Film Director Mark David and Film Score Composer Joseph Blaustein
The guys over at MyHitonline conducted this pretty cool interview with film director Mark David and his partner-in-crime and film score composer Joseph Blaustein. We thought we would share the video series with you:
Film Director Mark David: I mean I played in a band for years [you know, I], that’s how I got into film [is]. I was a drummer in a rock band and I wanted a music video for a band that we could shop in LA blah, blah, blah and I ended up being a film maker that works on the opposite side of the camera [and you know]. Luckily, I get to still play music. One of the reasons I got into film, like I said I started off as a musician, was, is that it combines all my favorite things.
[It’s like] to me film’s the most powerful medium because [it’s got, you know] you’re telling a story just like you are with a song, it combines music, it combines photography, it combines acting in theater and everything through a very power medium that people see in theaters, they see on TV they see online now, [it’s prob…,]. If you want to make an impression or if you want to tell a story, you have a point to make or whether you just want to make people laugh, or you want to make them cry or you want to do something really profound like Michael Moore does every time he makes a film [you know] – film is [is, is] the most powerful medium because it combines all these forms of art you know.
[Yeah] I feel really lucky that I get to be really involved sort of like Robert Rodriguez is with his pictures. You know this one I happened to co-write as well but as a cinematographer and director and producer [um, you know] I hired myself to score the movie with Joe, and I’m also editing it and I’m going to be playing in the band ‘Rolling Thunder’.
So, [um, it really, I know] as a director it’s great because not only can I put on my stamp on the film [you know], be involved in every aspect, but I seriously think [um] I can’t remember who I was telling the other day, I see myself as [a] a… directors are sort of like conductor because you’re not acting for your actors and a lot of the times there’s nothing you can say other than be supportive [you know], to help them with their performance, you’re capturing their brilliance [you know], so you’re sort of leading them in the right direction essentially. [Um ] so I see myself more of a conductor than a director if that makes any sense.
[Um so] I also see it as a sort of a quality control thing, because as a director you know you have so many things that weigh into the equation of making a film. You know the music, the editing and in this case animation, visual effects that you have to just make sure that all that stuff fits perfectly and dances together and [ and, and] you know works at the end of the day. Because if it doesn’t work it’s your fault that’s the directors main job is to make it work.
What kind of music did you grow up listening to?
Film Director Mark David: I really did grow up with like a Rock ‘n Roll background – most of the bands I played in were either Speed Mill or Grunge to just straight Rock ‘n Roll [um] although I grew up listening to Punk and New Wave because I was very much an 80s kid even though I was born in 1974. The Hip Hop, yeah I just really didn’t listen to Hip Hop very much but I always liked it.
As a music producer/composer, what music projects did you get involved with?
Film Director Mark David: We did some tracks on
‘Intoxicating’ with Sin Dogof Cypress Hill and [you know] I just remember in High School [um, I guess] – ‘Insane in the Brain’ was that [you know was] the guy that went ‘Insane in the Brain’ [hand clap] and I thought [you know] ‘God I can’t believe we’re gonna have this guy on one of our tracks’, and we got. It’s funny I found out through a mutual friend that Coolio and Sin Dog had always wanted to do a track together so we did two tracks with them and it’s really cool because what we did is we combined, I’ve always been into combining different genres.
[Um] Coolio said the beat sounds a little like Hip Hop meets Red Hot Chili Peppers which I thought was strange because it’s a little faster than most Hip Hop stuff and [you know] he did 16 bars and Sin Dogs did 16 bars and then it breaks down in the middle to this sort of really beautiful, ambient Middle Eastern vocalist whose name is Assam Aline, can’t remember the name of the band she’s in now but she has a very beautiful like Lisa Gerrard type voice and I’ve always loved combining things like that, so it’s a very strange track. I mean, you wouldn’t hear this on a Hip Hop station, this is something unto itself, it’s a little bit weird, it’s a little bit faster [ it’s like a you know] it’s not what everybody [ I mean]…
Rewind for a second and go back to what Coolie was saying… we did another track with him and a couple of artists. Turned out being one of them Neb Love used to be part of the Warren G outfit Five Footers [um,] and it’s a lot more typical Hip Hop you know. [what, you know] It’s more Hip Hop than the track I’m talking about, ‘Die for Me’ is what its called. [Um, and then um, you know,] We did some Pop stuff, a little bit of pop stuff, and[ um, the uh,] the most Hip Hop of all the tracks is the one we do with Mo Preem Shakur and [um, um], Medusa it’s called ‘Blow Your Mind’ and [it’s just really] it’s like a gangster rap [you know]. Just strange because I’m just so not from that world but it’s music [you know] and I didn’t write the words, Mo and I just wrote the beat [you know].
