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'Nimona' composer and music director on 'Metal' soundtrack for animated film

It took more than five years to bring Nimona to the screen in its entirety. Pink, punk rock glory , but it finally came to fruition in June thanks to a bunch of creators who didn’t give up and some remixes bring.

“We love

music , so when we started this story process, we Beginning director Nick Bruno tells The Hollywood Reporter how he and fellow director Troy Quane made for in preparation. Netflix soundtrack to the film. “We liked the idea of ​​the entire soundtrack being female-led. It’s punk and big energy and something you want to dance to, you want to ride a rhino. It’s been a multi-generational effort, and a big part of that goes to our Music Director, Kier [Lehman]. ”

For Quane, Nimona composer Christophe Beck “was simply a genius” for They created the soundtrack so exciting they chose to pull out all the other sounds in many scenes and just let the soundtrack play. “We wanted something classic and traditional to honor the fairy tales of yesteryear, but make it contemporary. and fashion. Then we ran away, laughing and laughing, and somehow he did it,” Quinn added. “He put his indelible heart into it, and we wanted to hear the score because it was so emotional. It makes you swoon. ”

Beck – Known for animated works such as Frozen and ) Troll – Hired six years ago, “different directors at different studios,” he said. It was the longest he’d been on a project, and he waited years for it Knowing if this ex-Blue Sky studio turned Annapurna production can survive the studio closure.

“This is the most challenging for me sexual aspect. I was involved in a project that I was really excited about, but had to wait, wait, wait, and not know if it was going to happen,” he told THR. “So, in the end Achieving that, and working with directors like Troy Quinn and Nick Bruno, who were a joy to work with, is an incredibly happy ending. ”

To Lehman, the music director responsible for the unforgettable stitches behind animated projects like Sony’sSpiderman movies The journey, though shorter, was just as rewarding, starting with some choices already made by the Blue Sky Music department, who joined after Annapurna started finishing the film, for Nimona Aggressive sound from the rule-breaking hero.

“Most of the time, the films I shoot have a lot of challenges. It really was a smooth process and a testament to the directors Nick and Troy and the producers,” he said. They finally got a chance to finish the movie the way it should and I was really lucky to be a part of it and had a great time. ”

Lehman and Baker together weave the musical arc and landscape of Nimona’s bold and moving story Baker does this with the help of his personal collaborators and cleverly uses a repetitive sequence that listeners can use to track the film’s unique heroes through his score. Meanwhile, Lehman relies on K.Flay’s catchy end-credits theme and sharp insight into a great female rocker. (Though, as far as he knows, the Dickies song “Banana Splits” isn’t a throwback to voice star Chloe Murray Chloë Grace Moretz in Kick-Ass


THR Sit down with Baker and Lehman and follow Nimona ‘ post to talk about how they connect the (fairytale) past to the (technology) in music; via The female-led soundtrack captures the complexity of Nimona’s emotions; how she ends up creating her own uplifting songs and “metal” playlist; and how they sneak in some Easter eggs, including Psycho and George Michael References.

Statue of Gloreth in Nimona
Nimona Statue of Gloreth in Nimona Statue of GlorethNetflix

You guys have different jobs on film, but there seems to be some overlap in what you guys are doing here on this soundtrack. Could you start by talking about your approach and what you’ve been talking to the directors about what they want from your respective work What was discussed?

Christopher Baker We talk a lot about the setup, which is unique. It’s a combination I’ve never seen before – knights with swords and phones in a medieval setting. For me, capturing the medieval, very traditional atmosphere involved using an orchestra and using a certain type of writing that had signposts pointing to the medieval Knights of the Round Table. But it also infuses it with some modern elements, using electronics and synthesizers to provide its backbone. Beyond that, a lot of what we’re talking about is just the emotional content of the story. Nimona feels alone because she isn’t really seen as who she thinks she really is. It feels like Ballister has been wrongly blamed. Musically, what brings it to the front of the story is a very strong, very heartfelt musical theme. One for Nimona and one for Ballister. I can play with those. I can play them both at the same time, or have them affect each other.

