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MovieScore Media: Miles by Justin Bell and Jonathan Levi Shanes

Coinciding with the film’s theatrical and VOD premiere on June 9, Miles is the latest presentation of MovieScore Media - co-written and directed by Nathan Adloff, the film has already won several awards at festivals such as the California Independent Film Festival or the L.A. Outfest. The film tells the story of a kid from middle America who is desperate to move to Chicago, joins the volleyball team to get a scholarship - the only catch is that his high school only has a girls team. Starring Tim Boardman, Missi Pyle, Paul Reiser and Molly Shannon, Miles  also spans the feature film debut score of composers Justin Bell and Jonathan Levi Shanes.

Working in tandem comes naturally to Bell and Shanes. For years they worked side by side in the trenches of Hollywood’s puissant film scoring arena as composers, arrangers and orchestrators alongside Golden Globe and Emmy Nominated composer Johnny Klimek on films like Tom Tykwer’s A Hologram for the King, Tykwer and Wachowskis joint efforts Cloud Atlas and Netflix Original Series Sense8, Greg McLean thrillers Jungle and The Darkness, and many more. Nathan Adloff’s Miles marks the duo’s feature film debut, at times offering moments of musing melancholy, and at others, “wispy and whimsical music” (Hollywood Reporter) for Adloff’s film with “boundless warmth and humor” (

Establishing the 90’s tone needed for this 1999 set period dramedy was paramount, so when Adloff tasked the composers with producing a pop song to open the film, “Stop and Go” was born. Other tracks featuring Shanes on vocals peppers Miles with regular doses of decade reminders, echoing writer Justin D.M. Palmer’s capacious nods to 90’s pop culture. The score’s most prominent instrumentation parallels the film’s intimacy, featuring petite instruments like ukulele and glockenspiel, with emotive cello melodies highlighting Miles’ delicate but steadfast relationship with his mother. Ultimately, the composers sought to create a personal, heartfelt score to reflect the small town atmosphere and the intimate nature of Miles’ family drama.

Jeremy [Six Strings]

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