William Cunningham served as composer on both The Golden Girl and Binary Truths. In this article, we have a short interview with William that was conducted for the Binary Truths press book, as well as links to the original pieces that were featured in those films.
In the following interview, William talks about his process of scoring a film and his collaborations with Bradley Charlton.
Interview dated 16/05/2020.
Interviewer : What was the first project you collaborated on and what was that process like?
William : Our first collaboration was The Golden Girl. I'd never scored a film before that - the only experience I had with composition was in a university module where I scored a scene for a video game and an advert. The process on the film consisted of going to the studio together, me showing Brad music I'd written, chord progressions... I played them to him and he loved them! That really set the tone for the music of the film. Then it consisted of going back and forth and sharing ideas before arriving at the finished product. I've heard from composers and filmmakers how directors and editors don't like to change what the have edited, that the music has to fit around the images. But with Brad, he's very flexible. I get a copy of the script and begin working on the score before shooting starts. I then show him what I have come up with and if there's a piece of music he really likes, it influences his work and he will adapt the shooting.
Interviewer : This is your second collaboration now, was the process on Binary Truths any different to your first collaboration?
William : With Binary Truths it was different. We didn't manage to get Brad to hear much music but he still told me to start writing before filming. And at first he didn't necessarily like some stuff but knowing what pieces he didn't like was good. There was a lot of back and forth and then after he shot, I had some scenes to work with. For me its coming up with a base idea - a set of chords, a melody or an instrument. I also like to develop character themes or motifs and I had some "interesting" characters to work with. In fact, the last thing I did come up with was a theme. Which was good because I had all of this context and Brad even said "you have these scenes, this context to work with now go and create something". Without a scene to work with, just the character of Siana, knowing what she'd been through, I had a good idea of who she was and what I wanted to achieve. I wanted this series of unfortunate events in her life to relate to her theme and having already written pieces for these events in the film, I went back to those pieces and used them in the theme to develop this sense of character and place.
Original soundtrack for The Golden Girl.
Original soundtrack for Binary Truths.