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Currently scoring the animated feature film Barbie’s Dreamtopia. Directed by by the amazingly talented Saul Blinkoff.

This post originally appeared in the Hollywood Journal.

http://hollywoodjournal.com/personal-journeys/ninety-seconds-to-safety/20140709/

Sirens are going off as rockets arc through the night sky and high tech missile defences intercept them. No, it’s not Jerry Bruckheimer’s latest film. I’m in Jerusalem with my wife and two kids for my youngest brother’s wedding, and terrorists from Gaza are launching rockets at Israel. The last time I heard sirens in Jerusalem, it was the ’91 Gulf War and I was a kid wearing a gas mask being ushered by my parents into a sealed room. Now I’m the parent, I’m the responsible one. Two little sleeping innocents I have to protect.

We rush into the bedrooms, grab the kids, put them over our shoulders and head to safety. We’re standing in the stairwell of the apartment building, the safest place structurally. All the neighbors are also there, dressed in their pajamas, holding their kids and dogs. People are chatting, there’s a sense of togetherness. I look around… nobody is holding their big screen TV, the keys to their luxury car, or their work laptop.

There’s nothing like a rocket siren to make you figure out what’s important in life. Ninety seconds… the length of a movie trailer, that’s how long you have to get to shelter after the siren goes off. These ninety seconds aren’t about going on an epic cinematic journey with Russell Crowe though. These ninety seconds are how long you have to decide who you are and what really matters to you. There’s no time to get caught up in material things… no time to fool yourself that the only thing that matters is the film you’re up for, or the studio meeting you have next week.

The only things we have with us are the kids… oh, and our iPhones, of course.

[aesop_content color=”#000000″ background=”#ffffff” width=”55%” columns=”2″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]From the beginning it was clear to both director Nadine and myself that it was going to be a very contemporary indie / pop score. Unlike my usual hybrid scores combining orchestra with contemporary elements, there was not a single orchestral instrument in sight. The entire score was done with electric guitars, acoustic guitars, keyboards, drum kits, loops and synths. While still a fun high school comedy, Nadine had brought out deep character portrayals from the actors. A large aspect of my scoring was to help the audience care about the characters and their issues, while still bringing out the humour in many of the scenes.[/aesop_content]

 

[aesop_quote background=”#ffffff” text=”#000000″ align=”center” width=”55%” size=”2″ quote=”Five students from opposite sides of the lunchroom must work together to finish their Senior Project.” cite=”” parallax=”off”]

[aesop_content color=”#000000″ background=”#ffffff” width=”55%” columns=”2″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]Directed by Nadine Truong and produced by Stephane Gauger , Fabienne Wen and Yaron Kaplan , the film stars Ryan Potter (Nickelodeon’s Supah Ninjas), Vanessa Marano (ABC Family’s Switched at Birth), Meaghan Martin (Mean Girls 2, ABC’s 10 Things I Hate About You), Sterling Beaumon (Lost, Red Widow), Kyle Massey (That’s So Raven, Cory in the House), Youtube star Lana McKissack, and stand-up comedian and actor Margaret Cho.[/aesop_content]