Photo by Julie Cunnah
Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and frequent collaborator Atticus Ross recently visited the Film Society of Lincoln Center to talk music, process, David Fincher, and Gone Girl, and are the spotlight of this week's edition of the Film Society's weekly podcast, The Close-Up.
The duo won an Oscar for Original Score at the 2011 Academy Awards for their work on Fincher's The Social Network, and they collaborated once again with the director on his latest, Gone Girl. And as with that film, they appear to have caught the attention of the Awards Circuit. Reznor and Ross have been nominated for a Golden Globe for Original Score for their work on the film, which had its World Premiere as the Opening Night gala of the New York Film Festival in September.
Based on the successul best seller, Gone Girl is a portrait of a recession-era marriage contained within a devastating depiction of celebrity and media culture. Ben Affleck stars as Nick Dunne whose wife, Amy, played by Rosamund Pike, disappears and becomes the focus of a media circus when the tide of the 24-hour news cycle turns against him. He quickly becomes a pariah in the eyes of the public who believe he’s responsible for her disappearance.
“We've worked together for 20 years now… At the beginning of each project we spend time thinking how this is different from anything else… You can't help as you get comfortable with things to rely on what you already know,” said Reznor, speaking with Shirley Halperin from Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter at the Film Society earlier this month. “The danger though is repeating yourself and doing something familiar and safe.”
Both Reznor and Ross said they were intimidated when they first started working with Fincher on The Social Network because they were not sure “how to approach the film.” But the pair began to experiment and eventually settled into relying on their “gut feelings.” Returning for Gone Girl, Reznor said there was “less fear” going in, likening the experience to being part of a familiar team or band.
“When I'm in a studio, I'm only concerned with how I can get the sound in my head into your ears and if it happens to be [a particular] instrument [then so be it],” said Reznor. Ross added that Fincher had been at his chiropractor and heard music playing while waiting for his appointment. After tracking down the muzak, it formed inspiration for some of Gone Girl's sounds.
Listen to the full conversation with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, moderated by Shirley Halperin.