The first-ever documentary on film scoring is heading into the final stanza of a Kickstarter campaign aiming for a final-stretch goal of $100,000.
With more than two dozen interviews with film composers already shot, Score: A Film Music Documentary already has Hans Zimmer (see the clip below), Danny Elfman, Howard Shore and Christophe Beck on board, in addition to executives, experts and filmmakers. Former head of music at Fox, Robert Kraft, recently joined the Score team as a producer.
"When we can spell out things, simplify them to a level where it's understandable [to people outside the industry], I think people will find it interesting," director Matt Schrader says of the filmmakers' vision for the project.
Started last summer when Schrader left his job as a TV news producer in Sacramento to focus full-time on Score, the Kickstarter funds will allow him and his team to travel to New York and London to shoot for another two months or so.
Schrader, a first-time director, had long been fascinated by bonus material featurettes on DVDs and often felt short-changed when information about music was left out in favor of an explanation of special effects. While a student at USC, a conversation about Dark Knight with one of his partners on the film, Trevor Thompson, led them to believe there had to be a documentarian with a similar interest in the subject.
"It was so cutting-edge and there was not much done on how it was made," he says. "I figured surely somebody is doing something on [the subject]. That didn't happen."
He started by reaching out to Shawn LeMone, ASCAP's VP of Creative Services, Film & TV/Visual Media, and composer John Debney. That led Schrader, Thompson and their team of Kenny Holmes, Nate Gold, Jonathan Willbanks and Crystal Chavarria -- all associated with USC and under 30 -- to other major names in the business. Oddly, none of them were aware of the film-scoring process when they started.
Schrader has a rough script for the film and intends to follow three to five storylines with different composers, show the evolution of film scoring and changes in musical styles and touch on "the specific moments in film where the notes give us goosebumps." He intends to show the political and financial climate that has shaped the modern world of composing for film.