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Rim of the World

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ORCHESTRAL ADVENTURES

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LIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD: In the new Netflix film Rim of the World, four kids meet at the titular summer camp before an alien invasion plunges the world into chaos. They must overcome their differences and embark on a journey to transport a vital cryptokey to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, with the fate of humanity in the balance. The film combines action, comedy, science fiction, and horror, with a coming-of-age story, and serves as an homage to the kid-centered adventure films popularized in the 1980s. I set out to compose an energetic, orchestral score in the style of my childhood heroes who were the masters of the genre, including Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, Elmer Bernstein, Alan Silvestri, and James Horner.

Screenwriter Zack Stentz and I have been friends ever since we worked together on the short-lived yet beloved series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Zack sent me the script for Rim of the World in an early stage, and I was charmed by its adventurous spirit. My imagination went into overdrive and I immediately heard soaring French horns and swirling string orchestra textures! Acclaimed director McG eventually came on board the film and invited me to join his crew as composer for Rim of the World

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Child’s Play

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Chucky, the demented doll and horror icon with the devilish little face, peered out at me from a torn VHS cover at my local video store and haunted my dreams as a kid. Now, thirty years later, I found a surprising opportunity to contribute to his cinematic legacy, by scoring director Lars Klevberg’s imaginative new spin on the classic, Child’s Play. This film gave me the chance to assemble a unique “toy orchestra,” use my own voice to create a “kids choir,” and collaborate closely with legendary actor Mark Hamill, who sang my tune for the film, “The Buddi Song.” Child’s Play opened theatrically this week, and my soundtrack album is available now!

When I first watched the new film in an early cut, I was shocked by its sophisticated and surprisingly emotional storytelling. Stripped of the original film’s supernatural voodoo origins, this version of Child’s Play drew from contemporary fears of cloud-based computing, automation, loss of privacy, corporate irresponsibility, and the risks of smart-home convenience. The film drips with tonal references to many of my favorite 1980s films, incorporating Verhoeven’s satirical humor, Spielberg’s childhood wonder, and Kubrick’s existential dread – equal parts horror, science fiction, thriller, and classic Amblin-style childhood adventure. With these influences in mind, I dove into creating a musical voice for this new vision of the classic tale.

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