Post-production work on Brian Pulido's The Graves (the feature film I recently scored the music for) has been a long process. Pulido and his co-producers Ronalds Brothers Productions are in the early stages of spreading the word about the film which was recently given a "sneek peek" screening at Fangoria Con LA. Speaking of Fangoria, I was recently featured in a short interview on the Fangoria website regarding the music for "The Graves."
Since this interview was first published, the Fangoria site has undergone some heavy remodeling, and the article is no longer public there. Below is the transcription of the interview.
More teaser art, composer interview from THE GRAVES
Monday, April 27, 2009 11:45 AM Michael Gingold News - Film News
The folks behind THE GRAVES just keep sending us the goodies, so below you can check out two more teaser/character posters from writer/director Brian Pulido’s movie—one of which hit late last week and the other of which (featuring genre fave Bill Moseley) just arrived this morning. We also got some exclusive words with Jim Casella (pictured left), the movie’s composer.
Casella previously scored Pulido’s short THERE’S SOMETHING OUT THERE before being brought on board the Chaos! Comic’s veteran’s feature filmmaking debut. “My musical influences range far and wide,” he tells us, “so even though the primary basis of THE GRAVES’ score is orchestral and atmospheric in nature, I’m equally satisfied playing drums in my rock band, or listening to free jazz. By design, the music intends to blanket the film’s landscape with an uncomfortable undertone. The musical imagery in Skull City runs deep—many sounds were derived from acoustic sources, but then morphed into something a little more eerie and less of this world. Jonah the blacksmith is often accompanied by anvil sounds and a morphed harmonica, while Caleb’s creepiness is tickled by an affected dobro, which juxtaposes the more organic theme for the sisters, built on A-B-B, the first three letters of Abby’s name.
“You’ll hear liturgical undertones in a dark theme for Tony Todd’s portrayal of Reverend Abraham,” Casella continues. “ ‘The Savior’ is often accompanied by dissonance created with a variety of string clusters and unusual techniques on percussion instruments, like the moaning sound of rubbing a super ball across the head of a bass drum, or scraping a gong with a cello bow. This is music that relies on tonal color more than anything to compliment the film.”
If that sounds like a heavy workload, Casella confirms it was: He wound up creating 79 minutes of music for a movie that runs 84, and had to do it in a short amount of time. “Plus, this was after several rewrites where days were spent working on material that either wasn’t quite right, or ended up being removed or tweaked to balance the film’s overall pacing. It’s all part of the process, but there was some heavy-duty sleep deprivation for about four-five weeks straight.”
The composer says it was worth it, however, and appreciated Pulido’s exacting approach to the project. “Brian is one of those guys who isn’t going to settle for anything less than 110 percent,” Casella says. “I’m the same way, so we have common ground in approaching creativity with a certain amount of perfectionism. He’s one of the most driven guys I’ve worked with, and it has made me much better as a composer.”