The new Paramount film Downsizing, with music by Rolfe Kent, is a sci-fi dramedy written and directed by Alexander Payne and co-written by Jim Taylor. The film stars Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Christoph Waltz, Neil Patrick Harris, and Hong Chau.
When RK and I initially spoke about this project he wanted a unique and colorful score to suit such a one-of-a-kind and inventive story. We recorded @ The Bridge initially to focus on some of the soloists: voice, cello, and winds since these sessions would happen before the full scoring dates. We then recorded the full orchestra at Sony Scoring Stage. 32 Vio,12 Vla, 10 Celli, 8 CB, 6 Horns, 3 Tpt, 3 Bones, Tuba, 8 Woods, 3 perc, Harp, Pno/Celeste. I designed a custom PT recording template with nearly 500 pre assigned tracks. The recording process was amazingly streamlined as most of the heavy lifting (recording groups, cue feeds, and playback monitoring and assignment) were designed into the template itself, therefore making the workload for the analog world minimal. Jumping around from section to section was fantastically easy. We worked fast and efficiently, never bogging down the musicians in the room. Many players came up to my team to comment on how easy and streamlined the sessions were. A great compliment coming from LA musicians, some of the most talented in the world.
This mix was handled at my private studio. We had two rooms going non-stop for a few weeks: one for editing and conforming, and of course The Mix Room. Every few nights director Alexander Payne and Rolfe would swing by to preview the mixes. AP had a very clear idea how he wanted the score to sound. The mandate was nearly zero artificial reverb. If it sounded overly lush and produced he would request we pull it back to maintain intimacy throughout the film. I used many varied combinations of room mics for each section to give the score depth without sounding overly enhanced. For the soundtrack I have to admit we snuck in a bit of spin as the Brits would call it….
Downsizing imagines what might happen if, as a solution to over-population, Norwegian scientists discover how to shrink humans to 5 inches (13 cm) tall and propose a 200-year global transition from big to small. People soon realize how much further money goes in a miniaturized world, and with the promise of a better life, everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha in order to get small and move to a new downsized community — a choice that triggers life-changing adventures. WATCH THE TRAILER HERE: