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Behind the Screen, hosted by THR tech editor Carolyn Giardina, features interviews with cinematographers, editors, composers, production designers and other creative talent behind the making of motion pictures.
Burwell has composed the music for more than 80 feature films, including 17 with the Coen brothers such as Raising Arizona, Barton Fink, Fargo, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men and True Grit. He’s also a two-time Oscar nominee for Carol and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
For The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Burwell approached the six-part Western anthology movie as six separate films. “They are so different and the intention is so different,” he explains. “But the big question was, to what extent do we try to weave a thread through it that gives it some unity.”
The composer describes his work on tracks including Canyon Awake, The Gal Who Got Rattled and The Mortal Remains.
The score was recorded, with an orchestra, at Abbey Road Studios in London. Burwell adds, “In this case, Netflix as a distributor is not a signatory to any of the union agreements here. So they wanted to go to London so they wouldn’t be involved in that. I mention that because more and more films are being made by companies that aren’t signatories. It’s an issue.”
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Red Sea Film Festival