Lakeshore Records will release the original score to Seeking a Friend for the End of the World digitally on Tuesday, June 19th, 2012. This album release accompanying the same week's nationwide opening of the new Focus Features movie spotlights the original score by Rob Simonsen (All Good Things) and Jonathan Sadoff (Good Time Max).
Taking audiences on a humorous, moving, and intimate journey against an epic backdrop of Earth's final days, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is the feature directorial debut of screenwriter Lorene Scafaria (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist), and will be released in theaters nationally by Focus Features on Friday, June 22nd, 2012. Set in a too-near future where time at once stands still and is slipping away forever, the writer / director explores what people will do and how they will feel when humanity's end is near.
A 70-mile-wide asteroid is en route to Earth, and the last best attempt to counter it has failed. Also failing is the marriage of soft-spoken insurance salesman Dodge (Golden Globe Award winner Steve Carell); the breaking news that the world will end in an estimated 21 days cues his wife to leave him on the spot. Dodge is a man who has always played by the rules of life, while his neighbor Penny (Academy Award nominee Keira Knightley) is an extroverted woman who hasn't. From these opposite perspectives, both initially choose to navigate the impending end of the world with blinders on. Dodge declines joining his friends in increasingly reckless behavior, while Penny fixates on her relationship issues with a self-absorbed musician. The two misfits meet first when Penny has a rough night and then again when she belatedly delivers Dodge a lost letter. That letter could alter Dodge's future; it's from his high-school sweetheart Olivia, the love of his life. When a riot breaks out around their apartment building, Dodge realizes that he must seek Olivia out before it's too late while Penny makes the decision to spend her last days with family in England. Seizing the moment, Dodge promises to help Penny reach her family if she will provide transport for the two of them in her car immediately. She agrees, and they escape. On the road together, the unlikely traveling companions' respective personal journeys accelerate, and their outlooksif not the world'sbrighten.
"The movie is a comedy, but the end of the world is a real thing for our characters, and is very much a part of the cultural zeitgeist for all of us right now," said Simonsen. "We never could go so far with sadness or tragedy that we robbed the audience of the permission to laugh." Sadoff added, "The film does an excellent job of inviting us to ponder how we would all spend our last days. So there are definitely comedic moments, but there is an incredible depth to the film. The score had to ride a fine line between the two in order to provide the musical glue that the film called for."
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World was a true collaborative effort for Sadoff and Simonsen. Jonathan Sadoff was born and raised in Highland Park, Illinois. In 2002, he moved to Los Angeles to attend the USC's Thornton School of Music Studio/Jazz Guitar program. While in school, he began scoring student films, working in recording studios, producing records, and playing in bands in and around Los Angeles.
After graduating from USC, Sadoff scored James Franco's feature directorial debut Good Time Max and worked with Michael Keaton on his feature directorial debut The Merry Gentleman. In late 2009, he was featured on the cover of Keyboard Player Magazine; and named by The Hollywood Reporter as one of "15 Composers Primed to Take Their Place on the A-List."
Sadoff plays keyboards / guitar in Dhani Harrison's band Thenewno2. Their sophomore album Thefearofmissingout will be released July 31st and the band will be out on tour to support it. He scored Sony Comedy A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, starring Jason Sudeikis, Will Forte, Leslie Bibb, and Lake Bell, and continues to work for composer / artist Mark Mothersbaugh on a number of upcoming projects.
Since his first foray into filmmaking in 2003 with the lush, orchestral score for the independent feature Westender, Rob Simonsen has written and contributed to the scores for numerous Hollywood films, as television shows and major advertising campaigns. From quirky, Sundance award-winning films to major studio releases, Simonsen's writing has ranged from small, eclectic ensembles to full 85-piece orchestras with choir.
Simonsen met and befriended acclaimed film composer Mychael Danna at the 2003 Seattle International Film Festival at the premiere of Westender. Impressed by what he heard, Danna suggested that he relocate to Los Angeles, where, as Danna's assistant and then as his collaborator, Simonsen refined his knowledge of the craft of scoring music to picture. During that time he collaborated with Danna on the scores to 500 Days of Summer and Management and provided additional music for many films, including The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Surf's Up!, and most recently Moneyball.
In 2009 Simonsen opened his own studio in Hollywood. That same year, The Hollywood Reporter named him as one of "15 Composers Primed to Take Their Place on the A-List". His composing credits include All Good Things and Love, Etc., and his upcoming projects include Imogene and The English Teacher.
"We approached things with a mind of having the production be a bit vintage," Simonsen described. "We used vintage organ sounds that have a slightly 50's, sci-fi esque kind of vibe to them. We wanted to go for a pop style compressed sound for guitars and drums. We used electric bass a bit under the orchestra, which is kind of a 70's thing to do. We recorded with a percussionist, Frank Zummo of the Street Drum Corps and he provided the awesome tapestry of percussion throughout the film."
Writer / director Lorene Scafaria notes, "Music is important to me, so I felt that this story wouldn't be complete without it." Penny's (Keira Knightley) urgently streamlined record collection in the movie is curated from the filmmaker's own. Specific songs, albums, and artists had been written into the script from the earliest drafts.
"Lorene is actually an incredibly talented singer, songwriter and pianist who I've written and played with for quite some time in a band we formed called The Shortcoats, so communicating our ideas was vey fluid," said Sadoff. "We had many discussions about music before any notes were even written. Artists that inspired her when writing the script, like Scott Walker, The Beach Boys and The Hollies, we're also influential to the direction we ultimately went with the score. Especially the arrangement and recording techniques used to make those records of that era that have seemingly been lost in many modern recordings."
A second album accompanying the movie's debut, the Seeking a Friend for the End of the World - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, will also be available on Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 from Lakeshore Records. The soundtrack features indelible songs by beloved artists including The Beach Boys, PM Dawn, INXS, Frank Black, Scissor Sisters, and The Walker Brothers.