Saturday, March 01, 2008

Matt Messina interview

His bio:
Matt Messina is a native Seattle symphony composer now living in Los Angeles scoring music to film and television.

"His purpose as a composer is to help his directors and producers tell their stories and his dramatic sense in writing for the screen is solid." - Julie Gustafson, 20th Century Fox

His inimitable style of songwriting and composition has earned him accolades within the recording industry (ASCAP, NARIS, BAFTA). Recently, he took home 2 Best Score awards; The Festival Tous Courts in France and The One reel Film festival in the US.

His unique style of scoring film has earned him recognition on his most recent scores for Fox Searchlight's Juno and MGM's Bumper.

Peter Berkowitz:
I've got a few questions about the upcoming local screening of JUMP! here. How did you get hooked up with this project?

Matt Messina:
A wonderful production executive over at Warner Brothers put (director) Helen (Hood Scheer) and I together. She had heard some of my music and when Helen was looking for a composer, she suggested me. As it turns out, I was scheduled on a flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina that Friday, so when I heard on a Wednesday that she wanted me to do it, I sort of switched gears and got to work on her film.

How did you get into scoring movies in the first place?
I got into scoring because I have a love for storytelling. As a composer, I see my job as helping each director tell their story. I love the challenge of writing for different genres, different emotions, using different ensembles. I started dabbling in film scoring while I lived in Seattle, but I quickly moved to Hollywood as I realized this is where a lot of it happens.

What kind of sounds did you hear in your head when you saw/ thought of jumpers?

I loved the sounds their ropes made as they whip over their heads. I was inspired by the fact these very different groups were all together for one sport. So, I knew we could tell the story from many different angles musically. That said, overall we decided on a hip hop feel early on. There is such energy in what the jumpers are doing that it's infectious.

Do you see (hear) any direct connection between jumping and other sports like basketball, or skating? Or do you see it more like math or chess?

I definitely see a connection between Jumping and other sports we know as 'common' in America. I think it's clearly a form of self expression as well as endurance, skill, balance, rhythm, and drive.

Do you think of jump rope as being more Hip Hop or more Rock 'n' Roll?

Either or. Both Hip Hop and Rock n Roll carry an energy and spirit to them that is at times exciting and other times just 'cool."

JUMP! and JUNO both have 4 letters, the first 2 of which are the same. Coincidence?
Yes. Coincidence.

Congratulations on the Academy Awards! What's it like to win for Best Screenplay?
It's fantastic! I am so happy for Diablo. She's a great girl and I am proud of her.

What's Ellen Page really like?

Very sweet, incredibly sharp.

What do you have lined up next?
I'm wrapping up a Thriller for MGM. Next up is coming down to about 5 projects. They all spin in the air and depending on timing, sensibilities, luck, and determination one of them will end up being my next project.

Thanks, I appreciate it.
Thank you, I appreciate your good questions!

Mateo Messina

JUMP! is an award-winning feature-length documentary about competitive jump rope that follows five teams of kids from around the country who push physical and psychological limits in pursuit of winning the World Championship. Part extreme sport, part art form, their moves are masterfully choreographed and bursting with rhythm, sweat and originality. These teens sacrifice everything to get where they are and each has his or her own reason to be so driven. After arduous drilling and mind-boggling performances, rivalry and collaboration have dramatic, unexpected results.

visit the movie's site here for more info...

c. 2008 Velocity Weekly

No comments: