This delightful little family rom/com was directed by Michael Caruso and stars, among others, my friends Kyle Lowder and Nadia Bjorlin. They are pals of mine from my Days of Our Lives days.
It’s a terrific new telling of the Mermaid legend and has some very funny performances in it. Loved getting to do a tuneful, traditional score for this one. (Lots of “purty” horn solos)
This was my first exposure as a composer to a studio-backed film. I was at an Irish Pub in Toluca Lake when I met a woman who roomed with the film’s unofficial music consultant. She and I got to talking about this edgy new animated film that Ralph Bakshi was working on. She put me in touch with the right people, and I submitted a short demo (on cassette!) of some of my wackiest material, most of it written the night before I submitted it. Thus began the zany process of landing a very small piece of the score for this film. Ralph said he wanted “Carl Stallings with industrial rock orchestration.” I said, “Sure, I’ve got that.” Who has that?!
As a fresh-off-the-turnip-truck newcomer to L.A., getting this job was both an exciting and intimidating turn of events. I wrote my cues with my tiny synth rig, a Roland MC 500 sequencer (no Mac), a stopwatch, and a large stack of computations and formulas for achieving the hit points. I think the music editors thought that was quaint. I never even got final mixes of my cues! It was a great welcome to Los Angeles for me, regardless of how odd the whole experience was.
The moral of the story — be nice to folks you meet in pubs. You never know with whom you might be talking!
I did this film for Italian TV star, Ezio Greggio. The film’s DP knew me from a short-film I had scored and put me in touch with the team on this one. The cast in this movie is peppered with several friends of Mel Brooks (Dom DeLuise, Rudy De Luca, etal), and has a lot of harmless, broad comedy.
It was fun to work on this project because it’s utterly silly and good-hearted. More importantly, it had a nice budget that allowed me to work with some terrific string, wind, and rhythm players.
To this day, Killer Per Caso floats out in cable-ville and plays in parts of Europe.
I have done a fair amount of theater work over the years but very little of it in Los Angeles. Some years ago, though, I was given the opportunity to work with director Manfred F. Kuhnert on his wonderful production of Ondine at the Powerhouse Theater in Santa Monica, and I’m so glad I did it. It was truly a fine production with a brilliant cast, beautiful set design, and a deep emotional core.
Ondine is the fabled story of a little mermaid-like creature (an ondine) who gives up her entire world, the sea, for the love of a knight named Hans. But Hans cannot be faithful, and he fails her. Their love ends in despair. This legend has been reworked many times including in Ron Howard’s great comedy, Splash. The musical requirements for this production were broad: Play the watery magic of the sea kingdom, the doomed romance with the human, Hans, and, thanks to Manfred’s vision, play the sisters of Ondine as Dreamgirls! A Los Angeles Times reviewer stated his pleasant surprise that the inclusion of glam-girl songs fit right in with the play. That was Manfred’s hope, and it was one of my most enjoyable theater experiences.
The following cue is the “Bows” of the show. I’m hunting down a good copy of the glam-girls number. The singers did a great job on it!
I’ve done loads of short films: great, good, bad, and indifferent. Atom films has some of them. Many others had good festival runs. I’ve met a number of very talented young filmmakers in the process.
Here is music from just a few of my favorites::
Paperlily: Wonderful Sony short film with Fionula Flannigan and Nina Siemaszko. Heartbreaking.
Man With No Eyes: Tim Cox’s sci-fi debut with Mel Stewart, Leon Rippy, and Vernon Wells. One Cool short film! Listen.
Rock Creek: This was a very earnest film by a new filmmaker. It’s family drama about revenge on the western frontier. It had some really nice moments to play
Singularity: One of my many short film collaborations with Matt Nix. They are all funny, all unique. This one had theramin though!
Propeller One Way Night Coach: Actually not a short film, it was a Warner book on tape. But it was written and narrated by John Travolta, and it’s a charming story and was a lot of fun to write for.
Sunny’s Deliverance: This was my first short film in L.A. It’s a UCLA Extension film directed by talented Irish director Declan Recks. Charming story.
I was so jazzed to be able to work on this project. The book by Stephen King was one of my favorites as a kid, and I was excited that it was being produced as a miniseries.
Snuffy Walden, with whom I had already worked on several shows and TV features, called me in to help with arrangements and orchestrations for the show with only a few weeks to go in post. There was an enormous amount of score; some of it quietly thematic, some textural, some eerie, and some gothic horror. Hours of music! And we turned it around very quickly!
It was a great pleasure to work with Snuffy again and with some of the industry’s top rhythm players on what Stephen King referred to as “blue jeans music.” It was a perfect compliment to one of my favorite King movies.
The following is one my favorite of Snuffy’s themes from the mini-series.