Interview with Corey Allen Jackson

Corey Allen Jackson is a versatile composer whose work to date spans from animation to thriller/horror genre to video games. He has also composed music for numerous projects film and television. He recently completed work on the remake of the 1978 horror classic, “I Spit on Your Grave”. MovieMikes had a chance to ask Corey a few questions about some of his projects.

Click here to purchase Corey’s music

Mike Gencarelli: Where did you find inspiration for “I Spit on Your Grave” remake score? Did you look back to the original?
Corey Allen Jackson: The original “I Spit on Your Grave” did not have a score so I was relieved because I know the purists would be listening closely if that where the case. I knew I wanted to set a mood, that didn’t get in the way, but was influenced at times by Bartok, Pendereski. I watched the movie several times and was asked to score the opening sequence to get my take on the film. My visceral reaction to the film is what I put down in score and molded to the filmmakers intentions. I thought it should be dark and lonely not too terrifying until the brutality started. I tried to go balls out when Jennifer starts her revenge. It was a lot of fun to do.

MG: How did you get involved working with Bill Plympton?
CAJ: I sent Bill a demo about 7 or 8 years ago. I did not hear anything back for a while and so I kind of forgot that I had sent it. About a year later, I was on vacation when I get this call on my cell and it’s Bill Plympton. He said that there was a track on my demo that he wanted to use on his film “Hair High”. I said great and we’ve worked together ever since. I just received word this morning that out latest collaboration for the short film “The Cow that Wanted to Be a Hamburger”; is up for an Oscar. I believe that another collaboration “Idiots and Angels” has made the short-list for the animated feature category.

MG: Tell us about working on Alexia Anatasio’s documentary about Bill Plympton called “Adventures in Plymptoons”?
CAJ: Alexia contacted me sometime last year and asked to interview me for the doc she was making about Bill. I arrived at the studio where they were filming the interviews and the background was green screen. She explained that Bill would be animating our interviews. I have been anxiously waiting to see her doc ever since.

MG: In the film “Complacent”, you not only did the score but also produced; tell us how that happened and what it was like?
CAJ: I cannot remember how the conversation started, but I think I was playing gin rummy with my dad and the conversation turned to us making a film “Someday”. He had recently sold his business of almost 25 years and was looking for something to do. Sometime later at a holiday party at director Steven Monroe’s we started talking about it. He had a pile of scripts he wrote and wanted to direct. In another life I had business experience but this was really unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It was very stressful, but at the same time rewarding. It is a miracle that it ever got made. Afterwards I started to look around at pictures coming out, especially the independents, and thought to myself, “These people really have to love what they do to keep them going from start to finish.” There is nothing glorifying about it. No one get’s rich from it. It’s a “roll-up-your sleeves” job. I have a newly found respect for these people.

MG: Tell us about your role of synth programmer on “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore”?
CAJ: I would basically take the cues from the composer and would perform mock-ups, arrangements and production on the cues.

MG: Do you find the process very different working on movies to video games?
CAJ: It really depends on film and the game, but on the games I’ve worked on I had the opportunity to open up a bit more and flex the composer muscle a bit. In films you HAVE to be subservient to the story, dialog, everything. During game play you do have direction but it’s a bit less restrictive. Both are great to do and equally have their own advantages and disadvantages. I love writing to picture, but a game now and then is fun.

Click here to purchase Corey’s music

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