Interview: Cris Velasco Discusses Composing Dimension 404, the Best Ways to Get Sci-fi/Horror Sounds, and More - Dread Central
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Interview: Cris Velasco Discusses Composing Dimension 404, the Best Ways to Get Sci-fi/Horror Sounds, and More

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Over the last few years, we’ve seen streaming services explode with some of the most incredible, engaging, and exciting original content. From dramas to documentaries, thrillers to comic book adaptations, and some truly astounding genre offerings, these outlets have drawn in viewers in record numbers.

One such show is Hulu’s “Dimension 404”, a black comedy sci-fi anthology series from the minds of Dez Dolly and Will Campos (co-created by Dan Johnson and David Welch). Produced by RocketJump and Lionsgate Television, the series premiered earlier this year and has attracted the talents of stars such as Lea Michele, Patton Oswalt, Daniel Zovatto, Joel McHale, Sarah Hyland, and more, while also seeing sci-fi legend Mark Hamill narrating each episode.

A name that many people might recognize that’s also attached is composer Cris Velasco, who has composed for video games, TV shows, and movies such as God of War, Bloodborne, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, “Freakish”, Grave Shivers, and much, much more.

Today, we present to you an interview with Velasco, who discusses his work on “Dimension 404”, the way he gets his sounds, and much more! Give it a read below and make sure to give him a follow on Twitter!

Cris Velasco at the Freakish Premiere

Dread Central: Rocket Jump are known for not only being wildly inventive but also very playful. What was it like working with them on “Dimension 404”?
Cris Velasco: Other than working with Clive Barker, my time with Dez, Will, and the rest of the Rocket Jump crew, was some of the most fun I’ve had in my professional career. We were able to reinvent ourselves with each episode since this was an anthology. I got to write a big orchestral adventure score, horror, romantic comedy, and even an entire episode of 80’s synth wave. D404 was some of the most challenging work I’ve ever done, but immensely rewarding! Everyone there was also extremely nice. They all pass my “hang” test. Not only do I hope to work with them again, but I’d absolutely hang out with them on a social level too.

DC: The series openly admits to being heavily influenced and inspired by “The Twilight Zone”. Did you look at that series for any inspiration or did you avoid it so as to create something of your own?
No, I specifically stayed away from these types of shows while we were working on D404. While the show may have its influences, it really lives on its own. I wanted the show to have its own identity. These other anthology shows can be pretty dark too. D404 was definitely more on the fun side.

DC: What kinds of freedoms and restrictions come with composing a sci-fi/horror show?
Since every episode was different, there wasn’t really anything I couldn’t do. Horror and sci-fi are the two genres where you get the greatest creative freedom. The guys at Rocket Jump were really open to me trying anything. If it didn’t work, I’d just take it out. But chances are good in a show like this, something that’s already so creative and over-the-top, that I’d have a hard time coming up with something inappropriate for this series.

DC: At what point in the scoring process do you feel like you’re having the most fun?
After the initial “what the hell am I doing here” panic wears off, that’s when it starts to get fun. There’s always a moment when you’ve begun to understand what the project is all about. It then becomes a puzzle of how to elevate the project with music without getting in the way. It’s so creatively fulfilling.

DC: What are some of your favorite patches, instruments, or pieces of hardware to get a great “sci-fi” or “horror” sound?
Over the years, I’ve been able to record my own bespoke libraries. Mostly for horror type applications. I’ve compiled lots of strings and choir fx from these recordings, and they got a workout on this show, especially on the episode “Cinethrax”. For the more synth-based, sci-fi type material, I used a lot of Zebra 2, Diva, and Omnisphere 2. Not only do their synth patches sound great right out of the box, but it’s easy to manipulate and create your own sounds as well. But my very favorite instrument I was able to use on D404 was the theremin. It’s been a bucket list item for me throughout most of my professional career. A little goes a long way, but it’s so fun to use!

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Jurassic Park T-Rex Stomps Through Ready Player One Trailer #3

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Is that the f*cking T-Rex!?

