CS Score interviews Promising Young Woman composer Anthony Willis
Hey, there film score lovers! Welcome to some other edition of CS Score, your house for everything film soundtrack related! Today, we’ve got an excellent interview with Anthony Willis, the author of the Academy Award nominated drama Promising Young Woman . Willis received a BAFTA nomination for his incredible focus on the film and takes enough time to really explore his scoring process.
We also got an opportunity to consult with Gabriel Hays who discussed his focus on the Netflix animated film, Secret Magic Control Agency . Hays also spoke at length concerning the challenges of scoring an animated film, that is something you’ll definitely desire to check out.
Finally, Waxwork Records was kind enough to send us copies of recently released vinyl albums for The Haunting of Hill House and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: THE TRICK of the Ooze .
Let’s do that thing!
RELATED: CS Interview: Tom Holkenborg On His Score for Godzilla vs. Kong!
Back stock CONAN THE BARBARIAN (3CD) https://t.co/YFQ8wlDAdz
– Intrada (@IntradaCDs) March 31, 2021
The entire #GodzillaVsKong soundtrack by @Junkie_XL can be acquired at: https://t.co/cbXZaDTlrB. In theaters and streaming exclusively on @HBOMax* now.
*Available on @HBOMax in america only at no extra cost to subscribers, for a restricted time. pic.twitter.com/MORRHjKdwa
– Godzilla vs. Kong (@GodzillaVsKong) March 31, 2021
THE COURIER (score by Abel @korzeniowski) released today by @LakeshoreRecs: https://t.co/0UTdGDtwlG pic.twitter.com/gf5989Wh08
– Soundtrack.Net (@SoundtrackNet) March 19, 2021
Have a look at a fresh track from the upcoming Concrete Cowboy-Music From the Netflix Film. Composed by Kevin Matley, the understated score highlights solo instruments to supply an emotionally rich and moving backdrop to the father-son drama in regards to a teen caught between a life of crime and his estranged father’s vibrant urban-cowboy subculture. The film is directed by Ricky Staub, stars Idris Elba and Caleb McLaughlin and can release on Netflix on April 2.
Pay attention to “Cole’s Theme” and “You Don’t Need to get Out to cultivate Up”:
The Haunting of Hill House
By The Newton Brothers
As was the case with The Haunting of Bly Manor, Waxwork Records released a sensational vinyl album for Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House, which presents the Newton Brothers’ score in a handsome deluxe package featuring production stills, an 11×11 insert and a sensational layout aesthetic created by Aesthetic Apparatus. Plus, you obtain a “Red Door” marble colored vinyl. What’s never to like?
The score itself, inside our humble opinion, is more powerful than the still excellent, but less focused notably, Haunting of Bly Manor, with strong themes punctuated by a lot of eerie underscore. The primary theme is definitely haunting, but also posesses large amount of emotional undercurrents since it underlines the broken family that serves because the show’s center point through quiet, atmospheric piano (a motif carried over in Bly Manor). And the ultimate tracks that close Hill House are absolutely heartbreaking, and lovely quite.
Have a look at this phenomenal record today!
1. The Haunting Of Hill House (Main Titles)
2. GET BACK
3. Larks and Katydids
5 and darkness. That Night
6. Take Her Down
7. Whatever Walked There, Walked Alone
8. Hill House
9. Go Tomorrow
10. Science Vs. Religion
11. What Did YOU TRULY See
12. The Red Room
13. Missing Things
14. I REALLY BELIEVE You
15. 12:00 a.m.
16. In The Shadow Of Ghosts
17. I WISH TO AWAKEN So Badly
19. Approaching THE HOME
20. Haunted Past
21. You Remember
22. Feel Nothing
23. START OF THE End Movement I
24. START OF THE End Movement II (Tea Party)
25. START OF THE End Movement III
26. START OF THE End Movement IV
27. THE FINISH
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: THE TRICK of the Ooze
By John DuPrez
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II had the herculean task of living around 1990’s surprise blockbuster Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles , which took in a lot more than $200 million at the box office against a $13M production budget. Unfortunately, despite a more impressive budget, and that killer Vanilla Ice song, the sequel didn’t match the hype generated by its predecessor, only took in about $78M worldwide and transpired as something of a missed opportunity.