So it’s so funny you hear about [like you know,] people having these [like, you know, so,] I think [uh,] Dr Dre may have a ghostwriter and he was like some scrawny white dude and that’s like what [um,] Hustle Flow was based on, it was that, that concept which was funny because [you know, I] recently I’ve been… [uh] someone just gave me Jack Kerouac’s script to read and [um] he was really good friends with this big, gigantic base player guy I can’t remember his name, Paul something, Ron, Ron something [that he, you know]… towards the end of his days, Jack Kerouac rode into this bar and hang out with his buddy Ron who was a base player in a band.
At the time the guy was doing something really interesting and integrating, [‘cos this, you know]. There’s still segregation back then he was integrating, he had a band that was part black, part which was like not hear of back then [and he goes,] it’s sort of like a domino, it’s like mostly black but a little white in there.
In fact, that’s really interesting because [he,] one of the things that Kerouac said was that [um, um,] Ron always used to say that [uh,] music is blind [you know]. So which is a cool thing because you think about how Elvis [you know,] basically copied blues; Led Zepplin copied blues [um,] and then how [you know] Rap started off as a very African-American oriented sound and then [like] Eminem comes out [you know,] so it’s, it’s really cool on music to sort of [you know,] integrate and re-integrate and, and, flowers and a weird way like that.
It was really interesting working with Coolio specifically because he was very open to the idea of trying new stuff, because he heard the track and he’s like, ‘mmm, yeah, this is different, cool. Let’s put it down’ [you know. And um] He was very into the idea of trying something different whereas some other artists that we’ve worked with have said, ‘Oh can I do this other track instead, I don’t really like this beat’. You know ‘yeah sure, we have other ones too’.
The cool thing that Coolio did [um,] not only was he experimenting, but [he yeah] we learned a lot from him, he would say ‘OK now I want to dub my vocal, double this part, [um, just you know] throw a little distortion on, I want to do some background stuff’. And he sort of directed us, like this is how I want to do it, and we were so happy to accommodate that because normally we just fly through the session, he nailed it and he was awesome and that inspired everybody else, he was the first one on the track but he was like ‘Ah I don’t know what I want to do for a hook’ and we’re like ‘Your last line is the hook, it’s amazing’ and so they copied and pasted it real quick and he goes ‘Yeah, I like that’.
Then on the next track he decided he wanted to sing the hook, so Coolio actually sang the hook, it wasn’t rap-ing, it was singing and [it was] he has a cool voice, this guy has a really, really great voice and he brought in his keyboard player. [who is] this guy who looks like Sean Penn in Carlitos Way and he had this big old Afro and big chain and [like, like] this jumpsuit thing. Seriously he looked like Sean Penn in Carlitos Way and the guy just laid down this amazing, amazing keyboard track that was just so cool [you know]. [We’re just like, this is great you know because] It was just such a great collaboration. [Um, and yeah] we had a lot of instances like that where [it’s] it’s funny and just sometimes it can be like this with actors too.
Some of the lesser known artists on that soundtrack were actually the ones that were difficult to deal with, their management and the artists themselves. [Like] we almost had a big fight outside of our studio, none of this with Coolio or Mo Preem or Sin Dog from Cypress Hill, it was up and comers that were the problem. So it shows you how sometimes the bigger guns are the more professional. I had more problems with unknown actors than I have with known actors.
Your latest movie project?
