Was it challenging, then, for you to embrace and enhance the reality of the film in a synthetic fashion?
No, actually wrapping my head around the concept of what I was doing was easy. But writing in the electronic world, you imagine a sound, and then you have to go and find it. It’s not like imagining a flute and then making that sound materialize. That’s easy!
With electronics, you can imagine any sound you want, but the big issue is being able to find them – collecting a new canvas of colors that I was happy with and building them from scratch. That’s what took the time. But once I found a group of sounds I was happy with, things just started falling into place.
With as expansive as its legacy is and how visceral and creative the horror film music genre is, does ever eat at you that it is essentially ignored by the Academy?
Oh God, don’t get me going on that. Of course it does! As you know, this is October, and the companies that will be submitting legitimate dramas come November are making a s***load of money on their horror product. Horror films are the ones that pay the bills, and historically, they have shown that they are good investments.
They helped Universal survive with that initial splash of horror films in the 1930s and 40s. And horror films kept New Line alive with the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” series. So, as a general rule, they make studios a lot of money – many don’t lose money because they’re made cheaply.
But come November, it’s as if those same studios pretend that they never made them. Horror films are like the bastard son of the film industry. They’re thrilled to make them, and some of them are damned good movies…and how often has a horror score even won an Academy Award??? Has one EVER won an Academy Award? Oh, Jerry Goldsmith won one for “The Omen”.
Yeah, and even though he deserved it, it’s the only Oscar he ever won. That’s one of the Academy’s biggest fallacies – out of the entire incredible body of work he contributed to film, Jerry Goldsmith only won ONE Oscar.
I know, go figure that one. At least he got a f***ing Oscar, thank the Lord, as sad as it is. But I’m thrilled that he got it for a horror film score! And I’m sure it was certainly the best score that year! It used to drive me crazy, but I sort of let go of it that there is nothing I, or anyone, will do for a horror film that will get that kind of recognition.
I know there is an Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, and I did receive one of their Saturn Awards for the work I did on “Hellbound: Hellraiser II”. That’s an organization that exists to honor those pictures that are wholly overlooked by the Academy, aside from Special Effects and Sound Design – science fiction films always get nominated in those categories. But those same films’ scores would never get nominated for an Oscar.
And that’s the thing that really bugs me. It’s only been a couple of years, and does anyone actually remember the score for Best Picture “The King’s Speech”? Conversely, I don’t think ANYONE will EVER forget the score for “Hellraiser”!
[Laughs] That’s very kind of you. But I will say that “Hellraiser” only really had a cult audience built-in that would even consider watching the film. And at the end of the day, there are a greater number of people who watched and will watch “The King’s Speech” than will ever watch “Hellraiser”. That said, I am thrilled to have been a part of “Hellraiser”. For all I know, I might not have had a career without that movie. And hey, I got to work on two Denzel Washington films!
Keep up with Christopher Young on Facebook, Twitter, and at his official website.
The Sinister soundtrack is currently available at iTunes, Amazon, and Amazon Digital.
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