Honestly, one of the primary disappointments from kids at that time (including myself) was having less Bebop and Rocksteady, who cannot be utilized for … reasons. Instead, both goons were substituted with Tokka and Rahzar, which only put into the film’s poor, B-movie aesthetic. Also, what the hell happened to Corey Feldman, Judith Hoag and Elias Koteas? And just why did the turtles never use their weapons?
Anyways, among the things the sequel did get right was the music, composed by John Du Prez, who also scored the initial film. The musical quality is approximately on par with TMNT , with elegantly written themes intermixed with 90s techno music surprisingly. The score isn’t what you might dub cinematic greatness, nonetheless it certainly has its charms. And if you like the score, you lucked out just!
Waxwork Records has released an new LP presentation of DuPrez’s score, realized for the very first time in virtually any format, packaged with new artwork by TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman. The score itself is fairly short, with most tracks comprising roughly two-three minutes of music, but that is definitely a love letter to the fans and a good little bit of nostalgia for just about any collector to possess.
And yes, Ninja Rap is here now as well.
Have a look at TMNT II today!
1. NY Pizza
2. Main Title
3. Pile of Criminals
4. Shredder Lives
5. Mutant Dandelions
6. Grave Danger
7. TGRI Fight
8. Home Sweet Home
9. Tokka & Rahzar
10. Scrapyard Scrap
11. What Troubles You
12. Master Say HAVE A GREAT TIME
13. ALLOW Games Begin
14. Super Shredder
15. Cowabunga Says EVERYTHING
16. Dark Monsters
17. Ninja Rap (Performed by Vanilla Ice)
Anthony Willis – Promising Young Woman
Composer Anthony Willis has had a running leap in to the Neverland of film scoring, composing music for most of Hollywood’s most beloved productions.
Willis recently earned a BAFTA Awards nomination for his “Original Score” to director/writer Emerald Fennell’s Oscar and Golden Globes nominated revenge thriller Promising Young Woman , starring Carey Bo and Mulligan Burnham, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020.
Upcoming projects include Amin Matalqa’s animated adventure Hump , starring Simon Pegg and Gaten Matarrazo.
Willis’ composer credits include Dreamworks Animation’s Annie Award-winning How exactly to Train your Dragon: Homecoming , starring Jay America  and Baruchel;Ferrera; Universal Pictures’ silent film 4k restoration of What Happened to Jones? , section of Kino Classics’ Reginald Denny Collection; Seasons 6 thru 8 of the gaming sensation, Fortnite ; Michelle Morgan’s Sundance Selection comedy It Happened in L.A. ; Sony Playstation’s BAFTA nominated gaming Knack II ; David Yarovesky’s horror thriller, The Hive , starring Gabriel Basso; and much more.
ComingSoon.net: Congratulations on your own BAFTA nomination! I simply watched Promising Young Woman and thought it had been a fascinating, sad, but absolutely incredible film. And I believe your score is really a key piece to its success.
Anthony Willis: Many thanks very much. After all, you know, Personally i think so lucky to become a section of it. And it’s really, as many people are catching on, virtually director Emerald Fennell’s vision. And I really was, really lucky at that time in order to support her for the reason that, and obviously, so delighted on her behalf and everyone involved to start to see the film go the space that it has, so, a wonderful outcome really.
RELATED: Exclusive Promising Young Woman Behind-the-Scenes Clip
CS: What drew one to this project?
