Sunday, 31 July 2016

Interview: Eric Elick (Film Composer) (July 2016)

Eric Elick - Composer of Films from LA.
Eric Elick is a fine Composer on the Indie Film Scene and Musician. His name first came to my attention on Emma Dark's Seize The Night (2015) and on films like RATS (2016) and Egomaniac (2016). Please check out his Facebook event page for the Seize The Night Score Also, please see his Soundcloud Profile. Pre-Order: Seize The Night OST. Eric's Official Website.

What age did you start making music?
I started making music at 19 when my brother purchased his first synthesizer, the Alesis QS6! I saw him making music and it looked like a lot of fun, so I made a mini album for my family composing a song for each of them that represented how I viewed them in a musical way and gave it to them on cassette tape that Christmas!

How did you start composing for Short Films? Seize The Night? Egomaniac? Etc.
It all started in 2014 when my cousin, Damon Rickard, co-directed his first short film entitled "The Tour".  I saw promotional images he was posting on FaceBook so I took those and created three music cues with the images like a slide show and then sent them to him asking him for the opportunity to score the film!  Damon and his co-director, Alex Mathieson gave me a shot and the rest is history!  The main theme in "The Tour" was the cue that landed me that job I came to find out later in subsequent discussions with Damon.  I was very happy with the high production values that went into the film; I certainly upgraded my home studio to do the score justice and have been upgrading ever since!  All of my other film work with other directors grew from that first project and I have had the wonderful opportunity to team up with Damon (on The Package and now his new film, Dissociative) and Alex (on The Jitterman) again.  I was lucky to get in on a quality project as my first film and forever grateful to both Damon and Alex for believing in me and giving me my first break!

"Seize the Night" came about through a direct referral from Damon and Annette Rickard to Emma Dark when she was in the process of looking for a composer for her film.  I became aware of the referral when I woke up one morning, now that's a great way to wake up!  Emma was and has been a wonderful director to work with and I have learned so much from her and she continues to support my efforts (including the Seize the Night Official Soundtrack release) for which I am ever grateful to her.  Emma Dark communicated to me later that she chose me to score Seize the Night after hearing one of my cues on SoundCloud, "Hell's Labyrinth".  This cue was actually inspired by Jen & Sylvia Soska's "See No Evil 2" movie.  I had just met them at ScreamFestLA in 2014 when "The Tour" as well as SNE2 were premiering and I enjoyed that movie enough to create that song inspired by it.  No one has heard this story before, so there's your exclusive!  You can listen to it here:

My involvement in Egomaniac came about through referrals from other directors to Kate Shenton and she approached me about doing the score to Egomaniac after viewing videos that I had with music on my YouTube in addition to my ability to create various styles of music.  It was an amazing working relationship through the entire scoring process from the beginning as Kate was very easy to work with and helpful in her feedback of cues as well as determining specifics of where she wanted music in the film.  Even in the face of disaster (my computer literally starting to die a slow death while I was composing for Egomaniac), Kate was amazing and understanding through the arduous process of attempting to fix my computer and then chucking that idea and then having a computer specialist building a high end cutting edge custom made studio computer.  THAT whole process took a couple of months, and Kate was amazing through the entire process despite deadlines approaching (which we made!).  I'm set with this new studio computer for the next few years at least!  I am very excited that Egomaniac is premiering at this year's FrightFest in London which I will be attending!  CryptTVUK has been wonderfully supportive of the film and I am excited to see the response of the public after it premieres!

What is your favorite genre of music, if you can answer that?
I wouldn't say I have a favorite genre of music as film scores could be just about any kind of music.  I primarily listen to film scores now a days.  I listen for pleasure, but also at the same time I am constantly studying how other composers have approached orchestration and what emotional effect their musical choices make on me, the listener.  I try to learn from that and implement it in my own work from a technical side.  The emotional side of the music I produce is primarily inspired by the imagery of the scene I am scoring and secondarily by the discussion with the director regarding the emotional trajectory of the film as a whole as well as in each scene.

What are your favorite instruments to play?
Any keyboard instrument!  I have a special place in my heart for the harpsichord, as that instrument inspired me to learn the piano.  I have been in a love affair with the piano since I seriously committed to learning it at 19!

Any ideas to go into directing yourself?
I will always first and foremost be a composer, but as an overall creative I have dabbled in all aspects of film making as I just love creating things, even as far as creating a micro short "Knock" that I did back in April of this year that received a good response on my social media pages.  I have been studying cinematography, sound recording, photography, visual effects and so on since 2014 in order to be able to communicate in a more informed manner with directors, editors, and other members of crew regarding film making processes as well as to produce my own content as a composer.  I think it has improved my insight into the entire film making process. Multimedia is definitely the way to go now a days from a marketing standpoint.  I have always been a very involved composer supporting projects I am part of or that I believe in, in any way that I can, and I think the film composing field as a whole needs to get out there more and increase awareness of what we do in our field and its (sometimes overlooked) importance in film, ironic as that may sound.  Many times the music can come as an after thought in the post-production process (in addition to its budget), but a composer can be useful in the pre-production and primary production processes as well!

Thank you for this opportunity to interview, John! I really enjoyed it!


  1. Thank you for the interview, it was a great experience!---Eric Elick


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