When your story takes you on a journey to outer space, do you hear the underscoring from 2001: A Space Odyssey, the themes from Star Wars, or the soundtrack from Guardians of the Galaxy?
For this particular film, I wanted to be a bit more tongue in cheek. It’s a lego astronaut, so it should be a bit fun, humorous, maybe a bit silly. I decided to model this soundtrack more along the lines of classic television shows of the 60s – The Jetsons, Lost in Space. Batman. A bit kitschy and not take itself too serious. But, I also never want to go for the easy laugh or obvious choice.
The opening sequence is moving up in 4ths. This can bring a bit of a jazz feel and leans more to the light, jazzy scores of the 60s. Star Wars and 2001 are based on 5ths, a more classical/traditional feel, and Guardians of the Galaxy is pop centered.
We move up by fourths until the last note, a minor third, to round out the theme. Then repeat the 4ths and minor third for the fanfare until arriving at the A section.
The A section tries to get a bit more serious, now directly utilizing the classic 5ths for the melody. The lower brass plays triplets along with the low strings to give it a bit of gravitas, but not really quite making it to full blown seriousness. My goal was to misdirect the viewer just a bit until we see what is really going on.
Woodwinds are doing what they do so well – high runs in the upper register joined with the high strings to balance out the heaviness of the lower end. No percussion is used as I thought it might get too heavy. Seems like things are getting serious when you get the percussionists involved. By now, the viewer is getting the image of the spaceman walk via USB cable, so no need to pretend this is a dangerous matter any longer. It’s really just a joy ride – perhaps unsanctioned by NASA?
To end, we return to the opening 4ths fanfare but double time leading into the final end title card. Doubling up the timing lets me recall the opening but in a refreshed way. It’s familiar but also new. It adds to the energy by speeding it up and leads us to the finishing chords.
Once I decided on the visual effect to use over the end title, I synced up the final trumpet triplet to match the final star burst. I knew I wanted the visual and the audio (ending notes) to hit at the same point and go to black -in this case the space after the final note. The syncing of the bursts earlier in the sequence came along as a happy accident. Sometimes things just work out.
Cinematography: Stephen St. Amant
Score, Opening and Ending Titles: Kayle Clements