Some music scores can completely take over a scene, however Dave Porter has a different approach when it comes to aurally painting characters’ emotions and exchanges, especially in Vince Gilligan’s work: the 16 Emmy-winning Breaking Bad and this year’s third season off its spin-off Better Call Saul.
Porter melts synthetic sounds with musical notes, creating a wholly original score that gets to a scene’s vibe and raises its stakes with a nuanced tone. It comes as no surprise to learn that Porter started his professional career as an assistant to three-time Oscar nominated minimalist film composer Philip Glass.
“It’s about being in the headspace of the characters,” says Porter who this year, wrote music on Saul for an underling drug dealer, Nacho Varga (Michael Mando), who is trying to take out his boss, Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis); and a neurotic attorney who is mentally on the wane (Michael McKean).
We talk more with Porter in this episode of Crew Call about his style, which he says “creates an easier pathway for an audience to dive into the story, but not necessarily be led in any kind of creative or emotional or moral direction. The goal isn’t so much to comment, but to invite people to bring their own perspective as they’re watching and bring their own conclusions.”
Porter is also a composer on NBC/Sony TV’s The Blacklist and his music can next be heard in James Franco’s comedic biopic The Disaster Artist about eclectic filmmaker Tommy Wiseau and the making of his cult movie The Room.