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Interview with Composer... Pedro Bromfman

Jeremy [The Wolf]:  How did you get involved on the show "NARCOS" and where do you see the opportunities for composers to more involved in shows like this that are featured only on the internet?

Pedro Bromfman: Initially through my longtime friend and collaborator José Padilha, one of the creators of the show. I’m happy to be involved with anything José works on, I think he has true vision and an amazing talent as a filmmaker. Apart from that I was very excited about this project for a couple of reasons. Being from Brazil, I’m fascinated about South American history. I clearly remember hearing about the Colombian situation and the stranglehold the Cartels had on the country and its people. It’s amazing to watch it all on TV and to think that, even though names were changed and some characters were made up, most of what you see on screen actually happened. Last but not least the opportunity to work with a company like Netflix, producing such amazing content and truly disrupting the way we watch TV and consume entertainment. Netflix in my opinion is transcending the boundaries of the internet, it is a main stream source of entertainment present in smart TVs, tablets, phones, etc.

Jeremy [The Wolf]:  Robocop that you scored, that was a big huge step in your career... being a remake/retelling how much support or flack did you take, from the fans of the original film? Was there a level of hostility from people on the main theme by Basil Poledouris being part of the score you did, paying homage to the original?

Pedro Bromfman: I’m very proud of RoboCop and the music I created for it. I think if the project had a different name and was not released as a reboot, hardcore fans might have watched it and judged it for what it is. We ultimately made the film we set out to make, with José fighting for his vision all the way through. It was a bit upsetting that the film and score were attacked and dismissed by fans from the very beginning, most times by people who didn’t even watch it. I think some of the hostility towards the score was not directed at my modest use of the main original theme but for not using the entire score. I think people actually wanted Mr. Poledouris’ score throughout the film. Critics and hardcore fans don’t necessarily understand the process of making a blockbuster film nowadays, the hurdles and pressures involved. They also don’t understand that a score like Basil’s, unfortunately would not be approved in a modern Hollywood film. I’m certainly a huge fan and I fought to find a place for his theme in our movie but this was a very different RoboCop and it needed a very different score. I did my job and managed to please my director and both studios behind the film and that’s what I set out to do.

Jeremy [The Wolf]:  You have acted in a full roles, what is it like to be in front of the camera instead of seeing it as you prepare for the score?

Pedro Bromfman: I only acted in a couple of friend’s movies, purely for the fun of it. I don’t consider myself an actor or have any ambition to pursue it further but some of my filmmaker friends seem to want to take me out of my comfort zone and out of my studio :) I think acting on a film gives me the advantage of being involved early on and really understanding our story and its characters. I try to get that same advantage even when I’m just wearing my composer hat on a project. I feel that the earlier a composer is involved, the better he’ll understand that project’s musical needs. On Narcos for example, I was involved before a single frame was shot and some of the initial pieces I wrote after reading a few scripts are actually some of the main themes in Narcos.

Jeremy [The Wolf]:  Congratulations for becoming a recent father, how do you feel that might influence future projects... have you written a theme for your child, yet?

Pedro Bromfman: Thank you! This has been the single most amazing thing that's ever happened in my life. It certainly puts things into perspective and makes me see everything through a different lens. My baby girl was born as I finished the last episode of the show and I wrote all of the show’s music as she grew and developed in my wife’s belly, two gestational periods at once. I have written a song for my daughter and my wife has written the lyrics it’s called Siena, our baby’s name. I do believe her arrival has already made me a more mature composer. As for the influence on future projects, I’d love to be involved with more projects that she could possibly watch before she’s an adult and can handle such complicated and violent characters like Pablo Escobar. Having said that I’m passionate about Narcos and hope to start working on a second season in a not so distant future.

Wanted to thank composer Pedro Bromfman for giving us some time and wish him a world of future success!
Jeremy [The Wolf]
Pedro Bromfman BIO: Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, film composer Pedro Bromfman has been writing, playing and producing “Music For Images” for over a decade. A Cum Laude graduate from Berklee College of Music, Pedro has worked as a session musician, music producer and arranger before his passion for film scores brought him to Los Angeles.

Since moving to California and studying film scoring at UCLA, Pedro has composed and produced music for international brands and entertainment powerhouses such as Universal Pictures, MGM, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, ABC, Netflix, The Weinstein Co, Buena Vista International, Rockstar Games, ESPN, HBO, EPIX, Univision, Ant Farm, BMW, Nokia and BlueCross BlueShield.

His past credits include scores for "Tropa de Elite" ("Elite Squad"), winner of the Golden Bear at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival; "They Killed Sister Dorothy", directed by Academy Award winner Daniel Junge and narrated by Martin Sheen; "March of the Living", directed by Oscar nominated and Sundance winner Jessica Sanders; "Tropa de Elite 2" ("Elite Squad: The Enemy Within"), the most successful Latin-American film to date; the romantic comedy and Brazilian blockbuster "Qualquer Gato Vira-Lata"; "G-Dog", directed by Academy Award winner Freida Mock.

Pedro has been awarded two Gold Medals for Excellence in Film Music at the Park City Film Music Festival, an ASCAP Award, was nominated for two Cinema Brazil Grand Prizes (Brazilian Oscars), an ACIE Award and a Premio Contigo! De Cinema. He has recently worked on the music for the video game "Max Payne 3", the international co-production "Blue Lips" and completed the score for MGM’s reboot of "RoboCop", starring Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton.

1 comment:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I can see how early involvement with a project would really help with creating the score.
Congratulations on your first child, Pedro!