‘John Wick 4’ Score: Editor Nathan Orloff on the film’s music

Editor Nathan Orloff talks to IndieWire about combining the score with the source music and how to create a new temporary score for “John Wick: Chapter Four” from elements from previous films.

One of the joys of “John Wick: Chapter Four” is the way it seamlessly integrates camera movement, editing and action choreography with music — it’s no surprise that director Chad Stahelski credited “Singin’ in the Rain” and Bob Fosse , as the effect. . Driven by Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard, Le Castle weaves in and out of Vania, Manon Hollander and Lola Colette, whose cover of Martha and the Vandellas’ “Nowhere to Run” ties together John Wick: Chapter 4. ” to one of the primary sources of inspiration, Walter Hill’s “The Warriors”. The balance between the score and the source music reflects and amplifies the careful rhythms created by Stahelski’s staging and structuring of the set pieces, and was one of the most enjoyable parts of editor Nathan Orloff’s work.

“I had a lot of fun putting music to this,” Orloff told IndieWire, noting that the disc jockey figure borrowed from “The Warriors” was a huge help in motivating the songs that complement the action. “I wanted to change the dynamic, so first we do a pin for the street fight in Paris, then we do a pin at the beginning of the Arc de Triomphe chase, then we do a pin when he’s outside the car, and then we do it after. score the apartment complex again and return to the pin drop to the stairs.” Orloff added that using existing songs can be as dangerous as it is fun. “It can be very tempting to just turn it into a music video, so I was very conscious of making sure we didn’t do that.”

Although Bates and Richard composed entirely new music for the film, they both had history with the “John Wick” franchise, which came in handy when Orloff (who was new to the series) paced the film and had access to some pre-mixed tracks. – so-called “stems” – drums, basses, synthesizers and other instruments that can be reconfigured to suit his needs. “I will never be as fortunate in my career as I have been,” he said. “I had three sheet music films, and not only sheet music, but also stems. So I could take 14 different parts of “John Wick 2,” and I could take out a little part that no one had ever heard on its own. Then I could combine that with another little part from the first “John Wick,” or I could download a Japanese flute from YouTube and combine it with that set to create a new beat. By remixing and reimagining elements of previous “John Wick” scores, Orloff could tap into the rhythm of the franchise and provide a more precise direction than Bates and Richard.

“In temperature scoring, timbre is usually so difficult,” Orloff said. “Do we match the tone or distract? Is that what we mean? In that case, Chad and I were able to say to the composers, “This is the tone. We found it.” Orloff estimated that only about 5 percent of the temp music came from films other than the “John Wick” films. “It was really cool to be able to build the new characters from the foundations of ‘John Wick’ and really tailor the action and dialogue to them. Temporary music can be a crutch and if you change it later you’ll hear “Oh shit.” So it was nice to have an authentic ‘John Wick’ score from the beginning that reflected the identity of the film.”

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