Did you know “Childrens Hospital” started as a sketch in a 50’s era variety show? No? Ok, neither did I, but this fluid take on time and reality is one of the reasons I love this show. The highlight of this episode started way back during shooting when I was asked to write a variety show song. I was given some old variety show references to study and lyrics by screenwriter Meghan Amram to write “A Real Pickle Lover.”
Performed by Ken Marino and Megan Mullaly, with choreography by Kathryn Burns and processed to sound “old-timey” by our sound mixer Brent Keiser.
The score itself required more of an era-specific pit orchestra, so I went with smaller strings samples, piano, winds, saxes, drum kit and an upright bass.
It’s the Doctor of the Year Awards! Blake, Glenn and Lola are all nominated this year so they hop in Chet’s ambulance to head to Vegas with Owen tagging along. This episode was scored in our “regular” score style but it gave me the opportunity to flush out longer variations of themes.
Owen’s a DJ, Chief is trapped, and Sy decides to spend his hospital tenure building a jetpack! From a score standpoint, this episode is pretty straightforward with variations on transitional cues I’ve written for the show over the years. However the finale, when Sy straps on his jetpack to search the hospital for the lost Chief needed a big action/adventure moment!
S7:E4 “Dr Beth”
A spiritual sequel to last season’s “Fan Fiction,” “Dr Beth” delves into Nurse Beth’s origin from living in the hospital’s nurses quarters, and subbasement hellhole, to briefly being promoted to a doctor after saving the life a famous child star (played by Samm Levine) and then subsequently demoted back down to nurse.
After being fired by Blake in last season’s finale, Cat, Lola and Owen find themselves working at Kids Hospital, a derelict clinic in the seedy part of Brazil run by Dr Kids and Kahn who welcome the new doctors by running them through an orientation that includes a hostage situation and a bear attack.
S7:E2 “One Million Saved”
Jon Hamm returns as Derrick Childrens, Valerie Flame’s alter ego. Lola joins Derrick in a search for a hidden cure buried years ago by his father, Dr Arthur Childrens. The haunting “Hidden Cure” theme runs through the episode as they search for clues. In the end, after Derrick discovers that he himself is the cure he decides to leave Childrens Hospital for good. Throughout the run of the show, I’ve focused more on situational themes for the score as plots change so dramatically from episode to episode, and so there aren’t too many character themes, but Valerie’s theme is one of them. I used it for her introduction and subsequent reveal to be Derrick Childrens in disguise way back in season 2, so it seemed only fitting to return to that theme again when he leaves.
I had the pleasure of scoring the new improvised dramedy “A Better You” which is now available today on VOD and in select theaters nation wide. Directed by Upright Citizens Brigade co-founder, Matt Walsh, “A Better You” is a satirical look at LA’s self-help culture. Brian Huskey, who co-wrote the film with Walsh, plays Dr. Ron, a hypnotherapist who is so sure of his ability to fix people’s problems but is unable to see his own as his life crumbles around him.
At the beginning of the process, Matt and I discussed his love of The Flaming Lips as well as the scores of Jon Brion (an indie staple). My guitar based score for the film starts off light and fun with dreamy elements, including a music-box instrument called a Polyphon (I used 8dio’s great sample instrument) that has a deep, rich, almost spiritual feeling underneath it’s bright bell sounds. As Ron’s story progresses, the score becomes deeper, richer, warmer, as he starts to come to terms with his mistakes and what’s really important in life.
I’m thrilled to announce that “Spare Change” is now available on VOD!
After getting fired from her job by her boss Sheila (Krista Allen), millennial Jane (Lissa Lauria) is unable to find stable work. So along with her best friend Lily (Elyse Levesque), they hatch a plan to feign homelessness to make a quick buck; finding different, creative ways to get money from strangers.
Co-scored with my good friend and Quartertone Musik writing partner Allyson Newman. “Spare Change” is a fun, quirky indie score with subtle influences from pop and rock. The primary challenge with the score was balancing out the music with the various song placements (there are many great ones, and even a couple by the lead actress, Lissa Lauria) while continuing to tell the story of Jane, so we decided to stick mainly with Jane’s theme which grounded the score and the story as we went with her journey. The score grows, changes and evolves along with Jane by starting off quirky; switching gears to buckets and other street percussion when Jane pretends to panhandle; then finally adding in warmer instruments like acoustic guitar and strings as Jane starts to learn where her real place in life lies.
“Spare Change” is co-directed by Arturo Guzman and Jonathan Talbert (Weeds, Orange is the New Black), and is available on iTunes and Amazon VOD.