Composer Edward Shearmur was eager to work on “Escape at Dannemora” because it was “asking for a different approach musically” than much of what he had worked on before. After years of scoring comedies and family entertainment, the music veteran wanted to “do something that had a little darkness to it.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Shearmur above.
The Showtime limited series tells the true story of two convicted murderers (Benicio del Toro and Paul Dano) who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York in 2015 with the help of a married prison employee (Patricia Arquette) who was sexually involved with both of them. All seven episodes were directed by Ben Stiller.
The music for the series was “about texture and tone more than anything else,” Shearmur explains. He wanted to create a feeling that the environment of Dannemora was “a prison for anyone involved with it — not just for the inmates, but for all of the people who worked in the ecosystem. In some way or another, everyone is trapped.” Arquette’s character is “so desperate to break out of the life she feels trapped in, she’s willing to go to any lengths to make a new life for herself.”
Working with Stiller was part of the appeal as well, since the two have known each other socially for many years. “He’s very meticulous,” Shearmur reveals. “He won’t let a detail go if he feels it’s not right for a scene.” Working with the director was “a wonderful experience” because of “his absolute detailed knowledge of what was going on for every character.”
Shearmur previously won an Emmy for the anthology series “Masters of Horror” in 2006. He has also lent his talents to such films as “The Wings of the Dove” (1997), “Charlie’s Angels” (2000), “Miss Congeniality” (2000), “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” (2004), “Furry Vengeance” (2010) and many more.
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