Jermaine Stegall Talks Composing for Rogue River, The Psycho Legacy, and More
DC: Now let’s talk about your second Screamfest entry, Rogue River. How did you get involved with that project, and what was your approach to scoring the film?
JS: I was contacted by the producers of Rogue River, who remembered some work I sent to them a few years prior. We had wanted to work together since then so they introduced me to the director by phone, and off we went from there.
For Rogue River it was really about creating a melodic piece of music that would open the film as well as bring it full circle. There is a melancholic piano theme stated during an early montage that is melodic, yet somewhat unsettling. After I had those elements, it became about creating tension and trying not to release that tension for most of the film. It’s a very claustrophobic film so the score became really tension-driven and claustrophobic.
DC: Considering the big differences in the content of features versus documentaries, does your approach differ when you’re doing the two different types of films?
JS: I would think most people would approach them differently, and I definitely thought I would initially. Most documentaries use licensed music and just place it in to fill space, but for this one Rob was really excited about scoring the whole thing as if it was a film to do something different. I wasn’t really supporting drama acting-wise in the Psycho documentary as I was in Rogue River so the two scores definitely had different functions.
DC: When you’re creating a score for a project, how long does it generally take from start to finish? Can you talk a little bit about your creative process and where you find your inspiration?
JS: I would happily say I would love to get two full months to compose music for a feature film and a few extra weeks if preparing music for an orchestra is involved. In my creative process I’ll probably do anything I can to get to the musical heart of what I’m working on. If it’s singing to myself, writing down ideas on staff paper, playing piano, creating a midi mock-up, or listening to something that inspires me, I’ll try it. I’m just a fan of new sounds as well so I sometimes spend time, days even, just making sounds from scratch and seeing if they fit with the project.
DC: Considering you’ve obviously had a very busy year, what’s up next for you?
JS: Right now I’m about to start a foreign thriller/action film called 'Saluda al diablo de mi parte' starring Edgar Ramirez. It’s directed by a talented upcoming filmmaker named Juan Felipe Orozco and will be in theatres in France as well as Colombia in the spring of 2011. The soundtrack to The Psycho Legacy has also been released on iTunes for anyone wanting to relive the nostalgia of the franchise.
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