This Friday, one of my favorite bands will be providing a live score to the 1925 dinosaur movie, The Lost World, at UCLA's Royce Hall. I asked my friend and guitarist/singer Zac Holtzman how Dengue Fever got involved in this project.
GR: How did your scoring of the silent movie come to be? Why do you think Dengue Fever was chosen to to score The Lost World?
ZH: Sean Uyehara first asked us to score The Lost World and perform it live at the Castro Theatre for the San Francisco Film Festival. It was right around when the film Up was coming out, and that film was heavily inspired by the Lost World. There's a number of references to it within Up, and it felt like the entire Pixar staff was at the screening.
GR: Were you familiar with the movie? What was the songwriting process like?
ZH: I had never seen it before, but the same crew that worked on The Lost World did the original King Kong, which was the first movie I ever saw. I was 3. As far as scoring the film, I would sit down with a guitar in my hand, and watch the film. I took notes of what I was playing, and what was going on in the film. We got it down to around 20 different themes or songs that felt good with the film, and then focused on smoothing out the transitions.
GR: When you play at UCLA are you going to face the screen or the audience?
ZH: If we face the audience, we will need monitors. The film has become the seventh member in our band: a very important, demanding member that requires all of our attention.
GR: Is Dengue Fever the next Danny Elfman?
ZH: I love writing original music for film. It feels like someone hands you a half-painted picture and asks you to do your thing. Writing all the rest of our music (that is not film inspired) is like getting handed a blank canvas.
The Lost World screens at 8 p.m. on November 12l. For tickets or more information, call (310) 825-2101 or visit www.uclalive.org/