Film Director Mark David:
Well I just finished a feature called ‘American Cowslip’ it’s my third film as a Director and DP and composer, [um,] the film stars an unknown actor Ronnie Gene Blevins – he is an amazing, I think he’s probably going to be the next [like,] Woody Harrelson meets Ed Norton type. [Uh] Val Kilmer’s also in the picture, Peter Falk, [uh,] Bruce Dern, Cloris Leachman, [um,] Dianne Ladd, Rip Torn, Lynn Shay, Priscilla Barns, Brett Clarke, from the Adam Sandler movies and [uh,] we just have an incredible cast, it’s like six Academy Award nominees and winners and it’s an independent film. So it, it’s sort of an anomaly that way in that we have such a strong cast on a film that we made for almost nothing and music’s a really big component in this film.
How does the budget of ‘American Cowslip compare to your previous movie ‘Intoxicating’?
Film Director Mark David: You know the budget on [on uh, on, um,] ‘Intoxicating’ was [you know] just under a couple hundred thousand dollars for [uh,] principle photography, [um] and [you know] it’s substantially for ‘American Cowslip’ but actually if you take the cast budget versus the production budget, [um,] ‘Intoxicating’ cost more. [I mean.] [Did it?]
[Well yeah,] because the majority of the money of ‘American Cowslip’ went to these gigantic actors that did the picture for [I mean to them] an eighth of what they normally work for… is still [like] more than my last movie cost, so [um,] that’s where the majority of the money went, so it was a very low budget picture.
Production side of, [of, of,] ‘Intoxicating’, if you take production which is below the line and then [you know] the cast above the line let’s call it [um] on both movies, ‘Cowslip’ actually we had a cheaper production budget, because we spent more money on the actors [um] and all the people involved than we did on the actual day to day nuts and bolts of the picture. Whereas on ‘Intoxicating’ it was definitely we spent more money on production, but it was a much lower budget film but the ratio was much higher on ‘American Cowslip’.
Why is music important in this film – what were some challenges in placing music for your movie?
Film Director Mark David: Well music’s really important in this film because [it] it’s sort of like a fairytale [this film, um it,]. It’s a comedy about a heroin addict that has convinced all of his neighbors that he’s a diabetic, so, and he’s wearing this tuxedo that he hasn’t taken off in a few weeks [um] since he [um,] had a party for his [um, ah,] cousins, [you know] an engagement party. So [um,] he’s agoraphobic, he can’t leave his house and the only thing he has is this garden, [so um,] that he’s in love with, he loves this garden it’s the only thing that matters to him and he can’t really leave the confines [of] of his garden or his home.
[Um] so the music in this film is really important because what my co-composer and I, Joe Blaustein are doing is [we] we both really like Danny Elfman and think that [you know] if we weren’t around that’s who we would want to score a film, if we had all the money in the world, [um] but it’s got a real sort of magical [um,] mystical, [um,] innocent feel to it [you know].
[Um, and so] in terms of instrumentation we’re using lots of like pizzicato string things and [um,] horns and [uh,] brass more like, no I’m sorry, horns and some brass and really beautiful string stuff mixed in with accordion and harp and harpsichord and sort of the sounds of the sixties and the seventies intermingled with the score. Ethan, our protagonist in the film, is obsessed with a band called Rolling Thunder, now originally what we wanted to do was [um,] license some material from a great band like Def Leppard or Motley Crew or Van Halen something from the Cock Rock Era [um, and um] or should I say Hair Band era? I don’t know [um, and um,] he basically he plays this music on an old phonograph to his plants [to,] because [he helps] he thinks that it helps them grow essentially.
[So, I mean we really,] we went after a couple of different bands and [um] it’s amazing how difficult it is to open that door. We [uh, we] never went after Def Leppard because it’s funny when Ronnie Gene Blevins and I were writing the first draft of the script Def Leppard hadn’t done anything in years and we thought, ‘God what a great band, we could totally write Def Leppard in it, we could get the music for a little bit less that what we’d have to pay let’s say a band that’s popular now’, then they go on tour with Journey and Billy Idol you know [so we, you know we].
