LOS ANGELES — Composer Geoff Zanelli recently completed work on the original score for Universal Pictures’ You Should Have Left. The Blumhouse Productions film was released digitally today and stars Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried.
You Should Have Left is a psychological thriller set at an isolated modern home in the Welsh countryside. The couple, along with their six-year-old daughter, are seeking a restful vacation but find that secrets follow them and the beautiful house refuses to let them leave.
The project marks Zanelli’s fourth collaboration with screenwriter and director David Koepp, which began back in 2004 with the Johnny Depp feature, Secret Window. For the new film, Zanelli used the distant location and house’s architecture for inspiration for the score. He employing a combination of traditional instruments - including the crwth, tagelharpa and psaltery - along with modern instruments to create the score.
Zanelli (pictured, above) says as many as 45 cues were written for the film, with original music amounting to just under an hour. After reading the script, he created several cues which were used by editor Derek Ambrosi to create the initial cut. As the edit evolved, Zanelli refined the music cues to their finished state.
“The challenge was balancing all of these elements while keeping the score cohesive,” notes Zanelli. “I played all the Welsh instrumentation myself to vaguely suggest the location without writing specifically Welsh music. I also played other organic instruments…which I tortured.”
Look for further details on Zanelli’s work on You Should Have Left in
Post’s July/August issue, as well as career advice for those looking to break into the business of film composing.