Posts tagged film scoring

It's always a good time to come back into the world of toys with the gents at Naknek Design! Check out the newest jingle created for this new commercial for BEVERLY HILLS TEDDY BEAR's newest creation: SHIMMEEZ! 

Music by Grant Fonda
Voiced by Stacey Forbes
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Scott Frankfurt at Scott Frankfurt Studio. 


Best Original Score Nomination!

Thrilled to announce that DOWN THE FENCE has been nominated for Best Original Score at the AUSTIN REVOLUTION FILM FESTIVAL (September 19-23) alongside director MJ Isakson for Best Female Director! Congrats to the entire cast and crew!! 

To purchase or listen to the score, click HERE.
For you PANDORA and SPOTIFY users, the score is also live there!

To learn more about DOWN THE FENCE, including information about festivals and screenings, head to the film's website HERE


If you've been following the new for DOWN THE FENCE, you've probably heard that it's having a successful run in the Indie Film circuit (read: Laurels!). If you haven't heard, it's coming to SANTA BARBARA for a special screening! If you weren't able to attend the premiere at the SLO Film Festival, this is a chance to come watch this film with a whole lot of heart. Serving as composer for this project was one of the great joys of my 2016. Stay tuned for more info about the forthcoming soundtrack album! 


The House that Rob Built - Teaser!

About two years ago, I had the pleasure of collaborating with director Jon Cipiti and producers Megan Harrington and Catherine Fowler for their feature indie documentary THE DATING PROJECT, which is now in its festival circuit and still has some big news brewing (stay tuned...)! 

Last month, I got a call from Jon & Megan wondering if I'd be interested in joining the pre-production team as the composer for their new feature documentary, THE HOUSE THAT ROB BUILT. The film's currently in production, and is the incredible story of Rob Selvig and the Lady Grizz. Never heard of Rob or the Lady Grizz? Check out the trailer below and GET EXCITED. 

This trailer has as much heart and passion in it as Jon & Megan do for this project. It's a joy to score for them! 

Head over to for more updates and information about how you can help this come to life!


I've tried writing this blog twice and deleted both versions. Both versions were about the process of creating the score for Shawn, my relationship with Brian Ivie (the film's director), the technical details, and anything remotely nerdy that most of you reading this would probably find interesting. And then, after 45 minutes of writing, I realized that it was all wrong.

Because all of these things aren't what Shawn is about. 

I have never wept more while working on a movie than I did while scoring Shawn. I have never been more humbled on a project, and never more sobered by life. Brian has become a dear friend who has iterally stayed up ALL night with me as we worked to tell the story of a wayward son, a desperate mother, an angry father, and a gracious God. And the craziest thing to me about Shawn is that it's all true. 

If you're a family man, a wayward son, someone who regrets or is afraid of their past, someone who counts themselves as religious, someone who's offended by religion, or someone who can't bear to think about what the future might hold because tomorrow's unknowns are almost too much to bear, watch this film. I promise you that it will be some of the best 20 something minutes of your life that you've spent, but not because it is artistically satisfying, has an interesting score, or features Francis Chan. While these things are true, they're not the reason that we made this film. 

We made this film because of who Shawn Malone was, who he is, and why he's alive today. And, funnily enough, none of that... is about Shawn.
So, will you follow the link above and watch this true story for free online? You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

My $50,000 Harmonica

In 2013, I received one of the most unusual and yet coolest graduation gifts that I could never think of: a C-Major diatonic harmonica. It wasn't from my mother, grandfather, or any other blood relative. No, this harmonica came from my Alma Mater, the USC Thornton School of Music as a gift for my graduation from the Scoring for Motion Picture & Television Program (SMPTV). My wife and I joked that it was a $50,000 instrument because of the cost of the program. And yet despite the joking, I held onto that harmonica like it was actually worth that much. 