Anthony: Emerald have been searching for a composer, and, at the right time, I really wished to make her feel just like she had her pick of the bunch, since it were. But she very sweetly asked me to view the film and write a demo. She knew a background was had by me in more classic thematic scores. And so, I believe she was thinking, I wonder what Anthony could probably unlock for all of us. You understand, whether, is a theme there? Will there be a central theme for Cassie’s character that may run as a counterpart to the amazing usage of pop songs in the movie? And I believe it started really as just a little experiment. So when I watched the, I was so impressed by it. I was left with this feeling, that was really developed by the incredible character that Emerald wrote, but additionally just this type of vivid portrayal by Carey Mulligan. And this theme image. And then what I realized is that it was a theme for – we also had conversations about how Cassie’s friend Nina could be brought into the story, because, obviously, precisely what happens may be the consequence of her. And what I realized is it needed to be a theme for lost friendship. And that theme is actually a lullaby which are then subverted. So, it’s taking something that in its essence is really quite hopeful and optimistic, it rises, and it repeats, it could be quite sweet, even melancholic; but when subverted then, it can help you portray the trauma. And the theme, dare I say, promises hope. And, but the procedure that I give it, makes it more haunted.
CS: One of my favorite cues of the film is the music that underscores the scene with Cassie and Nina’s mom; and the thing that interests me about that scene is exactly when you cue the music right after Cassie says, “I’m just attempting to fix it. ” If the music had can be found in a bit before, maybe it doesn’t work quite as well. How can you determine when exactly to cue the music? As the moment there is perfection.
Willis: Oh, thank you so much. After all that cue happens to be a favorite of mine. I was suppose we went kind of big or go home. Despite the fact that you’re seeing ultimately what unfolds, it’s a counterpart to a previous scene with Cassie on her laptop and you’re watching really a small – geographically a very small thing happening – but emotionally it’s enormous. And it’s a letting go of this trauma, releasing this trauma. We worked hard really. With film music cues, you truly want them to be mounted on an emotional turning point in the story. That’s something I got really excited about is what’s happening in the film that that should initiate the film in a way that it’s an extension of the narrative? So, that moment was feeling the scene and going just, okay, at what point will there be a turning point?
CS: You’ve composed a handful of indie films and contributed to many animated films, but this is your first large-scale project. What were the challenges you faced?
Willis: I think every film is a challenge. Even the excess music I’ve written through the years, it’s always a challenge to find your way into a project. Of course, as the lead composer, you’re the one responsible for guiding the ship. So, I very much embraced that. And it’s really exciting. It’s really exciting to access do this for a film. But everything’s daunting. I think if a composer isn’t a little bit daunted, they’re not taking the duty seriously enough. Film music must be spontaneous, too. So, if you don’t have that playful, spontaneous, and emotional kind of reaction to your work, I think it’s never going to feel that way to an audience. So, as daunting as these exact things are, you make an effort to just belong to the film, and genuinely have a great time, as well.
CS: Were there any new instruments you ended up using on Promising Young Woman that you hadn’t used before in previous projects?
Willis: Yes, I’d say I’ve never used an organ extensively, which we use quite a lot to underpin a lot of the tension music that supports Cassie in her missions. That’s no instrument that everyone really likes; and it has a very breathy, soulful quality that’s actually not a million miles away from a voice. When it’s very low, it delivers a sense of judgment – of justice being served. In order that was an extremely fun instrument to play with.
CS: How can you develop your themes and your rhythms or motifs? I’ve heard other composers say they’ll be walking in the supermarket and something comes to them. Has that happened to you?
Willis: It’s a really great question. I think that melodically composers tend to have the things that appeal to them when it comes to how they tell a story. So, you have the type of stylistic instinct of the method that you prefer to put notes together, and how you like that through line to develop. So, I think, yeah, lots of it can happen subconsciously while you’re in those situations – you’re on the decision, you’re on a bike ride. For me, for Promising Young Woman , I was quite definitely taking into consideration the movie and I had this feeling from Carey Mulligan’s performance, and this sadness, you know, lost hope. And that sat with me. I didn’t have the theme completely since it is currently. That probably took each day or two ahead into focus. But I definitely think you’re amiss as a composer never to focus on those little moments where your brain is on another thing, and If something pops in your mind, monitoring it.
