ELIA CMIRAL (2009) - Page 1

Elia Cmiral’s latest work includes music for the indie horror film Forget Me Not (2009), directed by newcomer Tyler Oliver, as well as the historical film Habermann (2010), directed by veteran filmmaker Juraj Herz, the latter addressing the conflicts between Germans and Czechs in the Sudetendland border region during WWII.

The variety of subject matter among these films is a clear indication of Cmiral’s gift for scoring any genre, be it an arresting, aggressive thriller, or an historical work dramatizing anti-Semitism, furious nationalism, and brutal revenge.

Forget Me Not recently screened at Screamfest: the Los Angeles International Horror Film Festival in late October, and Habermann will receive a release in 2010, beginning in Europe (and hopefully making its way to North American soon afterwards).



Forget Me Not (2009) poster



Mark R. Hasan: One of the flaws in a teen horror film is the disposable nature of the characters, and I wonder if there are specific tools that you used to deepen characters in Forget Me Not (2009)?


Elia Cmiral: Not really. I mean, every movie is different, and every score is different. I tried to find a new way to approach it, to understand it, so I don’t think, for me at least there is some recipe. This movie is actually interesting because it kind of goes backwards in the story, so I liked the whole plot of the movie.



MRH:  I guess there are specific relationships we have with certain instruments, because as a composer you can convey fear in all kinds of ways. Solo piano, keyboards, or guitar, for example, are reliable in conveying intimacy, vulnerabilities, etc. Why do you think those instruments affect us so strongly?


EC: I wish I knew, but you know the piano is a great melodic instrument. I think the piano works a lot with intimate themes because it might have very tiny sounds – you might have one single melody – and it can stay in the minds of an audience. It’s easy to play, easy to remember, easy under the dialogue. I think there is some explanation, but….
I just used whatever instrument I think is right for the movie and for the scene.



MRH: What’s unique about the piano (even the keyboard) is that it’s the kind of instrument where you’ve got the quality of the player that can affect the way the notes come out, and there’s also just the instrument itself which is incredibly flexible.


EC: Exactly. I think it’s very important to the mind… The sound of a piano is relatively short; you can create an emotional touch without staying too long. With flutes and woodwinds, the notes stay too long.



MRH: The piano then is economical in the way it delivers those sounds.


EC: Right.

Scene from Forget Me Not (2009)

Scene from Forget Me Not (2009)

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