Trent Reznor has made a nice late-career transition from scary industrial musician to scary soundtrack cultivator.
He and Atticus Ross have now scored The Social Nework, Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and this year's Gone Girl (all by director David Fincher). Much press has been given to his latest score, and Reznor stopped by the CBS studios for a chat with the CBS: This Morning crew.
"It's been just such a rewarding experience for me personally," he said of his new gigs. "It's very challenging... It's flattering to be asked to work in a different medium than what you're used to — film, that is. It was such a fun, rewarding, creative experience that when we finished The Social Network I said, 'Hey. If it's appropriate, call me for the next one. That led to Dragon Tattoo, and here we are.'"
While the music bears resemblance to much of Reznor's industrial work, the process is obviously different.
"What I've learned from working in film is my job is to be in service to the picture," he said. "If I'm writing for Nine Inch Nails, my end result is trying to get this idea I have in my head into your ears and try and make that connection. In film, we adopted this strategy of really trying to get inside David's head. He has a very clear idea of what he's looking for, the role of music in film."
Specifically, Reznor uses the same visualization technique for these scores as he does for NIN songs, but the difference is that it's not his original vision he's building on.
"My strategy of writing a pop song isn't to start with a hook and mechanically try to make this product that's catchy," he said. "I'll start with a feeling or a visual and then I try to dress that visual with sound and then a sound comes out the other end. That's probably why my songs aren't that catchy.
"With filmwork, it's really just replacing that vision I've come up with, with that vision these guys have come up with. It's not completely dissimilar."