An old, imposing building houses a small group of people cut off from the outside world, as an impending terror looms…
Not, as you would expect, the plot of James Edward Cook’s upcoming feature ‘Why Hide?’ – but a recollection of The East Wing’s team holed up in their home at Kingsland Church Studios, working hard against their upcoming deadline to complete the score and full audio post for the director’s upcoming feature film.
The Christmas-set comedy horror was shot in summer, and as James set about grading his edit to more resemble more wintery climes, Rich would begin working through cues and themes while John started audio track lay ahead of the final dub.
We discussed the score at great length, referencing successful current horror soundtracks like Stranger things and It Follows. We developed a very clear strategy for our approach.
We went to the location on the second day of filming. It was fantastic, but it had a very different feel to the references we initially discussed. It wasn’t a house that was dressed to be creepy; there was something very cold about what James was building on set there. It was obvious all of our initial prep was wrong. Form that moment on the themes happened very quickly, the score became in many ways tied as much to the location as to the characters and the story.
The biggest challenge of the score was to marry the horror with the humour. The comedy is very funny, whereas the horror…is pretty horrific! This allowed us to play with the some very odd and surreal musical ideas that give the film a really interesting flavour.
After going through everything recorded on set and picking out the best dialogue sources for each performance and sketching out spot FX/sound design, a rough mix with score was created for review. This was then to be the basis for John and James collaborating on fine-tuning the film – constructing ambiences and giving every scene a real sense of its own space within the soundscape as a whole.
More delicate scenes such as ‘The Kitchen’ were as much of a challenge as some of the more chaotic ones – a tender heart to heart between two main characters involved a lot of care to ensure dialogue was crystal clear, embedded in a believable space, and also balanced well with one of the score’s highlights without it encroaching too much of the character’s interplay.
And having said that, everybody loves loud noises, and no shortage of fun was had constructing the occasional cacophony of screams, slamming tables, zombie noises and ominous outbursts. Even asking one of our voice over friends Alice so scream down a mic after a VO session, as our existing audio in once scene just wasn’t quite blood-curdling enough!
Stereo and 5.1 cinema mixes were created ahead of the film’s festival premiere, and finally a boatload of stems to deliver for broadcast. Then, a collective pause and deep breath before the next endeavour…
Why Hide premiered at The Newcastle film festival where it was shortlisted for best home grown, and in November screened at Nocturna Fest in Madrid. It is to be released this December 2018 just in time for Christmas!
Enjoy the trailer below…..if you dare (cue evil laugh!)