“The movie is a lot about the characters and how the characters relate to each other, but it’s also about the film itself,” says Michael Ondaatje, a composer on “The Theory of Everything,” a film that opened in New York City on Thursday.
“The idea that the audience should feel as if they’re inside the film is very important to me.
I don’t have to think about it when I’m writing a score.”
Ondaattje, the founder of London-based sound design firm D&G Sound, and his team work closely with filmmakers and editors to create the perfect score for their films.
“There’s this sense of excitement, there’s this energy,” he says.
“It’s the first time I’ve been so emotionally involved in the creation of a score for anything.
It’s very personal, but the music is also incredibly expressive.”
In the film “The Secret Life of Pets,” Ondaattshe’s team composed music to accompany the opening sequence of a live show.
The film is based on a book by Stephen King, and the theme is “The Story of My Life,” and it features a few different musical selections.
Ondaatshe says that he had to work very closely with the composer, who was very much involved in his writing process.
“He’s very much a collaborator and has his own style,” he tells me.
“I just had to be as clear about what was going to be going on with the music.”
The movie is directed by “Citizenfour” director Laura Poitras, and it stars Ben Affleck as a journalist investigating the disappearance of his best friend, Daniel Avery, who disappeared in 1977.
Affleck and his co-star Kate Winslet also star.
“You need to know the score before you start the project,” says Ondaas.
“In this case, the director wanted us to use some of his themes that he’d written and that he liked.”
The team also added in a number of other songs that could be found in Poitrs book “The Case Files of Daniel Avery.”
Ondoaattje says that the music he composed was originally used for a documentary on the case, which was released in 2010.
“There are a few of those songs that we didn’t want to be included in the documentary, but we just felt that the documentary was so important, so we felt we should include them,” he explains.
“We went back to the director, and he said, ‘Well, that was really helpful, because we had no idea what the song was before you made it.'”
Poitrons film also included several other songs and performances by some of Hollywood’s best-known composers, including Richard Wagner and Leonard Bernstein.
In addition to the movie, Ondaottes team worked on a film called “I’m Not the One” about the life of musician/actress/songwriter Janis Joplin.
“They wanted me to write some of the songs for the film, and I was like, ‘Oh, OK,'” Onda says.
He credits the project with giving him a more complete view of his own work.
“Every day I’m working on this film, I’m like, This is the movie I wrote the music for,” he adds.
“And then I look at the music, and this is where it all started.”
“The theory of everything” is a story about the origins of time travel and the human mind.
The story centers on a young woman named Sarah, who travels back in time and becomes the head of a group of scientists in an effort to discover the origins and origins of the universe.
Ondotta’s music was chosen for the movie because he wanted to make it a musical that “seemed like the story,” he told me.
But, the composer admits, it wasn’t exactly what he was looking for.
“Some of the music wasn’t really my style, but a lot of it I’m trying to find the right way to use it,” he admits.
“So it’s very eclectic.”
For more on the movie and its composer, check out the full interview below.
O&A: How the movie was made, and what went into making it.