Soundtrack: <I>Poser</I>
Issue: May/June 2021

Soundtrack: Poser

Ori Segev and Noah Dixon are known for their work on music videos, shorts and documentaries. They made their feature debut with Poser, which recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. The film is about Lennon and her desire to join a podcast featuring music and conversations with the artists she admires. Shot on location in Columbus, OH, Poser is set against the backdrop of the city’s thriving indie music scene. With musicians playing all the main characters, and performances by a wide variety of local bands, the film has an authentic feel and ambiance, with a story that unfolds in a world defined by the city’s music culture.

Poser also features an original score by the composing duo of Adam Robl and Shawn Sutta (pictured, L-R).

“During our early conversations with the directors last June, everyone quickly agreed that the score needed to play against the cutting-edge music to give the film a cinematic elegance,” Sutta explains. “To achieve this, we juxtaposed the indie music sound of the movie with rich instrumentals, haunting angelic vocals and modern textural elements that tie in with its present-day story. To find the right sound, we listening to a lot of music by Handel, Bach, Chopin, and Mozart for inspiration, along with some of our favorite modern artists, such as Mica Levi and Jonny Greenwood.”

Much of Sutta & Robl’s music for the film was performed by musicians on real instrumentals, bringing a natural timber and resonance, as well as nuances that can’t be achieved with samples and electronic instruments.
“Poser relies heavily on lyrics sung by women to connect the audience to the characters and their emotions,” Sutta notes. “We knew that featuring female vocals would help tie the score in with the musical storyline. Singer/songwriter Gabriela Ferrer was the ideal fit with this project. Her incredible vocal range and creative ingenuity elevated the score, as well as the audience’s experience. The melding of vocals was so effective that we decided to incorporate it throughout the score during key moments of the film.”

“Ori and Noah are true collaborators, and with two sets of partners, we had four creative heads on the job, enabling us to double our efficiency and raise the creative bar," adds Robl. "We took advantage of the flexibility and immediate accessibility, exchanging ideas and going over the smallest details during countless phone calls - elevating the score with each conversation."
To record live instruments, such as pianos and strings, Sutta & Robl used vintage Schoeps 221b tube microphones running through Gordon preamps. Female vocals were all recorded with a 1950s Neumann CMV 563 tube mic. Clock sounds were also recorded with the Neumann CMV 563. Synths included a vintage Moog Model D, Prophet 5, Eurorack modular system and Teenage Engineering OP-1. Sound was run thru a Manley compressor and into a Nagra reel-to-reel tape machine. Lexicon’s 224x was used for reverb.

Segev and Dixon edited the feature, which was shot by Logan Floyd.