ELIA CMIRAL (2007) - Page 1

Although Elia Cmiral continues to score a diverse mix of films – his recent work include Bluebeard for director Kevin Connor, and While the Children Sleep for Russell Mulcahy – the composer has been very busy writing distinctive, chilling music for several horror films.

Alongside career highpoints such as Wrong Turn and Stigmata, Cmiral adds two new potent fusions of orchestral and hard rock sounds for a pair of shockers picked up and distributed as part of the After Dark Horrorfest series, which tours theatrically before making its way onto home video.




Mark R. Hasan: Dario Piana (The Deaths of Ian Stone) comes from a very different background compared to Mark Young (Tooth & Nail), and with Dario's film, I wonder if you find there's specific stylistic preferences towards a score when you're working with a European director.

Elia Cmiral: Since I'm European myself, I found it very easy to work with Dario…We have very similar historic backgrounds – he's Italian and I'm Czech – and music is so well connected in Europe. Dario is also himself a musician (he played rock guitar), so he was very easy [to work with]… He was very supportive as well as Brian Gilbert, the producer with whom I work on Wrong Turn.

MRH: And I guess in the case of Tooth & Nail, Mark Young was a much younger director, because this is his third film.

EC: He did a couple of movies in North Carolina , but this was his first big movie. I had to show him how I work… but he was very supportive, very enthusiastic, and extremely well prepared. I think he was one of the few directors who came with pages and pages of verbal descriptions of the score. He already had a structure of the score - what kind of themes, what kind of music he expects for certain groups of themes – and my job was to fill all these requests with notes.

MRH: That's unusual for a new director, but I guess because of technology you have directors that have done their own scores for their early films, whether it's a feature length or short film, and I guess the technology's makes it easier for them to simply draw from sound samples and compile the score, but when it comes to dealing with an established composer, it's a very different relationship, not just because you're dealing with another person, but with someone from a totally different and specialized professional background.

EC: What's interesting with both directors – Dario and Mark – is they didn't use any temp track. There was no music at all. You just mentioned that nowadays directors can manipulate sound, they can go to different libraries, and they can relatively successfully score the movie themselves, but a written score tailored directly for a movie is a different thing, and neither of these movies had temp tracks to show me where to go

MRH: I guess that must have been refreshing for you... There were no music references. It was basically a discussion of ideas and concepts, and then you were allowed to go and create your own work.

EC: Right.


The Deaths of Ian Stone




Tooth & Nail

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