We met up with Matthew O’Halloran at the Intercontinental Hotel in Austin, Texas during SXSW to talk with him about his most recent work premiering at SXSW, The New Romantic. Carly Stone’s The New Romantic premiered in competition at SXSW this year and we took this opportunity to ask Matthew about his experience working on the movie. The film stars The End of the F***ing World standout Jessica Barden as Blake Conway and also costars Hayley Law and Camila Mendes.
Matthew O’Halloran: “I did the score for the film The New Romantic. I am proud to be a part of it just because I am a huge fan of the film itself. I think everything from the writing, directing, casting, acting, editing, I think is such a strong film, from front to back.
The film follows Blake Conway who is a journalism student. She has like a love romance column. It’s her exploration into a new type of love or a romance. One of the producers, Jonathan Bronfman, I worked with him on a short film called Still and I did the music for that and so when Carly was looking for a composer for The New Romantic, she actually had this track she was in love with “Sunset Lover” by Petite Biscuit and it had similar production that kind of laid the groundwork for the sound inspiration. Based of the sound of this one track that Jonathan and the producers sent to Carly, glitchy vocal samples very similar to the Petite Biscuit song. It worked really well because the whole meat of the film is a female voice.”
Matthew O’Halloran: ” I wrote music from a young age. I played in bands. The film thing I just kind of fell into it because I ended up going through a residency called the Slate Music Residency. They fund the composer/the songwriter to go through this, it’s almost like a master class. I really ended up applying to that on a whim going through that. I appreciate so many different types of music that I am always wanting to jump to a different style, and whither someone hears it or not, just to try it. Starting with a hip hop beat or a string line, so film composing allows me to do that.
Advice For Young Composers and Songwriters
Matthew O’Halloran: “I’d say don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I have no technical background, I am not a classical composer by any means. So, I think my whole process is trial and error. I make mistakes constantly and that kind of shapes a uniqueness of sound. Ya, that would be my advice. Just try new things, weird things. That’s the only thing that is going to set you apart really.”
CineVino would like to give a special thank you to the Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental Hotel for allowing us the space for filming the interview. Special thank you to Christopher Palmer for his work as a camera operator.