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    Kelli Scarr

    October 7th, 2009

    Our wonderful composer Kelli Scarr just put out a brand new EP. She’s currently touring around the world, opening for and playing alongside Moby (who also helped produce the record).

    Download the EP for FREE.
    See her on TOUR (upcoming stops in Guadalajara, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland & Vancouver).
    • Look out for her new full-length album in early 2010.

    And don’t forget to Buy the In A Dream DVD featuring music from Kelli, The Books, Explosions in the Sky, Efterklang, Colleen & Bibio. Moises Chiullan from Hollywood Elsewhere/Arthouse Cowboy reviewed the DVD and even plugged our Limited Edition Version!

    I’ve been an enthusiastic supporter of Jeremiah Zagar’s masterful work of mosaic documentary filmmaking since I saw it a year and a half ago at South by Southwest 2008, before it made the shortlist for Best Documentary feature at last year’s Oscars. In a Dream delves into his family history, specifically focusing on his father Isaiah’s battles with madness and genius and how those epic wars within himself affect those who love him…The supplemental materials are all easily re-watchable, including a short hidden one that I watched two and three times after finding it…there’s also a very unique Limited Edition version being sold off their website for $60 that they’re only doing 500 of total…My assumption (as should be yours) is that a larger portion of these sales goes to the filmmakers on top of the fact that the additional extras listed are worth investigating.

    Thanks Moises. You can read the whole review here.

    The Books

    April 13th, 2009

    Fifth in a series of posts from Jeremiah Zagar about In A Dream’s music.

    Paul de Jong & Nick Zammuto are THE BOOKS

    The Books have been, by far, the largest musical influence on In A Dream. I cut our first fundraising trailer to their song Getting the Done Job and in the finished film we use a total of six Books tracks plus an original song composed for the film by Nick.

    It’s important to note that every track is innately cinematic due to the fact that each are built from samples of VHS videos that Nick and Paul find in Salvation Armies across the country. It is wonderful to see them live because they play their music along with their videos; it’s like a concert and a movie in one. You can feel their songs in your guts and in your bones, just listen to 8 Frame or That Right Aint Shit and you’ll understand.

    Last Thursday, Jeremy and I had the pleasure of seeing The Books play Columbia University’s Miller Theatre the night before the New York premiere of In A Dream. In the middle of their set, The Books stopped the show to play the film’s trailer. Nick then asked the whole audience to go see it at the Cinema Village and my heart melted like a little kid.

    I was fortunate enough to meet Nick and Paul three years ago in Philadelphia after a concert they played at the University of Pennsylvania. Although I was too timid to approach them after the show, fate stepped in when the very next day Jeremy and I saw them walking past my parent’s house on South Street.

    “Hey! The Books, The Books!” I shouted. They stopped in their tracks and Jeremy and I ran to them and introduced ourselves.

    “We’re using your music in our movie. It’s about my father. He makes giant mosaic murals just up the street, come on we’ll give you a tour.”

    Perhaps they were a little hesitant, but they came anyway, loved it, and three years later we have the best damn score around!

    Buy their albums on TheBooksMusic.com or iTunes and then watch Classy Penguin from their last release, a wonderful DVD called Playall.

    YouTube Preview Image

    Kelli Scarr Reprise

    April 8th, 2009

    Listen to new music from Kelli Scarr & friends and then go see her perform @ Zebulon on Sunday, April 19th.

    Explosions in the Sky – So Long, Lonesome

    April 6th, 2009


    Part four in a series of posts from Jeremiah Zagar about In A Dream’s music.

    In the spring of 2002 my friend Nathan Caswell and I were editing our short student film The Unbelievable Truth in the tiny bedroom of my Cambridge apartment. One of the most difficult scenes to cut was the first. In it, a father leaves his wife and child. Although the scene was incredibly heavy, it felt sparse and muddy. That is until we discovered Explosions in the Sky.

    Nate, who is one of the most brilliant filmmakers and editors I know, found out about the band on some underground music website and we were struck immediately by how utterly cinematic their music was. We put their song Remember Me As A Time of Day into the cut and it saved the film.

    The next night we showed the scene to my friend Mike Reich who starred in the movie and is an incredible filmmaker in his own right (watch his music videos, visit his site videothing).

    “That music is awesome. Who is it,” Mike asked.
    “They are a band from Austin called Explosions in the Sky.”
    “No way, dude, I think they’re playing a show across the street right now at TT and the Bears.”

    Nate and I rushed out of the house, bought tickets and caught the last two songs of one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Just outside the club on our way home we spotted one of the guitarists sitting on the curb between a couple parked cars smoking a cigarette.

    “Your show was amazing,” I stammered.
    He turned around, looking sweaty and exhausted and muttered something like “thanks.”
    “We’re cutting your music to our movie.”
    “Cool, send us a copy when it’s done.”

    We did and since then I have used an Explosions in the Sky song in almost every film I’ve made including the song Memorial in Coney Island 1945, which was a short test project for In A Dream.