Anyway, going back to [um] the cost of licensing big music or popular music, then we thought Van Halen, you know Van Halen sort of had a little downward slope and then they got back together and got like Dave Lee Roth and now they are touring the world [um] so [you know] we decided to… well production was coming up really quickly and since we hadn’t licensed the music of [of, of] one of my favorite bands I decided to put together and shoot the album cover of a band called Rolling Thunder, a fictional band that we [um, ah] put in the film that he’s obsessed with and I decided to hire some really great studio musicians and friends of mine that had been in other signed bands and [um, ah, um] my co-composer Joe [ uh] a good friend of mine that I went to High School with and [um, um,] hopefully Ben Shepard from Sound Garden or formerly of Sound Garden will be playing bass on it and we were going to write music from scratch [um,] to fill in that gap right there.
Something along the lines of The Who with a little Zeppelin in there a little Floyd in there and we decided to go more classic Rock um because we have the animator of The Wall, Gerald Scarfe doing our animation sequences and I want to cross between the score and [the, the] I guess you call it incidental music that’s in the film, [um] almost flawlessly into this real great, beautiful, trippy [you know,] hint of the Beatles stuff with the Elfman-like score that we’re going for. [Um.] So, [um] yeah, music’s huge in this thing, especially in the animation sequences and stuff it’s gonna be… [um,] the fictional band Rolling Thunder’s tracks underneath all of the animation sequences where Ethan is basically dreaming.
So, [um, yeah] licensing, [in, in, it’s such a, I mean, you know,] on a picture this size, even though we had such a great cast and stuff and I had friends that are music supervisors and stuff, they said ‘Listen man, that’s gonna cost you some serious money to get somebody like Def Leppard’. And I’m thinking like God that’s half the budget of the movie [you know] – I can’t afford that and nor can I go to my investors and say [you know] I need half a million dollars for five songs, they’re just not going to be down with that.
How does the music compare to your previous two movies?
Film Director Mark David: Like I was saying before ‘American Cowslip is actually the third picture that I’ve directed and one of several that I’ve photographed.
In terms of music, it’s vastly different than my first two pictures. ‘Sweet Thing’ which I made about ten years ago [um] it’s a drama and [uh] long time partner and composer William Tabeny and I wrote the score for that and it’s a very dramatic, beautiful score.
‘Intoxicating’, which I made about four years ago and stars Eric Roberts and John Savage and Kirk Harris and a couple other really great actors [um] was a strange sort of another anomaly in a sense in that it was a very low budget picture, we shot it on Super 16 film, it’s loosely based off my cousin and it’s about a Doctor with a drug problem and [we went very] with the score we went very sort of ambient because [we had just seen] Will and I had just seen ‘Nark’ and we thought the score was really cool it was more like sound design score rather than music and we thought that was really cool but for the incidental music in the film, like what the Doctor, Dr Dhort, Dorian Shanley listened to, we went real Hip Hop, and for a couple of reasons.
[Um we had access to, I mean I’m not gonna lie] I’m gonna tell you it was very pragmatic to go Hip Hop because at the time I had a lot of Hip Hop connections. We know a guy who could get us to Coolio and Brother Marquise of 2 Live Crew and Two Box brother Mo Preem Shakur, used to be in The Outlawz and [uh,] Medusa who I’m a big fan of [um] and [uh,] we had the opportunity to work with all these Hip Hop artists now. Will and I had always wanted to do some Hip Hop stuff [um, and uh, also,] not to pigeonhole it but with the subject matter of the film being drinking, drugs, cocaine, fast life [um, you know,] Rock ‘n Roll could have definitely fit, but we liked the idea of juxtaposing this [you know, this] white doctor [you know,] living an upper middle class life totally like listening to Hip Hop in his Corvette and [like um, you know,] partying like a rock star basically.
So we thought it was a cool juxtaposition, but I can’t say that it was all artistic, it was who we had access to and we wanted to release the soundtrack but the paperwork was a mile thick, we did like seventeen original tracks for the film and [it’s,] we’re aiming to do the same thing with ‘American Cowslip’ release. Me and Joe Blaustein’s score as well as the Rolling Thunder tracks on it, on a soundtrack, but it will be a lot easier this time because we’re talking about just a few people.
