For Marco Beltrami, “Free Solo” was scarier than any fictional film he could’ve scored. The adrenaline that audiences feel watching the documentary was something the composer “didn’t have to supply” because it was already there in the footage, he said at Gold Derby’s Meet the BTL Experts panel, hosted by managing editor Chris Beachum. Watch our exclusive video interview with Beltrami above.
“Free Solo,” which won the Oscar as Best Documentary Feature and is now eligible at the Emmys, takes viewers on the harrowing journey of Alex Honnold, the first person to scale Yosemite’s 3,000 ft. high El Capitan Wall without ropes or safety gear. Beltrami found Honnold to be “a really interesting character” who “gets all of his life-blood from climbing. But it’s also the thing that can kill him, so it’s this yin-and-yang thing that’s perpetually going through the movie. So musically, I wanted to represent that somehow.”
This came through in the 20-minute long ending sequence, in which Honnold finishes his climb. “You want to feel like he’s achieving these goals that he broke down in the film earlier,” Beltrami divulges. At the same time, “you want to keep the tension as an overall thing, so you’re not sure” whether or not he’ll make it. “You don’t want to feel too comfortable.”
Beltrami earned Oscar nominations for his work on “3:10 to Yuma” (2007) and “The Hurt Locker” (2009). He is a previous Emmy contender for “David and Lisa” (1998). His score for “A Quiet Place” (2018) brought him a Golden Globe bid. His other film credits include “Scream” (1995), “World War Z” (2013), “The Wolverine” (2013), “Logan” (2017), and the upcoming “Ford v. Ferrari” and “Gemini Man.”
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