You've recently scored the movie Defarious
- so first of all, what's that movie about?
So without giving away too many spoilers, Defarious
from R&F Entertainment, is about a young
woman who we come to know as simply “Amy”
played by the award-nominated actress Janet Miranda. We learn that Amy suffers
from a sleep disturbance, marked by vivid nightmares and sleep hallucinations.
In Amy’s case, her symptoms push her into a psychotic break with reality and
we the audience are given a glimpse into her nightmarish world.
Do talk about your score for Defarious
for a bit, its style and influences?
Orchestration aside, it was important for me to find a theme and distinctive
feel for the film. The challenge was finding a way to both tie the audience
into Amy’s story on an emotional level while at the same time being
relentlessly terrifying on another. The music had to tell a cohesive story or
else it would just be background noise. I knew that I really wanted to do
something experimentally evocative with the score and I also knew that I
wanted it to be completely orchestral. The style is definitely what some would
call reminiscent of classic horror films from the 80's and 90's. Some of my
own personal influences have been films like Clockwork Orange, Jeepers
Creepers, the Scream franchise, and of course the
Chucky the Killer Doll franchise.
How did you get involved with the project in the first place?
producer, director, writer and editor Chase Michael
Michael Pallente interview - click here] and I worked on a feature length horror film together called
Arisen (available now at www.ARISENTHEMOVIE.com), which I also composed the score
for. Shortly after the conclusion of production, he asked me to come
onboard to score Defarious
and I happily agreed.
how did you (and do you usually) approach composing the score for the
film, to what extent do you familiarize yourself with it (and its theme)
I generally like to watch the film a few times through. For me it’s
very important that I have a chance to build a solid feel for the raw
story and emotional story arcs. I like to take the time to imagine myself
in the headspace of every character, really giving myself the opportunity
to try and understand what they’re feeling and going through. The next
crucial step is finding the most basic way to communicate those feelings
and thoughts in musical form. This could be a rhythm, a certain set of
notes, a short melody, and even sounds you wouldn't necessarily think of
as musical. All these aspects form the colours and building blocks for
what eventually gives way to a full-fledged film score when you start to
put it all together conceptually. I definitely did a lot of experimenting
with different sounds and styles, trying to nail down the sound of Defarious.
can you tell us about your director Chase Michael Pallante [Chase
Michael Pallente interview - click here], and what was your
One thing I enjoyed about working with
Chase is that he really understands what he wants, in terms of the
emotional impact, out of a scene, but at the same time he doesn’t
dictate which notes or instruments to use. He understands the power of
Any future projects you'd like to share?
Actually yes, thank you for asking. Keep an ear out for my music, in
the feature horror production Arisen 2, by filmmaker Zay
got you into making music in the first place, and how did you get into
scoring movies from that?
I’ve always been musically
inclined since I was old enough to remember. But I didn’t actually know
that I wanted to be a film scorer until about nine years ago when I came
across the God of War game series franchise. I remember
being completely blown away by the game’s music. For me, it was pretty
devastating considering up until then, I was certain that I wanted to
major in computer science. After a few fan emails to the God of War’s
original lead composer Gerard Marino, I got a chance to pick his brain on
the topic of game scoring, which pretty much led to me diving head-first
into music composition. I switched my major to classical voice and shifted
my focus to scoring as many indie films as possible. Eventually I
auditioned and got into the Berklee College of Music and began pursuing a
bachelor’s degree in film scoring.
What can you tell us about
your filmwork prior to Defarious?
photo by Jonathan X. Martinez
courtesy of R&F Entertainment
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
to Defarious, I have not had the experience of working on a
horror film that was both terrorific and intimate simultaneously. Defarious
was definitely a great exercise in working within limitations. I had to be
very careful not to command too much attention to the music at the wrong
moments. But I also needed to give the monster a life of its own, making
it seem larger than life in its own right, despite the rather intimate
settings. There are also plenty of scenes that involve little to no
dialogue, so a new challenge became finding ways to implement music that
was both simplistic and unobtrusive at times but also evocative and
Musicians who inspire you?
Musicians who inspire me? That list may very well be endless. I guess
for starters: John Williams, Brian Tyler, Gerard Marino, Bennet Salvay,
Alfred Newman, Igor Stravinsky, Antonio Vivaldi ... for starters.
since this is primarily a movie site, your
Some of my favorite movies are definitely
the Scream franchise, Don Mancini’s Chucky
franchise, Jeepers Creepers,
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre for starters…
... and of course, films you really
That’s really a tough one. Honestly, if it
doesn’t have a good film score or at least tantalizing story telling,
then it’s safe to say it’s probably not going to make it into my
Your website, Facebook, whatever else?
Fans of Defarious
and anyone else looking to find
out more about my work, or what I do, can follow me on Soundcloud at
and on Instagram @HisRoyalGrace
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Yes! Please look out for Defarious
this Halloween. Pre-orders
have already began and the film's official world release date is October
12! Go to DEFARIOUS.com to
be able to watch it in your country.
Follow the film here:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/defariousiscomingacebook.com/defariousiscoming" target="_blank">www.facebook.com/defariousiscoming
for the interview!