Brian Tyler: It’s interesting. With a score like this it’s deceptively difficult to come up with a theme that fulfills two different criteria. One is the threat of this eco-disaster that has happened right under our noses, and at the same time there is the hope and human aspect of the event. Those tones typically run counter to one another, but I wanted to come up with a main theme that would capture both. I tried to think of it like the lone voice in the storm. There’s a cyclical kind of minimalist nature to some of the repeated phrasing in the background, which is kind of the dark side of the story, but then the melody that almost overwhelms it reflects the human aspect and the hope for a better tomorrow. I wanted to do it with strings and piano and electronics, in a way that had much more of a chamber musical feel – a tight kind of sound that really affects this true story of something that I don’t think a lot of people were aware of.
Randall D. Larson: Something that a lot of documentaries are doing these days that they didn’t fifteen or twenty years ago is that allowing the music to reflect an emotional semblance, rather than simply serving as an aloof observer to what’s being told in the film. Was it tough to walk the line between supporting the emotional factor of this film versus staying impartial to the story that’s being told?
Brian Tyler: My job is to support the emotion of what’s going on in the movie from scene to scene, as well as the complete tapestry when it’s all put together. I’ve never really overanalyzed it, in terms of how far to push the emotion. I just do what’s honest, to me. I’m not approaching the score from a sense of being worried about a possible negative; I lean into the score and just try to make something that I think is honest and fits the emotion of the movie. I think it’s easy to fall into the trap of playing defense and hiding the music in a corner, because it’s always safer to just do a sustain for a whole scene because how can someone criticize that? I understand that being a temptation but it is something that I’ve completely ignored through my entire career! I really feel that I just want to lean into the scene, and the music, when it’s there, should be saying something. I’ve never been a fan of subliminal wallpaper music. There have been some great moments in films where there’s no music at all. But if the music is going to be there, it should support the scene and speak through the scene, even in a documentary film. That’s a working philosophy that I’ve held to because it makes the most sense to me, naturally.