New York, NY (June 29, 2004)–Doug Hall, who heads up newly launched Propeller Music & Sound Design, teamed up with composer Len Miller of DreamScape Music to score the original soundtrack for the quirky new independent feature, Steve Phoenix: The Untold Story. The film recently received critical acclaim when it headlined the Philadelphia Film Festival.
Composers Hall and Miller have a long history of collaboration. Hall, who previously headed-up the Clio-winning Mess Hall Music & Sound Design, had called upon Miller to work on a number of commercials under that banner; more recently the pair scored a campaign for AIG Insurance through Miller’s music house.
“It was great to get back to scoring for the big screen,” said Hall who, as an original member of Elias Music’s staff, composed tracks for several feature films, including a collaboration with Jonathan Elias on the title song for the James Spader film Tuff Turf, which was performed by Southside Johnny.
“I’ve always focused on my commercial work,” noted Hall, who has scored spots for such high-end clients as Visa, Jeep, Calvin Klein, Mercedes Benz and AT&T. “And we created Propeller with the needs of that market in mind. However, I really enjoy mixing it up with long form projects. Scoring films also brings a fresh perspective to my spot work, particularly when it’s an innovative project like this.”
Steve Phoenix: The Untold Story is the tale of Jack Sparks, host of a Philadelphia public-access TV program, who’s desperate to find the big story that will make his career. He listens to underground radio peopled with conspiracy theory buffs, one of whom gives him a tip on an important, untold story. Sparks goes undercover with the real Philly rock band, Steve Phoenix, to investigate. Much of the picture takes place in Philadelphia’s hardscrabble Fishtown neighborhood. “The music has a cool, jazzy sound at the beginning. There’s a feeling of intrigue but with a wink–it’s not overly serious,” Hall explained. “Then it gradually gets darker, with strings and an emotional, almost gospelly underpinning, as we get drawn into the emerging drama.”
Director Haley sent identical videos of the final cut to Hall and Miller who scanned them into their systems, divided up the movie and composed to QuickTime Movies. Hall then worked in Propeller ‘s new MIDI composing room with the latest version of MOTU’s Digital Performer running on a dual 2 GHz Power Mac G5, complete with Apple’s 23-inch Cinema Display. He also utilized a variety of soft synths and other music software, as well as an inventory of analog pre-amps and outboard processing gear. His midtown boutique also features a spacious live recording room.
“Once we had a tone established for the picture we just picked up the ball and ran with it,” Miller reported. “Doug and I both have a broad musical vocabulary, and we coordinated on using a similar sound palette so that everything would come together seamlessly. People can’t tell whose music is whose. Although Doug and I were miles away from each other, we constantly uploaded and downloaded tracks via FTP to keep each other in the loop.”
Propeller Music & Sound