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Exclusive: Composer Cris Velasco Talks ZombiU

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Ubisoft’s horror title ZombiU has been a huge hit since its release on Nintendo Wii U. Fans were excited to see such a terrifying title be brought life to life by one of gamer’s most beloved companies, and they did a superb job bringing the undead zombie chaos.

We recently set down with composer Cris Velasco to discuss ZombiU and to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at this new title. 



Exclusive: Composer Cris Velasco Talks ZombiU

AMANDA DYAR: ZombiU was a surprise hit for the newly released Nintendo Wii U after it was announced by developer and publisher Ubisoft back at E3 2012. How will your soundtrack for the unique title help create an atmosphere that will keep Wii U owners hooked to ZombiU?

CRIS VELASCO: My score had one main purpose: to scare you. I used a combination of percussion, electric guitars, processed human screams, detuned carnival organs, music boxes, and a string quintet I call “The Apocalypse Ensemble”. Every instrument that was recorded was misused and tortured to create a truly unsettling soundtrack.

AMANDA: ZombiU is one of the many great new launch titles for the Nintendo Wii U. How was creating a soundtrack for a new franchise on a brand new platform different from the other projects you’ve worked on?

CRIS: It wasn’t much different than any other title really. I always strive to do my best to write music that will complement and enhance the gameplay no matter what the project is. ZombiU was special for me though because I’ve been itching to get back into horror again. Horror games give you the opportunity to use a much wider, and perhaps more interesting, palette than other genres. Ubisoft wanted a very aggressive and violent score as well. It’s definitely different than anything I’ve done before and I had a lot of fun writing it.

AMANDA: The official ZombiU soundtrack features nearly an hour of original compositions. Do you have a particular track on the album that is your favorite, and did you draw inspiration from any other works while working on the game’s score?

CRIS: Ubisoft had a very clear and specific idea of how the music should sound when I started writing, so I took most of my cues from them. Also, the images from the game they were sending me were very graphic and horrifying and offered plenty of inspiration all on their own!

One of my favorite tracks from the album is “King Boris”. It’s very different from anything else on the entire score and I really enjoyed writing it too. There’s something so nightmarish about carnival music. To get that demented organ sound, I actually used two different calliopes – a steam-driven organ (originally played through train whistles) and slightly detuned one of them, then played them in unison. It makes for a pretty disturbing effect!

AMANDA: You’ve recently completed work for other big name games such as Borderlands 2 and Mass Effect 3 and older horror titles such as Clive Barker’s Jericho and Hellgate: London. Where does the experience of working on ZombiU rank among your other projects, and what do you enjoy most about working in the gaming industry?

CRIS: Writing the score for ZombiU was definitely a different experience than some of those other titles you mentioned. A lot of the time I feel like I’m scoring the story arc of the protagonist. In Mass Effect 3, for example, the music was a reflection of Shepard’s journey to save Earth. Even when things looked grim or impossible even, the music still showed the determination of the people that were heroically battling the Reapers. In ZombiU, there is no real protagonist. The first time I played the game, my character lasted about 5 minutes before a zombie ate my brain. Part of the game mechanic is that you will never be that same character again once you’ve become infected. It didn’t really make sense to score the game through the eyes of anyone. So this score was pure atmosphere. As I mentioned before, its purpose is to scare you, and that’s definitely something different from my other experiences in writing music for games.

For me, writing music for games couldn’t make me happier. I truly love what I do. It’s very gratifying for me to go from something unabashedly epic and orchestral in God of War, to working with Sascha Dikiciyan on a dramatic, ‘80s influenced sci-fi score for Mass Effect, and then jumping into something so brutal and visceral like ZombiU. It keeps me on my toes and makes the creative part of my brain very happy. At least until it’s eaten by zombies!

You can visit the official ZombiU website to learn more about the game.

Exclusive: Composer Cris Velasco Talks ZombiU

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Edward James Olmos Says Shane Black’s The Predator is Really Funny, Yet Deadly

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When we first heard that writer-director Shane Black (Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Band, The Nice Guys) and his main collaborator Fred Dekker (Night of the Creeps, The Monster Squad) were going to be taking on a big-budget reboot/sequel of Predator we were excited as hell. As we’re sure you were as well.

We knew the film was going to be, at least in some aspects, the funniest Predator film we have seen thus far. I mean with Black and Dekker penning the script how could it NOT?

But just how funny will The Predator be?

Well, if we are to believe ScienceFiction.com and co-star Edward James Olmos, the movie is going to be hilarious… yet still deadly.

The Blade Runner actor was recently out and about promoting the new Disney film Coco, and dropped some all-new info on Shane Black’s The Predator.

“Oh, my goodness. That’s an interesting story,” Edward James Olmos told the site. “I haven’t seen any of it, but it’s gonna be funny. The kids in the thing. Yeah, the humor. Huge. Huge. I mean I was in shock, because, you know this is a really intense franchise, and it still is. Don’t get me wrong. You’re gonna be inside of it. But the characters are… what he did — Shane is an incredibly gifted writer, and he’s a great director, and so he ended up getting an incredible ensemble, and when I reached it they had already been filming for three months so they were a unit. So I jump in as the General and there were some moments where I just had to laugh in the scene and I couldn’t be laughing in the scene. ‘I’m sorry guys. Really, I’m sorry.'”

