“It is unusual times to say the least under the Trump administration; in many ways we are gently poking fun of the current administration,” says Thomas Golubic about the Netflix comedy “Space Force.” In our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video above), he adds, “It’s what happens when a decent career military person is responsible to do the impossible and has completely unreasonable expectations.”
Golubic serves as music supervisor on the program, a new comedy about the U.S. military branch of the same name. He lays out that “finding the right tone was the most difficult part. We wanted it to be funny; it’s a comedy. We also wanted to be sincere to Steve Carell’s character. We talked a lot about Elmer Bernstein, his score to ‘The Great Escape’ and then also how he did a serious score for a comedy in ‘Stripes,’ the Bill Murray film. Sometimes, if you score things in a very serious direct way you are able to help the comedy as well.”
Carell plays General Mark Naird, who is responsible for the Space Force. Golubic says, “In the first episode he’s trying to convince congress people to continue to fund the Space Force. His head of science (John Malkovich) is only thinking about the science, while Naird has to think about the politics of it. In order to capture the tone, we used music as a valve for General Naird. When he reaches the apex of tension he basically sings songs to himself. We chose largely songs that were falsetto, very high vocals so Steve would be straining to reach them. We had Bee Gees in the mix and in the first episode we used Beach Boys‘ ‘Kokomo.’ The songs were all pricey. We ended up using less but we used them as effectively as we could in those moments.”
The music supervisor, who has received two Emmy nominations for his work on “Better Call Saul,” explains that his role is “the responsibility to discuss with the creatives of the show how music will work. In this case, I read the script and came to the table with a lot of ideas. The job for me was to reach out to different composers and we landed on Carter Burwell, who did an amazing job. I had to figure out how the score will be done and where it will be recorded. Then I assembled different ideas, with my team, of songs we could possibly use. The job is to tell a story within the budget that you have, within the time frame that you have, and within the personalities that are making those choices with you. It’s about having lots of different options and ushering each element to the finish line.”
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