Saturday 24 July 2010


Honey pot is about guys dancing tango in a public toilet. We always needed good music – at least, music – for that scene; and preferably for the whole movie, since we’ve got no dialogue.
Things started on a wrong foot: our first composer dropped out – after initial agreement, ahe said he was overworked, and wanted to pass. Then I met a great guy called Misha Doumnov through Naomi; but he only composes acoustics and works to very high standards, which comes with a cost that we couldn’t afford in our budget. I was getting a bit sour, when I met Liam.
Liam had worked with Joy before on Channel 31, and is finishing a degree in music. He’s been composing stuff for a long time, and he was very keen to get some film experience. As far as musos go, Liam is as good as it gets: he only missed an appointment once, returns a majority of calls, and comes just fifteen to twenty minutes late. More important, he actually does cool stuff, and runs around asking everyone for feedback and advice. He’s not one of these genius composer types that won’t have their baby messed with; which makes him a wonderful guy to work with.
The first week, he sent me drafts – themes he might use, ideas. There were things I liked others I didn’t. He didn’t get offended, on the contrary, took in the feedback, adapted, expanded, and together, we got something we were both happy with.
He did everything on computer, one of these magic software things with thousands of digitalized instruments. I went over to his place one afternoon to fine-tune stuff, and suggested having an Asian flute-like instrument for one of the melodic lines. He clicked on something, and a dozen options appeared for Indian and Chinese flutes.
I was also not completely happy with the music for the last scene. It transitioned abruptly from hectic electro-tango to sugar-sweet romantic. I suggested an idea for transition: slightly before Matthew falls, to reinsert a trip hop bass line that was there before, and to play the romantic theme on the strings over it. We tried, and suddenly, it sounded like one of Aphex Twin’s early compositions. I loved it – it brought a new depth to that last bit, with a sexual throb underlying the sweetness of the failed kiss.
I let Liam play with it some more, he went around, consulted friends, and in the end, he delivered a piece of music much better than what I hoped for when I started the project.