected and torn to shreds.  I work for the director and the producers, and it’s my job to write what they want, not what I think is best.  The creativity is how I interpret their ideas musically and find common ground so that the finished film fits the vision they have.

I remixed cues from TLT yesterday, normally I take bits and pieces from a score and use the best for cues; in the case of TLT the entire score is represented in cues because, frankly, it all kicked ass.  If you go to the Music page of my website (www.robgokeemusic/music.html) you’ll find them on the Supernatural/Horror player.  

As a treat for the blog, I’m posting the cue from the trailer here, and only here, exclusive this weekend.  I wrote it a few weeks after we finished the film (which is up on IMDb and screening in two festivals this month).  Check it out:

The Last Tenant Trailer