It was only earlier this week that we brought you guys the new “pure 80’s nostalgia” poster (to the right) for Steven Spielberg’s new action-adventure film Ready Player One.

And if all the promotional materials we have seen thus far haven’t done anything to raise your interest in the film (including trailers which featured Freddy Krueger, Chucky, Christine, and King Kong) then today’s new might not help matters much.

But all the same today we have a new trailer which features the mighty T-Rex from Spielberg’s own Jurassic Park and a bunch of new character posters for good measure.

I’m just going to come right out and say that as impressed as I am with the trailers for this film, I can’t help but feel someone watched theImaginationland episode of “South Park” and thought, “Mother of God… call Steven Speilberg!”

You can check out the character posters and the new trailer below and then let us know what you think of the film thus far.

Ready Player One is directed by Steven Spielberg from a script by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline, based on the novel by Cline. The film stars Tye Sheridan, Mark Rylance, Olivia Cooke, Simon Pegg, and Ben Mendelsohn.

The film hits theaters March 29, 2018.

Synopsis:

When the creator of an MMO called the Oasis dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all Oasis users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune. Wade Watts finds the first clue and starts a race for the Egg.

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Someone Figured Out How Many Miles the It Follows Creature Walked

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It Follows

For the most part, the horror community adores David Robert Mitchell’s 2014 It Follows. In my opinion, it’s a magnificent film, one that brilliantly utilizes tension and paranoia to an extent that few other films can even hope to achieve. Telling the story of a young woman who, after a sexual encounter, is pursued by a strange supernatural force that will kill her if it reaches her. Never stopping its pursuit, it walks relentlessly towards wherever she goes, never stopping, never resting, and always following.

During the course of the film, which is set in Michigan, Jay and her friends go across the state in an effort to protect her from this strange entity. But just how far do they, and “it”, actually go in that time? Reddit user LundgrensFrontKick has put together an interesting hypothesis that aims to answer that very question. Using the film’s information, it seems that the creature, “…walked 1,017 miles while hunting Jay.” How was this number reached? Let’s give the floor over to LundgrensFrontKick.


In an effort to track the movements of the monster I searched for all the filming locations and have come up with an estimated travel total that I’m quite pleased with. Director David Robert Mitchell didn’t make it easy because there are moments during the film in which you have no idea where Jay was going or why it took about 14-hours to make a five-hour drive up North (I’m guessing sleep). However, after getting a feel for the locations and timeframe I know how far the creature traveled because the layout of the locations fit its movements.

Here are some assumptions and timeframes I’ve come up with.

1) The creature moves at a 20-minutes per mile pace and is always moving. Thus, the total for any 24 hour period is 72 miles.

2) Jay first becomes cursed around 9:00PM at night while at the abandoned Northville Psychiatric Hospital. This is when I’ve started clocking the miles of the monster

3) The film takes place over the course of 15 days. This may seem like a long time frame but the trip that our heroes take to a northern beach house in Whitefish Point in northern Michigan covers 10 of those days. I chose Whitefish Point because it is on the furthest tip of Michigan and the mileage works out almost perfectly when taking the speed of the monster into account. Also, the gang started their trip around 9:00PM and drove through the night and arrived at the beach house around 12:00PM. The total trip was around 15 hours so I’m assuming they slept, got supplies and had a long breakfast to cover the 15 hours. The total mileage is 702 miles (9.75 days walking).

4) I’m assuming that the creature always reroutes itself and follows the quickest route when its prey changes locations. Since it can’t just walk through homes I think it uses surface roads, alleys, and areas that aren’t fenced off to get to its prey.

5) The director David Robert Mitchell uses Detroit as a character so I’m going to use the filming locations as the actual locations in the story. The neat thing is they actually work really well in regards to the creature’s movements.

Below is a breakdown of the days and locations I know Jay visited. I could’ve easily just added up the hours and miles walked and called it a day, but I wanted to give you a feel for the creatures travels and show you the above assumptions make sense.

Sidenote: There is a 0% chance of actually knowing how far the creature followed Jay. However, since you won’t get an exact answer I wanted to make sure the timeline and math were correct to give you the best representation of the following.