On a Hip Hop track for instance you may have two producers, me and William plus four artists you know, either rapping or contributing or performing [I mean], so you’re talking about six pieces of paperwork just for the publishing and then six pieces of paperwork just for the wagon series the mechanical but [you know, just like tons,] tons of paperwork for seven-teen tracks it was ridiculous [you know] and you had to file that stuff with ASCAP the tax society, it’s crazy, it’s gonna be a little bit more contained on ‘American Cowslip’. Also [Will’s] Will and my studio got a lot bigger [we have a you know,] still not big, it’s still a boutique place but [we were] basically we’re recording vocals in a closet back then, now we have a booth [you know. [So, um,] we’re gonna be a little bit more organized this time, so it’s a little bit bigger of picture although it’s still an Indie.
Licensing music for little or no money?
Film Director Mark David: I think if I were in a very popular band [you know] I would be open to lending my music for back-end, you know like back end participation, box office bonuses and so forth, because a lot of the time a movie can’t afford the music up front but [um, you know] it’s great promotional material for your band no matter how big you are.
[Like] I’m thinking about what [uh] ‘Garden State’ did for Zero 7, they were already a great band they’re fairly well established but they got a lot bigger after ‘Garden State’ came out. Now I’m not saying a band like Def Leppard needs any help but, [you know,] it’s just another platform for you to stand on [you know].
I think of the ‘Virgin Suicides’ and what it did for the French band Air – [you know,] they sold so many more albums after that so if you’re already out on tour and then you come out in a movie that’s Indie and it’s cool, [you know] you can take some back-end instead of two to five hundred thousand, now we never approached Def Leppard because we couldn’t afford them and who knows, they might have been totally cool about it, and we didn’t approach Van Halen either.
I did go after the band The Cult because I love The Cult, they’re one of my favorite rock bands of all time, and the manager, Tom something or other, literally just emailed me back one line ‘this is not for The Cult’, which is funny because I sat with Billy Duffy [a] – he wouldn’t remember this but – Starbucks like three years ago and talked [you know ]. We had a cup of coffee and just bumped into him and I was like ‘Hey, I really love the Cult man’ and he was like ‘Hey sit down man’ and you know we just sat there and talked for a little bit and that, I think a lot of the time management can [can] actually, … [you know] it doesn’t matter whether you’re an actor, it doesn’t matter whether you are a performer or musician or whatever, management, agents, stuff like that they will literally block the artist from something they may want to do, because last time I checked, although I think they are probably one of the greatest Rock and Roll bands of all time [um ]they could actually use a little bit of promotion right now, you know, so from the guy just one word ‘this is not for The Cult’, it’s like, okay, well, so what we did was we created a fictional band.
Release schedule for ‘American Cowslip’?
Film Director Mark David: Very likely ‘American Cowslip’ will start being seen in the summer of 2008. What we’re planning on doing is, hoping we get into the Drama
Film Festival which is really great film festival and market for films and at that point we’re either hoping a mini major studio or major studio picks up the film for distribution and does, what I’d like to do personally is uh, a staggered release like the film ‘Memento’ which started out just on a few screens and sort of built up heat and stayed in theaters for four or five months I believe. That’s great. Any movie that stays in theaters for four to five months, even if you’re on fewer screens, it has time to really pick up an audience ‘Memento’ ended up doing really well.
Or [you know] somebody like the Wienstein Company can pick it up and put it out on 700, 1,000, 1200, 2,000 screens [ um]. A less likely scenario for an Indie like this, but actually with stuff like ‘Juno doing well and ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ it’s very possible, but it’s a much bigger spend, it costs twenty five million dollars to put a film out you know and all the billboards the advertising and all that stuff.
So either one of those scenarios is good for me [I mean] whether we do a small Indie staggered release or wide screen release it will be a theatrical release [um] because of the talent involved and then also people tend to really like the story and the script and the movie’s gonna be a very strong piece, and it’s very original. [This is uh, I mean um,] I can’t say nothing like it’s been done before because I’d be lying through my teeth but it is very original, I mean the only movies that come close to this film in terms of subject matter are maybe ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, ‘Permanent Midnight’, [I don’t know]. It’s a very strange story, because it’s a comedy about a drug addict. [You know, so uh, or] it’s more of a drama, there’s a lot of drama in this and the acting is superb, I mean, look at who we’ve got.
