Lakeshore Records recently spoke with Australian Composer Johnny Klimek, score composer for films such as Wolf Creek 2 (watch it on Netflix), I, Frankenstein (with Reinhold Heil) and The Cave. Recognized for his score work on films like Cloud Atlas, Paris, je t’aime and Run Lola Run, Mr. Klimek’s love of music and the creative process is very apparent by how he speaks of his work. With the recent release of the Wolf Creek 2 soundtrack by Lakeshore Records, the busy composer gave us the scoop on what it’s like to work with Wolf Creek Director Greg McLean. As a life-long musician and heavily into the Berlin electronic music scene for many years, Mr. Klimek offers his perspective on film scoring.
How did you end up working on the Wolf Creek films?
I met Greg via another film he was planning to do; some months later, he contacted me concerning Wolf Creek 2. I flew back to Australia for a spotting session and watched the film. Greg said he wanted something atonal, except for a few sequences, so I did a lot of sound design and added lots of Orchestral FX.
Growing up as a musician, did you ever consider that you would someday be producing music for films?
It was not the plan. I remember being interested in it and going to see films and thinking I could never do something like that. Then, Tom Tykwer (Cloud Atlas, Run Lola Run) walked into my life.
If you were to travel back in time, say, to your childhood, what movie would you love to score?
There are so many. In the horror genre, The Shining (1980) and The Elephant Man (1980).
How do you view the difference between writing and creating music for a band, and for a film?
It’s completely different; film scores are another world. When you score you’re supporting a story line. It’s a creative, emotional, dynamic musical journey.
I just did the score for a film called Kill Me Three Times: it had a guitar-oriented ’60s vibe. You have to adapt to different styles. I grew up with pop music, then got into the Berlin underground electronic scene. It was nothing commercial at all. It was a great training ground for film score.
Do you have a music writing ritual?
The best scenario for me is to read the script and discuss ideas with the director. I like to spend a week or so on sound design and manipulating stuff then I get into the thematic side. Experimenting inspires me to try different things and often wonderful accidents occur.
What is your favorite instrument?
I’m a bass player, but I don’t think it’s my favorite. I tend to love the ukulele and cello — adore the sound! Working with a string section is my favorite.
I’m working on a film directed by Greg Mclean called 6 Miranda Drive, which stars Kevin Bacon. Then, on to a film called A Hologram For The King directed by Tom Tykwer, and stars Tom Hanks. After that, a project called Sense8 (TV series) with the Wachowski siblings (The Matrix).
Go to Lakeshore Records’ Composer Interviews Page for more!