Score: A Film Music Documentary
It is one of the most famous scenes in film history: The murder of Marian Crane (Janet Leigh) as she showers in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. The shower curtain rips open, the silhouetted attacker stabs and stabs and stabs, the camera cuts to Marion’s screaming face, and a few seconds later her hand slides down the bathroom tiles. There is very little actual onscreen violence in that unforgettable sequence, but composer Bernard Herrmann’s screaming violins imply more than buckets of blood ever could. Music and film have always had a close relationship, even if that mutually beneficial relationship was born out of the mere practical necessity of covering up the clangorous whir of a projector. This comprehensive and endlessly fascinating documentary serves as an ace survey on the history of the art form and its practitioners, from Ennio Morricone to Junkie XL and everything in between. It is also a social history of the most crucial of post-production components, a testimony to its power, and a portrait of the composers working today and their music, from the flame-thrower guitars of Mad Max: Fury Road to the toy store pianos of Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh’s television work, like Enlightened. Mark Mothersbaugh, Quincy Jones, Alexandre Desplat, and John Williams are among the many composers who add to the conversation in this captivating film that is also chock-full of clips and other archival material. In bringing the background music to the forefront, Score reveals music’s symbiotic relationship with and invaluable contribution to film. —Mike Keegan
A graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Matt Schrader is an Emmy-winning producer whose work has appeared on CBS News and NBC in Los Angeles. Score is his first feature.
Director Matt Schrader
Producer Robert Kraft, Trevor Thompson, Jonathan Willbanks, Nate Gold, Kenny Holmes
Editor Matt Schrader, Kenny Holmes
Cinematographer Kenny Holmes, Nate Gold
Music Ryan Taubert