Inspirational moments of music in film:
Film Director Mark David: Some of the most inspirational moments where I think music and film [you know] combined, just made my skin, [you know,] my hair stand up [um,]. Martin Scorsese is like the greatest Rock and Roll Director of all time. The way he uses music in movies, like ‘Goodfellows’, is amazing because not only does it take you back to an era [it just like] it’s almost it’s like the pulse of the music – [uh] the movie is dictated by the music.
[Um, yeah,] Scorsese, I call him a “Rock ‘n Roll Director” [I,] I think the first thing he ever did was edit the Woodstock show or something was like his first gig of all time, but [um,] he always uses music brilliantly in his [his um,] his films. [Um] Oliver Stone did the same thing, not only in terms of [marking] marking time and place, but just like giving people a feeling [you know]. I can’t remember what movie – [uh, you know,] I think it was, Eb Low did a good job of doing that too, but [I think it was uh, well] I can’t recall a specific song [but um]. Scorsese’s the man when it comes to [you know,] Rock ‘n Roll and movies.
Then in terms of like some of the most beautiful scores. [like um] William and I had always thought [like] the score of Braveheart [just like] added so much that [music] it was already a beautifully photographed [and] and acted film, but the score was just gorgeous [man] – it made some of the scenes [you know] so much more intimate and so much more beautiful.
[Um] then you integrate that with sound design and it’s amazing [you know]. I think about the scene in the ‘Untouchables’ where DuPont just drums up the sound [you know, and], this echoing thing [is the], the [uh] baby cart is going down the steps [you know] and Andy Garcia’s line with the gun up in the guy’s mouth cast is right over [the, and it’s like] and then you know the score and the sound just bleeds in and it’s like those are the moments I like. When I saw that sequence I said ‘Jesus I gotta make a movie, this is amazing’ you know, between the slow motion, the acting, the sound design and the score it was amazing [man,]and that’s like one of those moments in film where everything came together and was just insane [you know].
And then [um] a much more recent film that join visuals and the beautiful score by [uh] Clint, I can’t remember his name and [um] Cronus Quartet and [um] ‘Requiem for a Dream’, (sings), I mean, unbelievable, the way that score tied in with that picture [it was like] it changed the film. Without that score the film wouldn’t have been as good, and what’s crazy about that is that [like] that’s such a hip, drug movie told from such a strange perspective.
They use that same score in The Lord of the Rings trailer and it was just as brilliant, and that was a very simple melody that’s so powerful and that’s the thing [ I think a lot of people, you know]… I grew up in an age where if you [weren’t like, if you] couldn’t do a hundred thousand arpeggios and play like double bass at a million miles an hour you sucked, but then like at the end of the day everybody who wrote a good song and it was just about a simple melody that spoke to people [you know] and films just like songs, it’s like a simple story that touch people. You know, made ‘em laugh, made ‘em cry, a song should just inspire some sort of feeling in someone, just, all art is supposed to generate some sort of feeling and that’s it. Then you’ve done your job you know.
Ideas for scoring movies for other directors
Film Director Mark David: I think it would be really cool if more [um] Directors used Rock musicians to score their films because [you know] you don’t have to have John Williams score every movie [or you know]. John Williams is amazing, every piece of music he writes for every film is just fully unto itself perfect for the movie and memorable, he writes memorable score for every scene. With Elfman [um…]. But it’s really cool when Rock musicians do scores for movies because it’s a whole different take too.
A Rock musician spots a movie a lot different I think than a composer would [you know] because I think [you know] Rock musicians, we’re used to sort of jamming something out rather than just a little something here a little something here, maybe a little ambiance creeps in here, a little string thing and a couple of hits [ you know, and uh]. That’s why I feel real lucky to be working with Joe because I think very much as a Rock musician scoring a movie and Joe has both he’s been in Rock bands and then he also has a background in conducting and orchestration and we both play totally different instruments.
