Published on February 17th, 2020 | by Michael Newman0
We Talk “Influence” With Composer Florencia Di Concilio
Recently we spoke with Composer Florencia Di Concilio about her work and scoring the film “Influence”
1) Where do you draw your inspiration from?
The film itself, and my immediate surroundings. Of course, the subject matter is key, but more often is the pace in the editing or the textures in the film’s photography that will give me the first guidelines to start composing.
2) What are some of the unique challenges when composing in such a short time frame?
Trying to understand as effectively as I can the director’s intentions and betting on a musical direction, hoping it’s the right musical direction. Really tight deadlines don’t allow you to start all over again.
3) How did you approach this film differently than others you have worked on in the past?
Every film collaboration is a completely different creative process, because the dialog between me and a new filmmaker is always going to be different! That’s what I love about film scoring actually. Luckily, I am technically versatile enough to adapt my vocabulary in order for the music to become a wholesome part of the film and make it as unique as it deserves to be.
4) Are there creative advantages while composing as you are first discovering the film? Something that you feel might be lost given more time?
From my experience, first impressions are always right, so when I am first discovering a film, even if I have a comfortable deadline, chances are I will always stick to those first impressions. Unless the director asks me to go a different way, of course.
There are always things one could have done better or differently, in this particular case the only regret I have is to not have been able to exchange more with the sound designer and sound engineer. To me that’s key: when we watch a movie we also sit and listen. We don’t necessarily want to distinguish music and sound design, it should all come through as a whole.
5) Were there particular areas of the film that were more difficult to compose for than others?
I couldn’t say so. Ryan Mullins’ editing was so coherent and solid that the development of the musical score flowed accordingly.
6) What would you say is your favorite part of your score and why?
The two sequences that are absolutely opposite, both in orchestration and intention. One where I had to make this totally over the top symphonic mariachi spaghetti western music for a mock political commercial, and on the other hand a very intimate, personal, and sober dialogue between a Larsen and a solo piano, giving a voice to the hundreds of missing Chilean people, victims of Pinochet’s dictatorship.
7) Working with such a short time frame is this a challenge that you’d like to do again in the future? Would you say you learned something this time that you would do differently given the chance again? (See below)
8) Did you learn anything particular about yourself while working on the film?
I will give you one answer for both questions.
I am used to really tight deadlines and I love the adrenaline. I might be a musical adrenaline junkie after all! But in this project, even if the deadline seemed absurd (barely two weeks to compose, perform, record, and mix a very complex 90 minute symphonic / electronic score, taking into account notes from the directors and editor and working on a couple of other film scores), I learned that if I tell a producer “don’t worry, I’ll do it,” I will do it, no matter what.