    So Long, Lonesome from In A Dream is off Explosions in the Sky’s latest album and is my personal favorite track on the record. It gives the movie the kind of emotional climax one rarely sees in documentaries and in many ways makes the film what it is.

    Buy Explosions in the Sky’s music.
    See them live.

    P.S. Special thanks goes to Jeremy from Temporary Residence Limited who has been an ally and supporter ever since we showed him Coney Island back in 2005.

    Kelli Scarr

    March 29th, 2009
    Jeremiah, Kelli and

    Jeremiah, Kelli and her son Liam @ The Bunker Studio

    Third in a series of posts from Jeremiah Zagar about In A Dream’s music.

    The first time I met our composer Kelli Scarr was with my friend Celia Ellenberg at a bar on the lower east side. I liked her even before I knew her name.

    “Can I buy you a drink,” I asked.
    “Sure” she replied  “but is that your wallet or a hacky sack?”
    “My mother got it for me” I whimpered.

    Kelli was making fun of me even before I knew her name and she continues to make fun of me today. She’s good at teasing me but she’s great at composing music.

    Kelli and I worked on the score for In A Dream for about a year straight. She was pregnant most of the time.  We worked at night at her apartment, with me sitting behind her while she played beautiful melodies.

    Kelli Scarr Composing

    Kelli Scarr Composing

    It wasn’t always easy though. Composing a subtle, effective and memorable score is one of the more tedious things about making films. The most important thing is to have the patience, talent and determination to do it and Kelli has that in spades.

    Eventually we remastered each of the songs with cello, piano and bass at The Bunker Studio in Brooklyn with engineer Aaron Nevezie. It was amazing watching the songs Kelli had envisioned come to life thanks to musicians Jason Domnarski, David Moltz, Justin Purtill, John Davis, Chris Hoffman & Dan Mintzer.

    Tonight Kelli will play at the Cinema Eye Honors. She’s nominated for best score and she’s up against some pretty heavy hitters including Nick Cave and Danny Elfman. Wish her luck. I think she deserves the statue.

    Kelli’s next album will be produced by Moby. Follow the progress at her blog. And here’s an outtake from the In A Dream recording sessions. A beautiful song that we just couldn’t fit into the film. Hope you enjoy.

    Efterklang – Kloy Gyn

    March 25th, 2009


    Part 2 in a series about In A Dream‘s music.

    I found Efterklang while searching online for ambient music about three years ago and after putting their music in the film I knew right away it would have to stay. In fact, the scene in which Kloy Gyn appears is still my producer Jeremy’s favorite in the whole film.

    Last summer, I had a chance to use another song of theirs called Bright in a short film I cut called Wait For Me directed by In A Dream‘s Executive Producer Ross Kauffman. The film was shown in the centerpiece slot of last year’s New York Film Festival and it is devastating.

    Efterklang agreed to let us use Bright if we agreed to make a music video for their new album. We didn’t have time or money to shoot anything, so we decided to put a video together using outtakes from In A Dream. That music video—for Cutting Ice To Snow—is a testament to Erik Messerschmidt’s beautiful cinematography, so much of which was left out of the finished film.

    The video was edited by Angshuman Ghosh and Adam Saewitz and the influential website Pitchfork selected it as one of their top forty music videos of 2008.

    As it turns out, Efterklang and Herzliya Films are a pretty good combination. In a way, Efterklang and many of the bands in this movie have become a part of me. Over the past three years, the music I listen to has become inseparable from the editing work that I do. And since I edit often with the music of Efterklang, they have in turn become a soundtrack for my day to day, which is wonderful since their music is so good. My only fear now is that one day someone will ask me to edit a movie to John Mayer songs.

    Efterklang are on a North American tour as we speak. You can see them in Philadelphia on Friday and in New York on Saturday.

    Tour Dates
    Buy their music on iTunes

    P.S. at the Sheffield Doc/Fest last November we had a chance to link up with the good people at The Leaf Label and Woodwork Music who represent both Efterklang and Colleen (as well as other amazing bands like A Hawk and a Hacksaw). They loved the film and we love them.

    Colleen – The Golden Morning Breaks

    March 20th, 2009

    This is first in a series of posts where Jeremiah Zagar, director of In A Dream, talks about the music in the film.

    Around five years ago I was living with a friend for a few weeks in Portland, Oregon and I went into a small independent music store around the corner from her house and asked the same question I normally ask at independent music stores: “do you have any good ambient music, something cinematic. See i’m making a movie and….”

    The guy behind the counter pointed me to a number of artists, one of which was Colleen. I bought the album right away and listened to it for two years before cutting with it. I edited one of the first scenes of In A Dream with The Golden Morning Breaks and somehow the images and the music became inseparable.

    Just last week, Cecille (Colleen is a pen name) emailed me saying that she had watched the movie and loved it. One of the best things about finishing the film is gaining the respect of someone whose work has so influenced my own.

    • Visit her website or that of her wonderful record company The Leaf Label.
    • Buy The Golden Morning Breaks on iTunes.