Monday, 7 January 2013

Scoring Lee Hardcastle's An Alien Claymation

As mentioned in the last blog - I had previously worked with Lee Hardcastle on his earlier film, Chainsaw Babe 3D, so I was pleased when he got in touch, and asked me to score his newest  sci-fi / horror opus, 'An Alien Claymation' - which featured animated extra-terrestrial horrors, the likes of which you've never seen!

Lee didn't want the soundtrack to be too threatening this time, so instead I put together something with more of an old-fashioned 8 bit game sound to the music, instead of modern layers of sound design.

An Alien Claymation was a real blast to work on, and this time the score had a much more 80's computer game vibe to it, along with some crazy arpeggiation parts a la Galaxians & various other arcade game machines.

The music / audio was often as over-the-top and bizarre as the hyper-real games themselves, and filled with electronic bleeps, blasts, quirky sounds and sometimes fantastic and intricate little pieces of music to accompany the hypnotic game-play - and fill your head full of maddening sounds.

For the percussions, I filtered down the most basic kick and snare drum sounds I could find, and also emulated rapid game-play sounds from Asteroids and Arkanoid in place of any other percussive sounds.

The film moves very quickly - s
o instead of one long sound design - I put together entirely separate, very short pieces for each scene; each with it's own specific mood (suspense, pursuit, attack, carnage etc) which pushes everything along from scene to scene, and hopefully moves everything along at a deadly pace.

Loads of fun!

See 'An Alien Claymation' for yourself here:

Scoring Lee Hardcastle's Chainsaw Babe 3D

In 2012, I really enjoyed working on two films for cult animator and director, Lee Hardcastle - who gave me free reign to run wild on the sound-tracks, and go for broke in the name of sheer mayhem.

He is the man responsible for the massive internet hit, Pingu's The Thing, and if you've never seen one of Lee's short, colourful masterpieces, then head over to Youtube, and take a look for yourself - or you could just stay right here, and read on!

I wrote to Lee after seeing his pastiche of Pingu the animated penguin, in a bizarre, super condensed 2 minute claymation version of John Carpenter's, The Thing - and I was pleased and surprised when he asked me to score his next film 'Chainsaw Babe 3D' which was a homage and pastiche to Takena Nagao's cult animation, Chainsaw Maid (2007).
I won't go too deeply into the plot, because you can watch the film right here on this blog after you've finished reading.

It was actually quite challenging to do something like this, because it was silent, and also I'd never scored animated clay before, - so it was great to be involved.
On top of that, I was very pleased to be working with Lee, because I like his films so much.

Chainsaw Babe 3D is totally unpredictable in it's manic intent, and because of that, I treated it like a mini feature-film during scoring.

The action scenes have a genuine, dramatic intensity to them, so I made a point of forgetting that they were made of colourful plasticine clay, and treated them like regular actors in a frightening story.
The score works with the story (I hope) rather than being a series of obviously placed, comedic sounds, and the whole film really plays nicely.

Aside from the obvious homage to the original film, there are crafty nods to classic films like Zombie Flesh Eaters, the Evil Dead films and Dawn Of The Dead.

In true video-nasty style, Lee distributed the film in both cut and uncut versions, although the violence is intact in both versions of the film - some of the claymation nudity has been carefully censored!

I hope you enjoy Chainsaw Babe 2D or 3D!

Here is the 2D version (censored for reasons of boobies and nudity)

And here's the 3D version! (censored for reasons of boobies and nudity)