The last part about my conversation with Nick and Troy was that there were only a few places where I pulled out the guitar and drums. They really wanted more of a punk rock feel, and I think as you pointed out, the roles of composer and music director became a bit blurred, and I was creating things that sounded like they came from the songs. I also know of a big action movie set with “Flight of the Bumblebee” in a punk rock setting, which is another area where our characters overlap a little bit. I take a very famous classic piece from classical music, but rearrange it in a way that not only sounds very interesting and modern, but I can also apply my soundtrack to the picture technique. I made adjustments to the scene from start to finish.

Keir Lehman Part of my job is to develop the side of Nimona’s character, her attitude – the energy she has in these situations. A lot of them are moments where she’s trying to get out of trouble. She tries to get Ballister out of trouble and is either captured or held captive. She does have this innate strength. She’s fearless and creative, but there’s also an element of fun in the fight scenes where she makes funny comments about what’s going on or what Ballister is doing or how she’s convincing him to trust her. In some of the songs, we had both styles, the songs had to carry the energy and the fighting elements. There’s some back and forth, there’s some anger, but she’s having that fun too. She might be the only one having fun with the situation, but this music is playing out her character and telling us about her.

BakerNimona (voice of Chloë Grace Moretz) and Ballister Boldheart (voice of Riz Ahmed) Keel, you just reminded me of an opportunity I had to connect directly with her character in this way, and it was something I never had chance in any movie I’ve ever shot. There are a few moments where she’s excited to get into chaos, and she has a little guitar riff. I remember early on Troy and Nick said we needed a guitar riff where she could sing, so I mocked up a few different ones. They picked the one they liked best. After I wrote it they asked her to sing, and then they started animating it. So you actually get the effect in the movie of her singing that riff, and then the score starts immediately and goes on to repeat that riff. Now, the rest of the scene is soundtracked by the riff she sings.

You tell the audience two different ways Who is Mona. Kier, you have her fun, chaotic, punk rock side, with a soundtrack full of female voices. Chris, Nimona’s theme is a softer song using stringed instruments and vocals. It’s also remixed into different emotional tones throughout the score, emphasizing her vibrant concepts—never one thing. How do you hope these different voices shape her musically as a whole as a character?

Nimona and Ballister Boldheart Baker Nimona (voice of Chloë Grace Moretz) and Ballister Boldheart (voice of Riz Ahmed) you are right . Her theme is softer, which I think illustrates that everyone on this planet has a mask to show to the rest of the world, and in the case of Nimona, the mask she chose to show to Ballister was “I’m happy “. I like chaos. I like chaos. I love hitting people, and I love being the bad guy. ’ It’s all very interesting for us as viewers. It seems to me that it’s a coping mechanism for her to protect her from the pain she’s been through and continues to be through. That’s where the softness is. That’s Where the heart is. I think it’s a really interesting way of looking at our different characters – Gere’s character and mine, and it’s not necessarily an exact comparison that’s clear and valid throughout the movie, but what I’m trying to say Yes, in a broad sense – he brings that chaos, that sense of fun and rebellion.

My role is to get to the bottom of that and bring out The pain, the loneliness, the need she has to connect with other people and she hasn’t been met thus far. A lot of songs have female vocals and it’s only natural for me to have female vocals in the instrumental scorecard as well. As far as I’m concerned , we don’t actually hear her sing any of the lyrics. It’s more of a part of the instrumental structure, but you get a very human texture, and you as a listener can make that connection with Nimona just like you do with the song Like making a connection.

Lehman Nimona (voice of Chloë Grace Moretz) and Ballister Boldheart (voice of Riz Ahmed) Voice is very important in terms of representing her character, and the community that we have in this film that talks to LGBTQ is also very important throughout The characters and themes throughout the story. We wanted to bring in voices that spoke to that community, but also voices and bands that had broad appeal. The voices of these people were very strong, and their attitude matched the energy that Nemona brought Match. People like Karen O, Santigold, The Dolly Rockers, The Dickies and Metric etc. These are the filmmakers and I’m a big fan.

When I enter At the time of this project, it had been in development for a long time, so some of these songs had become part of the world. I came to help build it, and invited other artists to participate, such as K.Flay and Dope Saint Jude. A lot of this music came from several The era years ago, when a lot of sounds and attitudes got more attention in music. It’s not that those things don’t exist now, because they do exist, it’s just less obvious. It was a time when music was vibrant, original Excitement, pulse and drive, now in music in different forms.

