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Award-winning composer and producer Lucio Godoy—the director of the Master of Music in Scoring for Film, Television, and Video Games program—recently teamed up again with director Alejandro Amenábar (Abre los ojos, The Others, The Sea Inside), to score Amenábar’s newest film, While at War.
Godoy, along with Sergio Jiménez Lacima B.M. ’11 and Mauricio Ribeiro M.M. ’17, helped to create the music that tells the powerful story of Spanish author and intellectual Miguel de Unamuno’s controversial involvement with the fascist movement during the Spanish Civil War, in the mid-1930s.
Amenábar, who has won nine Goyas and two European Film Awards for his six feature films, writes his own screenplays and—unusually for a director—also composes most of the soundtracks to his work. Godoy has worked with him on two of his best-known films, The Others and The Sea Inside. Their collaboration began 20 years ago when Amenábar heard Godoy’s work on another hit movie.
“He told me that he had noticed my work as a music producer for composer Alberto Iglesias (All About My Mother) and asked me to collaborate with him, producing and orchestrating the score for The Others,” Godoy says. “He wanted to write the whole score by himself. This, at first, sounded strange to me because he’d also told me that he had never studied music. [But] I realized that despite his lack of musical training, his passion for soundtracks was immense, and his ability to learn how to use his digital audio workstation and create original cues was incredible.”
The Others, starring Nicole Kidman in an affecting ghost story about a mother and her children, was an international hit at the box office and with the critics, receiving eight Goyas. The success of this first collaboration led to five more, including The Sea Inside, which also won multiple Goyas and an Academy Award, and the score for While at War.
Each time Godoy finds something slightly different about the experience of working with the acclaimed director: “Probably the only thing all projects have in common is that a large part of our work (that of my team and I) consists of translating Amenábar's mockups, so to speak, to the traditional format (parts and scores) so that the musicians can perform them in the studio.” His well-established working relationship with Amenábar ensures that the process goes smoothly. Godoy says, “He was very clear from the beginning about what kind of texture he wanted for the soundtrack and the tone of it. We had a wonderful time throughout the entire process.”
For this soundtrack, Godoy recruited Jiménez, now an instructor in the Master of Music in Scoring for Film, Television, and Video Games program, and Ribeiro to assist with the process of bringing Amenábar’s vision to life. He says of the two, “I always found Sergio’s work very delicate and meaningful, and when this project arrived, he turned out to be the right person at the right time. Mauricio has worked with me on several film and television projects and has been a great collaborator.”
After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in early September to positive reviews, While at War opens on September 27 at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, where is has been nominated for the Concha de Oro (Golden Shell) for Best Picture. It has also been selected by the Spanish Film Academy as one of the three films on the shortlist for the country’s international feature film nomination for next year’s Academy Awards.