Western Showdown! | The Music of Harvey Beaks

May 25, 2015 - The entire second half of Certified Babysitter is essentially one big action cue. If that wasn’t challenging enough, Carl Greenblatt asked that I make it feel like a Spaghetti Western, with Oriental musical elements, AND still sound like the world of Harvey Beaks! WTF CARL? 

It’s on episodes like this that I remember one of the only helpful things Mark Mothersbaugh told me when I met him and asked for advice. He said to never look at one project as any less valuable than any other. in other words: Don’t create lesser quality music because something is a student film, has a smaller budget, or will be seen by less people. He said, regardless of whether it be Terminator 2 or a pornographic film, just do the best possible work you can do because (1) It will make you a better composer and (2) you never want to look back and be embarrassed by your contribution. You always want to know you wrote the best possible music given your resources at the time. Although you will have projects you will not be proud of, it should never be because of your music. 

I treated Certified Babysitter no differently than I would treat a feature film. I can say that with sincerity because I scored my first multi-million dollar feature a few years ago and this little 11 minute cartoon required as much concentrated effort and thought as any cue I wrote for that film. Needless to say,  I’m really proud of how this turned out! Not just my contribution, but the wonderful writing and art as well. 

One last thing: The greatest composers are the ones with a sound so inventive, that it practically becomes its own genre. Ennio Morricone is an Italian composer who essentially invented the sound of “Westerns.” Until I reach that level, I will pride myself with being able to imitate people like him. His sound is what I referenced most in this episode and if you care, please look him up and check out some of his film scores. Particularly, “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966),” and, “A Fistful of Dollars (1964).”