The Broken Hearts Gallery
Originally Published in 2020
Genevieve Vincent is a composer of film music, concert music, and music producer who recently scored Sony's romantic comedy The Broken Hearts Gallery that was directed by Natalie Krinsky and produced by Selena Gomez. Currently, Genevieve is coring the Fantasy Island for FOX and a documentary about the life and death of Hollywood ActressBrittany Murphy for HBO Max.
Hi Genevieve thank you for talking to The New Current, how are you holding up during these very strange times?
Thanks for having me! All things considered, I'm pretty good.
Has this time offered you any creative inspiration?
For sure! I've been scoring a new thriller feature film, a Christmas movie, and I'm always writing songs. At the beginning of quarantine, I was invited to compose a piece for Music In The Distance, which was a chance to specifically reflect on feelings of isolation through music. It's a synth-driven atmospheric piece you can find on Soundcloud.
You have worked across shorts, features and documentaries. Is there anyone particular genre of films you enjoy working on the most?
I love that each type of project is a particular puzzle to crack, and a different world to help realize. I love writing music and I love to collaborate with other creatives, so it's exciting to use different brushes to paint different colours.
What was the first film you worked on and what was this experience like for you?
The first film I worked on was Yellow Sticky Notes, directed by Jeff Chiba Stearns. I was in my second year at Berklee College of Music and it was a great opportunity. We found a tone pretty quickly and he gave me quite a lot of creative latitude after that. It was a fun and challenging experience as the short film had no dialogue, so the music needed to be a character in and of itself to help tell the story.
Most recently you scored Natalie Krinsky's The Broken Hearts Gallery. How did you get involved with this project?
I pitched on it and was called to read the script which I thought was snappy, heartful, funny, and incredibly relatable. In turn, I was excited to create a demo for her that embodied what I thought the main character Lucy would have had playing in the background of her life - a mix between a pop song and a film score. It turned out that was the right direction because she liked it and hired me!
"It's alchemy when it works! It wasn't until I went to Berklee that film composing crystallised as a career choice for me."
There are still relatively few women film composers in the industry. What do you think can be done to usher in more female composers?
I think mentorship can be really powerful. I think the more we keep diversity a topic of conversation, the more society changes and allows for more diverse voices to have a seat at the table. That's why I support organizations that champion this cause, like The Inception Orchestra, which mentors young, under-represented composers, and The Alliance for Women Film Composers, which supports and celebrates the work of women composers through advocacy and education.
How did you get into film composing? Has music always been a passion for you?
Music has always been my passion from as early as I can remember. I was a bit of a latch-key kid, and making up melodies and songs was endlessly fun for me. I was always into movies as a kid and just loved the relationship between music and picture. Even some commercials I would see with great music would really affect me. It's alchemy when it works! It wasn't until I went to Berklee that film composing crystallised as a career choice for me. It sounded like a dream!
Has your process for writing and composing music for films changed much since you started out?
Yes! When I started composing for films, I would usually begin with an idea at the piano and then orchestrate as I wrote. Now, I begin by singing an idea into my DAW, sometimes multiple parts, and then tracing over that with midi and orchestrating that. I discovered that this is the fastest least impeded way for me to get a musical idea out of my head and into the real world. Usually, a piece of music is like a complete thought.
When you start working on a new film project where do you normally start?
The most important thing is that the Director and I share the same vision, so I normally start by talking with them to get a sense of their vision for the sound of the film. At that point, I usually propose several compositions, so we can figure out what is working tonally/musically.
How important is the collaboration between composer, director and writer?
A film is the product of many pieces moving in concert, so it's important that everyone involved is collaborating and working towards the same vision.
You are also part of darkDARK. Can you tell me a little bit about how this group came about?
darkDARK is a synth-pop collaboration between myself and Chris James. We started writing and producing together long-distance (me in LA and him in Austin), sending tracks back and forth after we were introduced by a mutual friend. We started by co-producing remixes together and that grew into creating our first EP "Heathered" and a second EP "We Forget When We're Apart." Our first full-length record "Feel So Much" will drop early next year via Nettwerk Music Group.
Earlier this summer you released your follow up EP "We Forget When We're Apart. What was the inspiration behind this EP?
We imagined these shared ‘settings’ or ‘spaces’ where we could write together and create a cohesive sound for each song. When we started writing, we didn't talk about what the songs were going to be about, but in sending them back and forth, we realized that we were both having the same feelings about different memories; disappointing someone you love, falling in love with the first time, starting over, feeling young and invincible, or out of place, are things we've both experienced. Sometimes when we go back to memory it feels like a movie in our head, and we were kind of creating these vignettes so we could experience them together. Because we were apart during the making of the EP, we would hang out in these imaginary spaces.
What do you see next for darkDARK?
Our new Album "Feel So Much" is coming out at the top of next year via Nettwerk Music Group. If Covid goes away, maybe we will be able to play some shows!
Is there any advice or tips you would offer someone thinking of getting into film composing?
Try to put yourself around other creatives, filmmakers, and musical people (musicians, music supervisors, label or publishing people), learn how they work, and ideally figure out what you can offer musically to their projects. Be adaptable to a variety of music to picture opportunities because the perfect one usually doesn't come right away. Learn from the people around you, work hard, and don't give up.
And finally, what would you like people to take away from your music?