The original motion picture score race has begun, and already two-time Oscar winning composer Alexandre Desplat is a contender for his music on George Clooney’s sci-fi Netflix movie The Midnight Sky which recently received a Golden Globe nomination.
Desplat stands apart from other composers in his annual churn rate, and at a superlative level, however, The Midnight Sky is an anomaly piece of work for him, despite being his sixth collaboration with director/producer Clooney: The French composer pulled off a great feat and recorded the score remotely during the pandemic.
“It was horrible because I couldn’t go to London to record and conduct the orchestra. So, Netflix moved mountains to make it possible. We had a great audio and video link between Abbey Road studio and the London Symphony orchestra, George Clooney and Grant Heslov in Los Angeles at very early hours, and I was in Paris in my studio producing the recording without being able to conduct,” sighs Desplat.
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In regards to how Clooney approaches the score versus other filmmakers Desplat has worked with: “He has this extreme relationship with music; it’s in his DNA. He was raised with Rosemary Clooney and musicians around him. Music is in his blood.”
“When we listen to music together, I can feel his vibration, the way his face lights up or not,” adds the composer.
On Midnight Sky, Clooney and Desplat sought to set the score apart from other sci-fi movies, intent on defying the genre’s musical tropes.
Says Desplat, “We avoided a sci-fi score with electronica: No choir; no cheesy, corny 1950s theremin. It had to be pure, organic and playing the emotions, the void of space, the spinning orbits and a tragic hope. All these things together and very early on, we discarded all these other options that would have have taken us to a cliché.”
Listen to our conversation with Desplat below:
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