So we try to find that energy and either create it or find that still have that energy existing songs. Dope Saint Jude is a more modern artist, and he was the first song we heard and somehow introduced the film. When we started and helped make a movie that existed between two When looking at films from different eras, I like to take a more modern approach to sound, attitude and feel: medieval and future. We brought these elements together and launched Nimona.


Statue of Gloreth in Nimona Nimona and Ballister ·Being chased after being bold and fleeing from the institute
Netflix Nimona and Ballister Boldheart

Nimona and Ballister Boldheart Nimona calls the thing “metal” and in the music supervision it manifests itself in the “fuck man” rock genre, provocative lyrics and Literally metal band Judas Priest. The score includes electric guitars as well as brass and other metal instruments. These all suggest heroism, which is what Nimona shows, but it’s mostly about the voices of the Academy—”Glores’ Theme,” “Regicide,” “Night of the Knights.” So how has Nimona’s concept of metal influenced your musical choices?

Lehman part of us Wanted literally showcases her connection to music—she talks about the music she’s listening to and singing about. One of our early conversations was about making the music connect directly and specifically to her character. So sometimes she would wear headphones and play and sing along to Santigold, Karen O’s song “Go.” We talked about wanting to make an immediate connection that this was the music she listened to all her life.This is what motivates her in those moments and in those scenes for She scores music.

Especially in Judas Priest’s use, some of the moments we’ve been playing very literally render the music that will be played here. George Michael’s saxophone – those moments – hits the spot. We use this element to tell this story, we use this song to tell this story in a very literal way. So there’s a lot of layers to the metallicity of it, to Boldheart’s character and what he’s going through. It’s fun to play. Overall, we really had fun with the song choices while we were joking. We show these characters having fun, it’s essentially part of their character.

BakerNimona (voice of Chloë Grace Moretz) and Ballister Boldheart (voice of Riz Ahmed) I just wanted to pull back a bit and get back to the topic of mixing you were talking about. One of the fundamental tools I have as a film composer – it comes from opera and was popularized with incredible skill by John Williams in Star Wars, who really brings this A little soundtrack at ’19s — A theme or melody can represent a character’s thoughts. We then use all the musical tools at the composer’s disposal to vary that theme and present it in a different context. If the melody is strong, you can take the same melody and orchestrate it, arrange it, re-harmonize it in the same way that feels completely different but still recognizable. It’s really a perfect mirror for a story like Nimona where you have a unique character going through all these different emotions. It’s like peanut butter and jelly, so that’s a pretty astute observation.

For the brass section, I would choose a specific instrument or family of instruments (such as brass) and explore all the Bring in different colors. You correctly pointed out the heroic side. You hear the brass playing the heroic, glorious theme in the first track 25 Seconds of the movie. But as you point out, you also hear some of the scarier moments – especially when you get into the lower register with the trombone and French horn. You get a very sharp effect. But there’s also some beauty and heart in the brass section. A horn solo adds nobility to the proceedings. We had a lot of horn solos, usually when we were talking about Ballister as a misunderstood hero. So you get a sense of sadness and heart from the beautiful melody played by the French horn, but because it’s played on the French horn, it brings a little bit of heroism to it, even if the overall feel is sad.

Nimona is a movie for a broad audience, and it can do that to some extent because it has a variety of genres. The comedy of “Tra La La Song” meets the horror of “Zombie.” There are also explosions of instruments like the “See Something, Say Something” scene. Can you talk about those opportunities to be different from the rest of the film?

Nimona and Ballister Boldheart Lehman Nimona (voice of Chloë Grace Moretz) and Ballister Boldheart (voice of Riz Ahmed) “Tra La La Song” was a little ahead of its time. We’re introducing an ad for cereal for kids. I think it’s just a development of the world they live in. It’s a funny joke. We brought it back a few times and gave one of those lighthearted moments. We make people laugh and tell stories. Another of those moments was George Michael “Careless Whisper” saxophone in a train station. It might be a little subtle, maybe the parents will notice and have a laugh, and we’re in this intense escape scene before the intense fight and fight scene.

