John Hunter Scores Oscar-nominee
February 23, 2012 by Andrew Schneider
BREED Composer and Partner John Hunter scored an Oscar-nominee for Best Animated Short Film and he’s looking forward to watching the Academy Awards from home this Sunday.
“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore,” a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story was produced using a variety of techniques from miniatures, computer animation and 2D animation. Directed by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, it harkens back to silent films and MGM Technicolor musicals.
Produced out of Shreveport, LA, “Lessmore” is inspired in equal parts by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, “The Wizard of Oz” and a general love for books.
Hunter wrote 17 minutes of music for the film, during its production over a two-month period.
“They asked me to be in Shreveport under the same roof while they were animating a good portion of the film,” Hunter says. “I was included in the process.”
Hunter was able to collaborate with the directors. Sometimes he would receive rough cuts to score, other times the directors would stand behind him while he was “noodling,” offering on the spot feedback.
“It was a very unconventional way of working but it really helped tailor the music like no other method,” Hunter says.
And the timeframe was also longer than he was used to.
“I’ve scored feature-length films, usually I’m tasked with knocking out seventy minutes of music in a month,” he says. “I was there for two months and we got 17 minutes of music. It really is a different way of working.”
And Hunter found the directors were driven by the knowledge that they had a great project in their hands.
“They didn’t want to spare any expense,” Hunter says. “It was like they knew from the get-go they had something special.”
On Sunday, Hunter’s going to be watching from home, like millions of others across the country.
“I’m going to be watching like everybody else,” Hunter says. “I’ve got the candles lit. I’m going to stomp my feet, say a prayer and hopefully they’ll be bringing back the gold.”