Interview with ‘Spirited’ Music Executive Producer Ian Eisendrath – Sound and Screen – Deadline
Apple Original Films’ next holiday movie Fiery required the hands and talents of several creators behind the scenes, including Ian Eisendrath, who served as the musical’s executive music producer. Following his performance of an original song at Deadline’s Sound & Screen event, he revealed the elements of his work that kept him busy amidst the singing talents of the cast which includes Ryan Reynolds, Will Ferrell and Octavia Spencer. among others.
“On a film like Fiery which has so many elements – we have an incredible score created by Dominic Lewis, [and] several actors who may have sung a bit before or never sung – one of the great things about this one was having them sing like themselves,” Eisendrath said. “We had over 13 songs written by the incredibly talented Justin Paul and three co-writers – task number one is making sure it all fits together and works together.”
He continued, “And I’m really involved in the process of recording all the vocals and the orchestra, mixing and editing the camera work, which is a big part of where the actor is in front of the camera singing his songs. As I’m sure you all know, these movies are often a mix of live voice and studio stuff. We always had them sing on set because we really wanted to make sure the audience experienced a performance that felt connected to what they were saying. We ended up using a lot of live vocals, which was really wonderful.
Amidst all of these tasks on his to-do list, Eisendrath also broached the role of therapist with the actors who were at various stages of comfort in front of the microphone.
I think one of my jobs is as a therapist, which is to get people comfortable with singing, first in the studio, then on set and in front of the camera,” he said. . “We all know Will has done a lot of things where he sings, but I don’t know if he’s ever done anything where he actually sings as a character that isn’t a parody of anything from other. And these songs are not easy. [Composers] Benj [Pasek] and justin [Paul] write really long and complicated things to sing. So it was really fun to work with [Farrell] on like, what is your voice and sound?
“What I’ve discovered about these actors is that if we can relate the text to what they’re playing, and they can really think of the songs as monologues on the pitch, all of a sudden, they’re able to do it, it’s almost like their body and their voice know what they have to do to get what this character wants or needs to communicate in a scene.
Check back Monday for the panel video.