Some individuals used to state, ‘Oh, in the event that you don’t remember it later than it wasn’t worthwhile.’ I’m uncertain I believe for the reason that. It will get back to you if it’s really a thing that the human brain is subconsciously marinating over. But, yeah, it’s always a scary process, because it’s this type of defining one. You’ve set so a lot of things in motion. So, I’m always just a little tentative with the theory, and in that brief moment, it’s always a little fragile – the thought of, ‘Oh, well, easily turn the wrong manner, I’ll blind myself from seeing what this may have already been.’ But it’s an excellent question, since it is this abstract thing.
Obviously, I believe there’s qualities in the theme that’ll be important, based on its narrative and application – and also apply the proper sort of harmony. I love to write themes they imply an obvious harmony, but they’re harmonically malleable also, that is the case of Cassie’s theme in Promising Young Woman . Actually, her theme is actually introduced as a thriller theme, and ultimately becomes an extremely romantic story book theme. It’s even yet in that cue that you mentioned, when Cassie was speaking with Nina’s mom. I love to have cells that I could manipulate and do various things with. So, it’s really wonderful to accomplish a thing that John Powell, who’s been an incredible mentor if you ask me, and taught me that you would like in order to have a theme and manipulate into different places.
CS: Do you be worried about over scoring a film?
Willis: It certainly depends upon what the director’s drawing from. And I believe that with Promising Young Woman , you need the audience to essentially have the music; and want to buy to improve the the story. And in in some instances, plus some films, such as, How exactly to Train Your Dragon – I did so the vacation special a couple of years ago -that’s something where you truly want the music to be right up here, also to be right close to the animation with regards to people’s focus. And, in more sophisticated films that shoot for more realism, now you need the music to be very subconscious. In Promising Young Woman , the overarching musical choice that Emerald made is by using irony very heavily, After all, in the manner that she uses pop songs – “Raining Man,” for instance – it’s about boys, and you’re hearing the soundtrack of just what a film twenty years ago may have been like, but you’re seeing the perspective from the different angle. You’re seeing those angles which have previously been covered up. So, I believe that the score is comparable. I believe Emerald really wished to play with the audience when it comes to what film they were in.
GABRIEL HAYS – SECRET MAGIC CONTROL AGENCY
Did you ever imagine Hansel and Gretel would become top agents for the Department of Magical Security after escaping the Witch’s gingerbread house?
Yeah, me neither…
But that’s just what happens in Secret Magic Control Agency , scored by Gabriel Hays ( Disney’s Star Darlings ), arriving at Netflix March 23rd.
The brand new Wizart Animation feature film merges the unlikely genres of “fantasy story book” and “spy mystery”, which created unique challenges for Hays to resolve in the score. Whereas spy music is normally mysterious with serious swagger; the fantasy side typically feels more mystical, otherworldly, and EPIC.
Yet Hays pulled from both seemingly disparate genre traditions to compose an ideal score for the film. He discovered that both forms of music shared some commonalities – a feeling of uncertainty, but additionally adventure and discovery; themes which lent themselves well to the modern undertake classic characters – filled with fun, whimsy, and heart.
ComingSoon.net: What drew one to Secret Magic Control Agency?
Gabriele: Secret Magic is really a really interesting story. I assume everyone is just about acquainted with the fable of Hansel and Gretel – two orphans get captured by the evil witch in the forest. And that’s the leaping off point for where this story goes, because I’m uncertain how much you understand about it, however in the Secret Magic Control Agency , they’re actually secret agents; and they’re adults, at the very least once the movie starts. So, lots of things wrapped up within. And it’s a fairly interesting story merely to try to wrap your mind around, but what does the story mean for the music? That also really quickly jumped to leading of my mind.
CS: So, you’re together merging two genres, you’re merging fantasy story book and spy mystery. So how exactly does your music focus on each genre? Did you discover it difficult merging both genres?
