5 Questions with Gregory James Jenkins

Recently we sat down with Gregory James Jenkins to discuss his work on THE FINAL GIRLS.  Get the album now - http://smarturl.it/FinalGirls.

1. Describe The Final Girls on Varese.
A: The Final Girls was my first feature score and I’m super proud of it.  In the film, our lead characters get sucked into an 80’s slasher movie called “Camp Bloodbath.”  One of the biggest challenges was trying to create a score that was heavily steeped in 1980’s while still trying to bring something new to the table.  There’s a modern twist to the production, but at times the score becomes hyperreal, as in it sounds more 80’s than anything from the 80’s actually sounded like.  On the flip side, there’s an emotional through line to the score that supports the mother/daughter relationship in the movie.  For this I used a more modern production palette while still trying to keep these cues in the same world as the 80’s music.

2. Did the director give you any interesting instructions or feedback to help you create the tonal palate?
A: The director (Todd Strauss-Schulson) and I have been collaborating on projects for the past 4-5 years.  So, in that time we’ve really developed a short hand when working together.  Todd will start sending me ideas, and musical references months before a project starts, and I’ll begin sending him various sonic explorations so we can start narrowing in on the sound.  I think overall a lot of things Todd was pushing for was to making all our action/horror stuff more aggressive, making the jump scares sharper, and making sure to keep all the max/mom relationship stuff very delicate.

3. Which scene did you score first and why? 
A: The first scene I scored was the friends outside the theatre, which is “Oogling’s a Word Right?” on the soundtrack.  The reason is because we found this scene to be a good way to start establishing the palette of the ‘real world’ versus the ‘Camp Bloodbath’ world.  We already had a sense of what our 80’s slasher movie sound was going to be like, so we wanted to start by figuring out what our real world sound was.

4. What does it mean to you to have you music released by this label?  What is your favorite Varese title in your collection?
A: It’s a huge honor!  Varese has such a long tradition of putting out great score music, it’s wonderful to be apart of that on my first film score!  Obviously, The Nightmare on Elmstreet boxset is where’s its at for me.

5. What kind of ensemble did you use to record the score?  Did you use any interesting or unusual instrumentation or soloists who deserve a shout-out?
A: Well, this is not your typical film score, as it’s mostly electronic based.  Most of the score was me and my computer.  A lot of analog synths were used.  For the geeks out there here’s a list: Roland SH-1000, Yamaha CS-15, Elektron Analog Keys, Korg Volca series, Moog Liberation, Dave Smith Prophet 08, Korg Poly-800.  I also would like to point out the contributions of two amazing musicians.  Chase Deso did all of the guitar work peppered throughout the score, and Jake Bartfield played cello, double bass and electric bass.  


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