“Keegan (Michael Key) and Thomas Jane, they’re paired off in groups of three groups,” he continues. “Six guys. The way they work, they were all post-traumatic stress disorder guys who were inside of an insane asylum. A mental hospital. Then they put the lead character in there to kind of make them disappear, because they want them kind of out of the picture. And so he gets involved and then boom, the world goes crazy and these kids are released. But out of a freaky incident with some of the Predators. It’s crazy. It’s so crazy. I’m excited for it, and I don’t know what’s gonna happen. I got a good feeling about it. I mean if it’s really funny, and yet deadly like Predator is.”

I’m not surprised at all that the film is going to be funny, and the thought of a humorous Predator movie doesn’t worry me in the slightest either. I have utter faith that Black and Dekker will give us one of the best Predator films in the franchise.

What do you think? Let us know below!

The Predator stars Thomas Jane, Edward James Olmos, Sterling K. Brown, Trevante Rhodes, Boyd Holbrook, Jacob Tremblay, Olivia Munn, Alfie Allen, Yvonne Strahovski, Augusto Aguilera, and Keegan-Michael Key.

Black is directing from a script by Fred Dekker. John Davis, Joel Silver, and Lawrence Gordon — who produced the original — are producing.

The Predator comes out August 3, 2018.

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The Girl in the Spider’s Web Snares It’s Bad Guy

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A few months back word dropped that “The Crown” star Claire Foy would be taking up the role of Lisbeth Salander in director Fede Alvarez’s The Girl in the Spider’s Web.

The movie is a sequel/reboot to David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and before all of this gets too confusing, it breaks down like this:

There were a series of books based on Lisbeth Slander called the Millennium trilogy a few years back. The books were called “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Girl who Played with Fire”, and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.”

These were made into a series of Swedish movies with Prometheus star Noomi Rapace as Salander.

The first in a planned trilogy of American remakes was produced by Fincher and starred Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara as Lisbeth. But the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo wasn’t a smash success so all future installments were abandoned.

In the meantime, a new trilogy of Lisbeth books were published over in Sweden and the first was called “The Girl in the Spider’s Web”… and now Sony is just skipping all the other books and jumping right to the new trilogy for a reboot.

Make sense?

I know, it doesn’t but whatever. For the time being, let’s just call this new flick a sequel/reboot to David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and leave it at that.

Anyhow, today’s news concerns the new film’s villain who will be played by Claes Bang (The Square). On top of that, Sylvia Hoeks (Blade Runner 2049) has also joined the cast as Salander’s twin sister.

The new installment is directed by Fede Alvarez from a script by Steven Knight and Fede Alvarez & Jay Basu, based on the book by David Lagercrantz

The film begins shooting this January in Stockholm before hitting theaters Oct. 19, 2018.

Synopsis:

She is the girl with the dragon tattoo — a genius hacker and uncompromising misfit. He is a crusading journalist whose championing of the truth often brings him to the brink of prosecution.

Late one night, Blomkvist receives a phone call from a source claiming to have information vital to the United States. The source has been in contact with a young female superhacker — a hacker resembling someone Blomkvist knows all too well. The implications are staggering. Blomkvist, in desperate need of a scoop for Millennium, turns to Salander for help. She, as usual, has her own agenda. The secret they are both chasing is at the center of a tangled web of spies, cybercriminals, and governments around the world, and someone is prepared to kill to protect it…

 

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Check Out the Opening 2 Minutes of Another WolfCop

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It was just earlier today that we brought you guys The Dude Design’s the newest poster for writer-director Lowell Dean’s horror-comedy sequel Another WolfCop.

And now we have the movie’s opening 2 minutes!

The clip showcases the new flick’s villain trying to sell us on his “Chicken Milk Beer” before losing his cool and taking it out the commercial’s crew. We then cut to a ragtag group of criminals, dressed as homeless Santas trying to outrun the cops.

A fun two-minutes if you ask me!

You can check out Another WolfCop‘s opening scene below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on social media!

The film is written and directed by Lowell Dean, produced by Bernie Hernando, Deborah Marks, and Hugh Patterson, and distributed worldwide by Cineplex.

Another WolfCop co-stars Amy Matysio, Jonathan Cherry, and Serena Miller. The film also features special appearances from Canadian music icon Gowan and legendary filmmaker Kevin Smith. It was executive produced by Sean Buckley, J. Joly, Bill Marks, Brian Wideen, Michael Kennedy, and Michael Hirsch.

The film is slated for a wide Cineplex theatrical release on Friday, December 8, 2017, with the film seeing a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital home entertainment release through A71 and Black Fawn in 2018.

Synopsis:

A month has passed since the eclipse transformed hard-drinking Officer Lou Garou into the crime-fighting hellion WolfCop. Although the Shape Shifters controlling the town have been extinguished, Woodhaven is far from returning to normal. Lou’s liquor-fueled antics and full moon outbursts are seriously testing his relationship with Officer Tina Walsh – the new Chief of Police. An old friend has mysteriously reappeared with a truly bizarre secret to share, and a homicidal new villain has emerged from the shadows looking to finish what the Shape Shifters started. To defeat this lethal adversary, it will take more than a lone wolf packing a pistol.

Prepare for the next chapter of WolfCop that will be more dirty and hairy than the original! Consider yourself warned.

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