Gabriel: Great question. Yeah, it had been a challenge to determine how to take action. You understand, I think the very first thing if you ask me was to truly have a good consider what all of those genres mean if you ask me from the stylistic standpoint, and dramatic standpoint. I believe a very important factor they share in keeping is really a sense of mystery. In fantasy, you’re on a on a quest usually, and in spy movies, there’s another sort of quest, it’s like attempting to solve a whodunnit. Therefore, you’re solving things in both. So, there’s a particular commonality, and a shifting energy. I do not get too nerdy on the music side, nonetheless it was melodically really thinking about it from the story book standpoint, and from the support side of it, thinking about it a bit more from the spy side of it, if which makes some sense.
CS: What’s the procedure of scoring an animated film like? When can you enter into the production? Just how much time must you score the film?
CS: One real nice thing about animation from the composer standpoint, is that you do obtain the cut of the film early, plus they don’t change just as much as a live action film might change, because after they obtain the story and the dialogue recorded, there’s a wide variety of processes which have to occur before it gets finished, music being one of these, but needless to say, finishing the animation and things such as that. So, I did so celebrate to focus on it. But, inevitably, it’s still a large push by the end, regardless of what, you’ve surely got to sort out it. You discover themes and develop them and sometimes they maneuver around a bit in the in the film. As if you write it in a single place and realize, oh, additionally, it may work effectively over here or another place, things such as that.
CS: Just how much creative freedom are you experiencing on an animated picture? Are you currently given absolute freedom or are the powers-that-be giving you very precise instructions on how to score the film?
Gabriel: In this instance, it was a combination of both. I believe one thing that people realized pretty in early stages, as I started working on different parts of it, is that they really had a lock the themes that everybody felt were right for the movie. So, on that relative side of it, what happened was, I started writing various things on the piano. Usually, sometimes I really do a bit more, but just the piano generally, and send those suggestions to them. And we’d have a backwards and forwards about which elements of it were working and which direction to go. We arrived on basically one or two main themes that have similar qualities with regards to how they work. And those became the main anchor of the film. As soon as we’d that, that helped quite a bit. But they had plenty of sense of pacing, like, how they cut the cut the movie, so you really have to pay lots of attention to how they cut; and how they animated – the animation was very lively, so you really have to focus on that pacing that they were sending my way. It was a nice balance between the two, I had plenty of freedom to explore definitely, though.
CS: How difficult could it be to score an animated film by which you need to hit specific actions produced by characters, versus live action?
Gabriel: Generally, I’d say yeah, it’s a bit denser with regards to the music, it often changes much more. With regards to hitting things on screen, that’s something you need to feel from confirmed project. And you will think of just like the old, since it is named by them, Mickey Mouse-ing techniques, that is – like, Looney Tunes – once you hit every little gesture, right? But a whole large amount of times, particularly if it’s as an action thing you know, is sort of pretty natural. But frequently you’re looking to get the entire mood being – that’s it is important, the entire feeling while catching important moments.
CS: What drew one to the planet of film scoring? How did you obtain engrossed? How do you realize if this is the career that you wished to do?
Gabriel: You understand, I’d say for me personally, as when i really experienced writing or music soon, it was an element of what I was thinking about always, nonetheless it wasn’t the one thing. You understand, I started writing music, sort of from right when I first started taking piano lessons as a youngster away, I away started writing right. Over the full years, you obtain as you study and improve better. But I needed to go do music for myself for some time just. And I did so that. I lived in NY for about a decade in my own 20s. And, and at some true point, I simply always had in the rear of my mind that I was thinking about scoring film also it may be something I must say i wanted to choose. And that happened when I was in NY. So, I visited NYU and within it actually, they will have a graduate program that I visited and that has been really helpful there. I learned a whole lot there and met some very nice people and from there it had been virtually just knew that, nonetheless it was to Los Angeles. Film is merely something I usually loved as a youngster also. I’d say it had been my second love of mine. Along with doing music, I did so theater in senior high school. I directed a play and was section of theater for a long period. So, it had been another strong interest if you ask me with music always. And so, addressing do filmmaking basically, however the musical section of filmmaking was a thing that felt natural for me personally really.