Part II: Jay Kay concludes his interview with Chris Lott
A musical score can raise a film to a higher level, invoke emotion, passion, tension and tell a story. Known for his horror film scores on such short films as Jeffrey Reddick’s “Good Samaritan”, Chris Notarile’s “Krueger: Another Tale from Elm Street”, Ruben Pla’s “Head” and the cult favorite series “Five Nights at Freddy’s”, composer and actor Chris Lott (www.soundcloud.com/scriptedeyes) is a man with the power to make you feel so much with just a note. Chris took some time to answer questions for “The Night Market” about his work, life, horror and more…
Terror Time:“Five Nights at Freddy’s” is uber creepy and unsettling. How did this opportunity come along and what was your ideals in cultivating a score surrounding animatronics and almost a funhouse style feel to the film?
Chris Lott: Well, I was fan of the games. The idea of animatronics coming to life and coming after you is something that terrifies even adults as they walk into any Chuck-e-Cheese’s. Just the thought of those things just looking at you will send a shiver down your spine. I created some music that was inspired by the first two games and those pieces were becoming popular on SoundCloud. Around this time a group out of New Jersey called Iron Horse Cinema released a faux 1980’s style commercial of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria (the pizza joint in the game). I thought these guys did a very great job and contacted them. They listened to my Five Nights songs and asked if I wanted to come onboard. The score for those films were very inspired by child’s things and metal objects. I would use a piano that was out of tune and play it against a piano in tune and it would create a very eerie effect. The main theme for those films had a very simple piano riff that would creep people out whenever it was heard. It actually gave me a chill when I first made it. The funhouse style was just an automatic to go into because of dealing with the animatronics and such.
TT: You have worked on a lot of short films in the horror genre. What makes this genre of film appealing as a composer?
CL: Creating scores for horror is great because not every horror film has the same vibe or feel to them. One horror film may have a more compelling drama element to them. Another may have a violent side to it where the score has to be pulse pounding and in your face. Horror can have so many elements playing inside the genre that it is a great way to experiment.
TT: What is the greatest challenge of composing themes on short films?
CL: The challenge of scoring short films is the score has to really tell the story more than a feature would in my opinion. The reason I say that is because you have a shorter time to catch the audience and keep them entertained. So the music really has to sell that idea. It has to keep them focused. If that is off, then you lose your audience. Sometimes shorts are more fun than features because there is often a lot of time for experimentation that sometimes is not there when you are working on a feature.
TT: What is next for you and where can we find out more?
CL: Well, I am currently trying to get my horror script “Carousel” off the ground and moving so that should be interesting. I am gearing to work with Iron Horse Cinema again on a fan film based on the video game “Until Dawn”. I am currently producing a filmmaking podcast called “Between The Line”. I am also co-hosting some segments. I also have a few non-horror related shorts that are coming up soon. You can find some of my music demos at www.soundcloud.com/scriptedeyes you can also contact me there. You can also catch me on Twitter @scriptedeyes and you can also check out the podcast I mentioned above @PodcastBTL and we are available through the Slack Jaw Punks network. www.slackjawpunks.com.
TT: Thank you Chris for taking the time and being a part of “The Night Market” on “Tom Holland’s Terror Time”
CL: Thank you very much for having me on board.
(Images found on Google)
You can follow Jay @HorrorHappensRS