LSM Newswire

Friday, September 18, 2009

Clinton Shorter sets tone for Sci-Fi drama District 9


Composer also scores Cole, which premieres at Toronto International Film Festival


Los Angeles/Toronto, ON - Film Composer Clinton Shorter scores District 9 produced by Peter Jackson and directed by Neill Blomkamp. The current box-office hit centers on the fallout caused by a group of alien refugees stranded on Earth (in Johannesburg) and forced into a segregation camp (the title comes from District 6, a former inner-city residential area in Cape Town infamous for the forced removal of 60,000 residents in the 70s by the Apartheid regime). Shorter, recently named by Hollywood Reporter Next Generation of Film Composers to Watch, has worked with the director on several projects, I had worked with Blomkamp over the years on his commercials and short films. When he called in late 2008 and asked me if I'd score his first feature I was all over it. Shorter newest feature Cole, the coming-of-age drama directed by Carl Bessai's marks the directors seventh film to premiere at the Toronto festival. The film screens on September 15th and the Vancouver-based composer will be at the festival in support of Cole. Shorter incorporated an ambient guitar-based score which seamlessly transitions with songs used in the film.


For District 9, Shorter collaborated closely with Blomkamp, I spent the first several weeks experimenting with every African instrument I could think of. Neill was really pushing me to give the score an African sound; it was quite a task to maintain an African feel but give the film the darkness and edge it required. We incorporated African male vocals with some percussion from the region combined with other elements. With District 9, I knew from the beginning that I was going to go with more of a hybrid score of live and synthesized instruments. Without giving too much away there's a "mutation" of sorts in the film and I wanted to have that mirrored in the music Shorter also scored the short film which was the impetus of the feature but, as the composer said, For the short, we hired a singer and used various orchestral libraries. The sound for the feature is quite different.

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