ComingSoon’s Jeff Ames was able to sit down with composer George Streicher to discuss his score for the film Corrective actionswith Bruce Willis and Michael Rooker.
Corrective actions is a 2022 American action science fiction thriller film written, produced, and directed by Sean O’Reilly and starring Bruce Willis and Michael Rooker. It is based on Grant Chastain’s graphic novel of the same name. The film is currently available on Tubi.
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George Streicher is a composer of film and television music. As a film composer, he has written original scores for animated films such as go fish and Howard Lovecraft and the Underwater Kingdom. For television he has directed the series Snapchat / Comedy Bang Bang Totally badass wrestling and worked as an adjunct music composer at Nickelodeon The Smurfs. Most recently he completed the score for Arcana Studio’s Heroes of the Golden Masks, starring Patton Oswalt, Ron Perlman and Christopher Plummer. He has also worked as a composer and arranger on video games such as Harry Potter: Magic Awakens and live events such as Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks.
Jeff Ames: What made you become a composer?
Georg Streicher: I come from a fairly musical family. My mother was a concert flautist, my father an amateur musician, and I and all my siblings took music lessons as children. I grew up with an absolute love for listening to and playing film music. But actually I started out as a filmmaker. I composed my own short films as a kid and it continued through high school and college; when I started taking music more seriously. I started doing voice overs for classmates and friends’ films, and eventually a producer (Sean Patrick O’Reilly) came forward and asked me to do voice overs for their feature film. That’s really where this whole career started.
What about “corrective action” made you want to work on it?
It was a genre I had never worked in before. It was also a live-action film. I have a lot of experience and credits in animation so this was a welcome change and a fun challenge. I had to work on a scale that I’m not used to musically, and by scale I mean an energy that was more aggressive and gritty. Writing for live guitars and drums as opposed to an orchestra and playing off some great performances on film.
What was the biggest corrective action challenge and how did you overcome it?
It was a challenge to nail down the sound I wanted for each character. They turned out to be pretty simple solutions, but I went through a lot of ideas to land on them. Luckily the director and editor had placed several really great folk/country songs in several montages throughout the film. When I first saw a cut I thought it was so perfect and that helped me find the style of the score. But I still wanted each character to have their own musical voice, which I think we managed to do.
Do you have funny behind-the-scenes stories about creating corrective actions?
There are a few fun things that went into creating the score. For example, since The Lobe listens to a lot of classical music in his cell, I designed a drum set out of sounds of me hitting the body of a Steinway grand piano and the body of a cello. I loaded these into my DAW, processed them and created a drum kit specifically tuned for his character. There are also a few moments where I use a special synth effect that I created. I looked at the frequencies at which different brain activities resonate. I set a synth patch to 30kHz and added a bit of distortion to make it more audible. I use this effect whenever The Lobe uses its power in a scene. It’s subtle, but felt appropriate to have there. For the character of The Conductor, I sampled lots of arcing and zaps sounds and created synth leads to use in his cues. There’s also quite a bit of slamming of prison cell doors and metallic noises layered into the percussion to reflect the prison environment the film is set in.
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What were some of the things you learned from corrective actions that you would like to apply to future endeavors?
A lot of what I learned in creating this score was the use of sound design in production. It seems like there can never be too much production on scores like this. I had a lot of fun playing with sound design elements to emphasize cuts or amplify moments musically. And just finding the elements that work for the characters and help color the clues in a certain way is so effective and so much fun. The conductor and all the arcing samples in his cues come to mind.
Do you have other projects to share with us?
I’m working on a fun personal project that I plan to post this October. It’s a live orchestral Halloween album called Music of the Macabre. Something I’ve been working on since 2020 and am really looking forward to.