I’m a drummer and I screw around on sequencers and play a little bit of guitar, he plays a lot of guitar and he plays a lot of, he’s an amazing pianist as well, he reads and writes music. I just, you know, it’s all in here for me, I can’t, I don’t know A from F you know.
Technology in film and music:
Film Director Mark David: I would never have been able to be a composer fifteen years ago before Pro Tools existed and sequencers existed [um, you know, um]. I just wouldn’t have been able to do it. I can sit down at a keyboard and sequence an entire thing and then bring in the pro-tools to a piece of score whereas guys used to have to sit there and watch the picture and write out their ideas and play it on the piano.
I can’t play piano [you know, so, I mean] I can get around it a little bit, but [like] I could never play an entire piece [you know]. If I had to play keyboard live it would be the most hilarious thing you ever see [you know]. But then again [you know] the digital age has opened up a lot and in many ways I think it’s ruined cinema with photography because digital photography looks terrible in my opinion [um, but uh]. In terms of [you know] scoring and editing the gun, editing world, knowing that you’re editing [like] I’d be sitting in a flat bed right now with a reel editor [you know] – we took a razor and tape and splicing together the movie. But now I can sit at this computer and tinker with my footage for three and a half months, you know? Thank God [you know], because it actually enables you to shoot quicker. [You know it’s like] If you ‘re not sure you got it then that’s ok you can get another one, you can try a couple of different cuts without having to print you know, eight actual takes like actual IP negative prints, now that’s cool.
So digital’s been great in a lot of ways and it’s also [I think it’s] made people less decisive though [you know, it’s like um]. Me and my good friend Dean were sitting around the other night talking about how [you know] you can write a song and you can jam it out in a live environment and you’ll probably get there faster than if you sit there in your house and just record it straight into Pro Tools [you know]. [Uh] it’s [like] a whole different thing these days [you know]. A person can write an album by themselves in a room [um, you know] and then bring a band to play it which is so not Rock and Roll, but at the same time it opens other doors which is really cool.
Film Director Mark David: I’m Mark David, I’m a Director and thank you for checking out myHitOnline.com.
Joseph Blaustein – BONUS FOOTAGE with film co-composer Joseph Blaustein
Plans for the music score of ‘American Cowslip’:
Film co-composer Joseph Blaustein: A lot of mysticism in a lot of ways. It’s a very, using the word again, “eclectic” film [you know] where [there’s, you know] there’s kind of things that, there’s happiness, there’s concern, you know there’s a dark quality to what’s going on you know, with the addiction [um] there’s a lot of hope in it, at times there’s a lot of distress and it, with all those elements together, [um] it’s been kind of challenging in that respect because we acknowledge you have to go from [uh, you know] possibly a cue that’s very melancholy and very mystical and then you need to get into something that’s even more comical and then towards the serious and the dramatic, you know diffuse those different, just kind of emotions together, that has been somewhat of a, not only much of a challenge but a “hoot” I guess that’s the only word I can come up with right now.
I mean that’s the essence of pretty much any project that you’ll jump into as a film composer [you know]. You do have to be a jack of all trades as far as genres are concerned and be able to jump from one emotion to the next, [you know] seamlessly and with this there’s so many different aspects to the characters that we do have to do that we have to jump around with the emotions and all that but it’s, it’s what’s gonna make it extremely interesting.
Working directly with a director on the film score:
Film co-composer Joseph Blaustein: Well, Mark and I have worked on projects in the past, this is actually going to be our first film score. [Um] what’s interesting is [uh] this is the first time I’ve actually had the opportunity to work on a film, on a film score with a director, and Mark has always… [you know]… ‘cos he met me [uh] as [like] a piano player and a co-producer on that type of level [um] and then about three or four months into the project at the time that we were working together I had shared with him like an old reel that I had and he saw that I had some shots as far as film composition was concerned and kind of a light bulb went off [um], but this is really the first time I’ve every worked with a director that’s sort of musically involved and it’s actually been, I think to a lot of composers they would kind of want the…