The talents of composing duo Adam Robl and Shawn Sutta were tapped by directing partners Ori Segev and Noah Dixon’s music-driven film ‘Poser,’ a psychodrama about obsession, creativity, and the need to fit in and be a part of something. The directing team’s debut film, an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival ‘Poser’ made its world premiere at the prestigious event on June 10th.
Shot on location in Columbus, Ohio, the film is set against the backdrop of the city’s thriving indie music scene. With musicians playing all the main characters, and performances by a variety of local bands, ‘Poser’ has an authentic feel and ambiance with a story that unfolds in a world defined by the city’s’ alternative music culture.
“During our early conversations with the directors last June,
everyone quickly agreed that the score needed to play against the cutting-edge music to give the film a cinematic elegance. To achieve this, we juxtaposed the indie music sound of the movie with rich instrumentals, haunting angelic vocals, and modern textural elements that tie in with its present-day story,” says Sutta. “We listening to a lot of music by Handel, Bach, Chopin, and Mozart for inspiration, along with some of our favorite modern artists, such as Mica Levi and Jonny Greenwood.Co-
The directing team brought a breadth of skill sets and mastery of a diverse range of disciplines to their breakout feature film. Dixon wrote the screenplay, and the partners co-edited ‘Poser.’ They brought their musical acumen to the collaboration with Robl and Sutta on a multi-layered score with a plethora of styles and textures that brought the directors’ vision to life.
“Ori and Noah provided a rough cut of the film with temp music heavily rooted in the classical genre. Shawn and I knew a classical instrumental palette needed to be set against the progressive sound of the performances in the film at the center of the score. However, we felt that the addition of some modern musical textures would complement this foundation,” says Robl. “Using everything from a modular synthesizer to mic-ed up grandfather clocks, we created an interesting mix that took the score to the next level.”
For one cue, the composers began by re-arranging and recording ‘Zadok the Priest,’ the Handel piece performed at Queen Elizabeth’s coronation. Once they crafted the overall arrangement, Robl and Sutta explored ways to create more modern interpretations of the music.
“’Poser’ relies heavily on lyrics sung by women to connect the audience to the characters and their emotions. We knew that featuring female vocals would help tie the score in with the film’s musical storyline. Singer/Songwriter Gabriela Ferrer was the ideal fit with this project,” says Sutta. “Her incredible vocals range and creative ingenuity elevated the score, as well as the audience’s experience. The melding of vocals was so effective that we decided to incorporate it throughout the score during key moments of the film.”
“Ori and Noah are true collaborators, and with two sets of partners we had four creative heads on the job, enabling us to double our efficiency and raise the creative bar,” adds Robl. “We took advantage of the flexibility and immediate accessibility, exchanging ideas and going over the smallest details during countless phone calls – elevating the score with each conversation.”
“Adam and I were constantly reevaluating scenes, looking for ways we could strengthen them through music, and sending those new ideas to the directors. Invariably, they would respond positively, often recutting the footage right away to sync tighter with the music. They also contributed ideas for the score. Noah, a very talented musician in his own right, sent us something he came up with that he played on the piano and recorded on his phone, which ended up being used in the final score,” adds Sutta.
“Working with Adam and Shawn was one of our favorite parts about making this film,” says Dixon. “Ori and I were blown away by their work from the beginning. They would send us music cues in the middle of the night, and we’d get so excited that we’d immediately edit them into the film. They shared a mutual energy and passion for the film that made working with them an incredible experience. “
“Ori and Noah’s skills, enthusiasm, and immersive approach made composing the score for ‘Poser’ one of our most artistically satisfying experiences to date,” concur Robl and Sutta. “Their collaborative spirit, ingenuity, and commitment gave us the freedom and inspiration to push boundaries and create our best work.”
For more information about the composers visit AdamRobl-ShawnSutta.com or call (310) 999- 5949.
‘Poser’ is currently seeking distribution, with the release of the soundtrack to follow.
PROJECT: Feature Film
GENRE: Psychodrama, Thriller, Music
PREMIERE: June 10, 2021, Tribeca Film Festival
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Loose Films
DIRECTORS: Ori Segev, Noah Dixon
SCREENWRITER: Noah Dixon
EDITORS: Ori Segev, Noah Dixon
PRODUCERS: Drew Johnson, Juli Sasaki, Brett Reiter, Josh Nowak
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Logan Floyd
COMPOSERS: Adam Robl + Shawn Sutta
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