Day One 9:00PM – 12:00AM – Jay becomes infected with the horrible curse at the abandoned Northville Psychiatric Hospital and is driven back to her house and eventually to the local hospital.

Day Two – Jay leaves the Hospital and goes home to get ready for school. She heads to the University of Detroit around 9:30AM where she first sees the creature. The timeframe works because it had about 12 hours to pinball around and make it to the school. During this time Jay covered 63 miles. However, since the creature didn’t have to walk those 63 miles due to its course correction, it makes sense that 12 hours would only be needed because the creature started towards the house/hospital and was able to course correct to the university which is only 17 miles away from the abandoned building. After Jay runs away from the creature she goes to Clark’s Ice Cream and Yogurt then drives around for a while and goes home.

Day Three – Jay is still awake late at night (for good reason) when a window is smashed in and the creature comes after her. She runs to a park and meets up with the rest of the gang. From there they drive to an abandoned house, Clawson High School, Jeff’s home in Troy and eventually head to Jay’s house to pick up supplies and clothes. The gang then starts driving overnight to Whitefish Point. The creature is pinballing all day over Detroit and surrounding areas and because of this it never catches up to Jay (must be annoying).

Day Four – The crew posts up at a sweet Beach house.

Day Five – Beach

Day Six – Beach

Day Seven – Beach

Day Eight – Beach

Day Nine – Beach – The creature finally gets to the beach after a 352-mile walk and it gets its hands on Jay. However, Jay escapes and the creature has to walk all the way back to Detroit.

Day Ten – Hospital – She passes the curse over to Greg

Day Eleven – Hospital

Day Twelve– Hospital

Day Thirteen – Hospital – We know she has been in the hospital for three days because Greg mentions that “it’s been three days and there is nothing following me.”

Day Fourteen – Jay finally goes home and watches Greg get killed by the creature. She drives away and spends the night in some woods.

Day Fifteen – Jay wakes up and walks toward a boat with some dudes in it. She then drives home and concocts a plan with her friends to kill the creature at a swimming pool that night around 11:45PM (the exterior for the pool is a different location than the interior. I’m sticking with the exterior location). I don’t want to spoil the rest because I’m not a jerk and there is some ambiguity.

The creature walked 1,017 miles while hunting Jay. I think this is a solid guess and the timeframe works if the following monster moves at the assumed pace. I think this total makes it more frightening because the dang thing never stops and is always moving towards you at a leisurely pace in hopes of bending you up like a pretzel.

72 x 14 = 1,008 (14 full days). 3 x 3 = 9 (first day 9:00PM – 12:00AM). 1,008 + 9 = 1,017.


WHEW! That’s one helluva project to take on and I’m impressed by the amount of work put into it! Whether or not it’s accurate, I think we can all agree that LundgrensFrontKick definitely put a lot of care and thought into this riddle.

What other random questions like this have you always had about other horror movies? Let us know in the comments!

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Contest: Find Bigfoot With a Primal Rage Double-Sided Mini-Poster!

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On February 27th, Fathom Events will be hosting a one-night theater event for Primal Rage, the Bigfoot horror film based on Native American mythology! Tickets for the event are already on sale through Fathom and we’re here to spice up the screening a little more by offering five lucky readers the chance to win a double-sided mini-poster! The back side includes behind-the-scenes images.

To enter, all you have to do is fill out the form below! If you want to see what the poster looks like, here are some images:

Synopsis:
Lost deep in the forest of the Pacific Northwest, Ashley and Max Carr are stalked by a terrifying creature that might be Bigfoot. Soon they find themselves embroiled in a strange land of Native American myth and legend turned real. Hopelessly trying to survive, with a handful of unsavory locals, they must fight back against this monster in a desperate battle of life or death.

Directed by Patrick Magee, who co-wrote the film with Jay Lee, Primal Rage stars Andrew Joseph Montgomery, Casey Gagliardi, Eloy Casados, Justin Rain and Marshal Hilton.

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