Amber Midthunder Jazz Tangcay Dan Trachtenberg film composer action Amber Midthunder Jazz Tangcay Dan Trachtenberg

‘Prey’ Composer Sarah Schachner on Balancing Gory Action With an Emotional Storyline

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Jazz Tangcay Artisans Editor“Prey” composer Sarah Schachner factored in two elements when scoring the 1700s-set entry in the “Predator” franchise. “We were making a ‘Predator’ film with all the fun gory action and suspense you’d expect, but the music had to simultaneously tell Naru’s emotional story and her evolution,” she says.The action thriller, set in the Comanche nation, follows Naru, played by Amber Midthunder.

Naru is hungry to prove her abilities as a hunter, but she gets more than she bargained for when a deadly dreadlocked alien makes contact and begins to hunt for sport.Schanchner’s biggest challenge, she says, was to find the balance of the score feeling equally large and expansive as well as intimate and raw to match the 18th-century natural setting.

Says Schachner, “The key was to not be afraid to say something in a film with so little dialogue.” The composer performed and recorded almost all of the string instruments featured in the score.

When it came to the “Predator” theme, she says, “That came about almost in full form right away. I have a voice note of me playing it and working it out for the first time on the double bass.” Schachner adds, ” I tend to channel my own emotions directly into my playing, so writing and performing all the increasingly aggressive iterations of the ‘Predator’ motif was like therapy for me.”For Naru’s theme, Schachner collaborated with the film’s director Dan Trachtenberg. “Dan and I spent a while collaborating on Naru’s theme.

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