Baker I like to avoid music that is designed purely to be stupid or silly. I think you can have a lot of fun out of a scene with music, taking the characters seriously while still allowing for a laugh. The “Zombie” piece is a perfect example. Listen to it yourself, it doesn’t sound funny or stupid. It has a nostalgic quality to it. We really wanted it to sound like horror music—or what people thought it was—sounds like shooting zombie movies back in the day. Another scene that we purposely played with the music was the one where Nimona is transformed and she’s now in the form of [Ambroseus’] golden loins.

It was an incredibly pseudo-dramatic scene, and we wanted the audience to feel like this murder was actually happening, but we pulled the rug out from under them. We want the audience to have a chance to catch their breath and have a little fun and hopefully they’ll be like, “Oh my god, what happened?” I think you’re talking about a horror beat with very little, I’d actually go with it and let out a huge horror The music explodes. Everyone laughs when I do that. In the “Flight of the Bumblebee” sequence, they try to kidnap Page and she takes the form of a young boy.

Another moment, she decides to have fun and scare people, so her face goes round. I’ll gleefully go along with it and do some horror movie gore, but that’s not meant to be scary. It’s from the perspective of the person she’s trying to scare, and we’re all part of the joke. There’s a similar moment near the end when Bully Rider Todd is leading their hover vehicle charge as he looks forward to Nimona’s gruesome glory. Actually, for anyone who knows the music of Psycho, I mentioned the famous shower scene. I’m referring to a classic, scary, scary moment that’s not played for the sake of being funny, and I’m using the same string effects for being funny.


Nimona (Chloë Murray ) and Ballister Bodhert (voiced by Riz Ahmed)


It’s clear from the score Chris that you’re writing to a different character , emotion, location Nimona (voice of Chloë Grace Moretz) and Ballister Boldheart (voice of Riz Ahmed). Kier, you talk about capturing the interaction between Nimona and Ballister in the music, which seems to be in Metric’s “Gold Gun Girls” – A song about “enough is enough”. How much did you think about the music of the other characters?

Nimona and Ballister Boldheart Baker 1235527657 Obviously, Ni Mona’s name is the title. She is featured in many scenes. She is a central character. She is the focus of music. Her relationship with Ballister is also a huge part of the film. But there are many other situations, scenes and characters. You pointed out the institute and director. We don’t know until a certain point in the movie that the director is doing something bad, so I have to play some balance there. I think when we first hear her theme, it’s in the context of grieving the Queen who was killed at the investiture, so there’s a certain sadness to it. But once she reveals her true colors, the same theme is now played on bass strings, much more sinister.

Lehman Nimona (voice of Chloë Grace Moretz) and Ballister Boldheart (voice of Riz Ahmed) That metric moment you mentioned has multiple layers – her relationship with Ballister, the element of the director lying and their being in that scene News of celebration. We watched a few different songs at that moment and had different ideas about what we wanted to say. Is this pure celebration, or is there a deeper conflict? Eventually, we finished that song and we realized that it had all these elements about the relationship between the two of them – the lyrics you mentioned in the song, and the tone of the song, it’s kind of dark edge it. It’s not just about celebrating. It’s not like the fun moments we’ve had with Nimona in the past, even when she’s in combat. At this moment, we’re dealing with the subtext of the director’s character, and there’s still this tension between her and Ballister and their relationship—whether he accepts her or not.

Is there any element of this experience or song is special to you?

Baker Nimona theme is very special to me personally because I have to collaborate with my fiancée, who sings female vocals, and I happen to be marrying her in three days. It was very special that I was able to share the experience of making a film like this with my soon-to-be wife.

Lehman Nimona (voice of Chloë Grace Moretz) and Ballister Boldheart (voice of Riz Ahmed) The song I’m most proud of and most excited about in the movie is the ending credits song “T-Rex” that K.Flay made for us. We tried a few people writing demos and getting closer to some ideas, but when I brought her in to watch and write, it was the first thing she turned into us, and everyone was immediately super excited. We all know that’s the energy, the tone, the lyrics. This is the right artist to bring it all to life. She does such an incredible job. There are many parts of the lyrics that the filmmakers really like. They got really excited about little productions like slow motion lines and repeating it in slow motion. The directors loved that, and they said, “Turn it up a bit.” (laughs. ) So we were really excited about that song, and I’m really excited to be able to Take her with you in this movie. The way it works with the animation of the credits is really cool.

Interview edited for length and clarity.



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