It was a fun and quirky gift. It sat on my desk for a few weeks, made its rounds around our home after dinner and at random intervals when boredom set in, really functioning more as a novelty piece in our home than something functional for my career, which, is probably how it was intended to be used. (I can't imagine the Thornton administration sitting around and thinking "one day, one of our graduates will actually use this to make a living.") After a few weeks, the harmonica went back in its case, packed up, and moved across town to our new home, and then packed into a box and moved again 1 year later to the new studio location. The novelty gradually became forgotten. 

In the last 12 months, I was fortunate to be connected with Graham Kelley of Naknek Design. We hit it off as pals immediately, and have since collaborated on several projects together that have both paid the bills and satisfied our creative tendencies, most of these projects being corporate gigs helping businesses grow their brands through visual storytelling. And then, in January of this year, Graham told me that he was going with Ryan Francis (his business partner) to a small town in north central California to start work on what would be a multi-part narrative short series on hard work. He said that he'd love for me to help score it. I didn't object.

Months went by, life happened, and I completely forgot about the project until Graham asked me if I'd take a look at the temp that they had for their final cut of the first episode about three weeks ago. I'm now scoring the first short in this series called "Sweat of Thy Brow", releasing later this summer. Without giving any spoilers, I'll just say that it's been a blast creating an Americana-esque score that's based around a une. A real, fleshed out, 16 bar tune with a B section! The little things in life... 

As I was scoring today, I was fiddling with various textures and couldn't quite get the right balance between reediness, gritty earthiness, warmth, breathiness, and humanity. I tried building synth patches. I tried over 100 patches in Omnisphere (I mean, c'mon! No one built a patch with ALL of those tags I needed??). I tried singing. Nothing fit. Frustrated, I took a lunch break and then came back up to the studio to file a few pieces of mail that had arrived. Much to my surprise, the solution to my texture problem stared me down from my score-taping table. At some point in the last month, my wife had come across the harmonica again and placed it neatly next to a lamp in the studio, almost as if it was begging to be used again. I thought "what the heck" and brushed up on my harmonica chops (which are minimal), then started playing along to the B section of my tune for Naknek. It was absolutely perfect. The texture, the warmth, the grit, the humanity... it was all there. 

It's been said that live instruments increases the production value of a score. Well, as of today, this small budget project just got a $50,000 score. Fight on! 

"Work hard, be nice, get lucky." [Dan Carlin] 

I recently had the privilege of lunching with Dan Carlin, the chair of USC's Scoring for Motion Picture and Television Program, my alma mater. Dan is an all-around great guy, great listener, and has been around the block in this town enough to know who's who, what's what, and what to say (or not) to said who's. I was reminded when I spent some time with him of how many different collaborations I've had in this town, many of which seem to be because of the above principles (I'd substitute "get lucky" with "trust God."). 

Hard work is hard to come by these days. Nice people are hard to come by. Nice people who work hard are even harder to find. So, by simply being nice and working hard (that's an understatement), it's amazing to see how  relationships are grown (and kept). And, by being in the right place at the right time, you never know... you might get lucky. 

Also, if you've never been to Tam O'Shanter in Glendale, it's worth the trip. Their Corned Beef is spectacular. And their horseradish is hotter than Hades. 

"Unfriended" Soundtrack Now Available!

Josh Weisbrod is one of the most clever animators I know. And yes, I know quite a few. About a year ago, he created a little sci-fi flick that's been running around the festival circuit and is coming home to LA this Friday night at the First Frame Festival. To celebrate, I'm pleased to announce that the score is now available to purchase and stream on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and Pandora. 

Check out this little score that I recorded with some killer players at a little place that's becoming a home away from home: Scott Frankfurt Studio. As is usually the case, the quartet that I used brought an entirely new life to this score. Special thanks to Aidan Rowe (piano), Sean Sumwalt (saxophones), and John Urban (bass) for the HOT solos! 

Be sure to check out the film's facebook page HERE for details on the screening and updates!

To whet your appetite, check out one of my favorite cues from this film: The Pig Dance.