This is the end credit sequence for award winning director, Paul Andersen’s, newest romantic comedy, Dream House. It premiered in October 2017 at the JIFF, Jewish International Film Festival in Melbourne, Australia.
When Paul originally approached me to create the music for the credit sequence we were looking at developing a spoof of Britney Spear’s raunchy hit, ‘Womaniser’. As we couldn’t get clear, timely legal advise as to what constituted an acceptable level of likeness, we opted instead to create a new and completely original song, which as it turned out, was a far better idea.
This called upon all of my musical and creative story telling skills as this was not just a case of writing a song in a vaccuum, but rather writing a piece of music that acted as a climactic summary of the narrative that had preceded it. This required a nuanced interpretation of the script so as to tease out the essence of the story being told and the characters telling it.
On top of writing the song, I also produced the track playing all of the instruments, opting for a Motown style arrangement which really conveyed the necessary sense of euphoria.
Unfortunately the timing of the project couldn’t have been worse as it coincided with the unexpected early arrival of my second child. This meant that I had to quite suddenly pack down my home studio. Although the pack down was temporary, it meant that I found myself in the surreal situation of being unable to complete the project. As my two and half year old boy might say, “pants-down-Elton”.
To that end, we were very, very fortunate to get the assistance of ARIA award winning producer, Josh Abrahams, who came to the rescue, mixing and mastering the track from his rooms at s:amplify studios.
Josh also recorded our super talented singer, Chloe-Bruer Jones performing the lead vocal. Owing to Chloe’s touring commitments though, she was unable to complete all of the backing vocals. To my complete embarrassment, some of my rough guide vocals, recorded with a crappy USB mic in the passenger seat of my car, made it into to the final cut. If you’re trying to pick them, they’re the high register “woo-ooo-ooos” and the bed of harmonies in the chorus. Luckily they don’t sound too shabby, so I can still sleep at night. Notwithstanding the squalling new baby.
The film itself tells the story of a late twenty-something couple who move in to a house together. The girlfriend, Rachel (Nicolette Minster), has high hopes about all of the home improvements that they’re going to be able to do together. Her boyfriend, Dave (Michael Shafar) has other ideas, declaring his complete and utter incompetence when it comes to doing anything vaguely handy-man-ish.
This leads to a fortuitous discovery however, as it turns out that Dave sleep walks. And when he sleep walks, he can follow all manner of instructions, including building instructions. By night, their modest home is rapidly transformed into a Pinterest-palace.
But all is not rosy as Rachel discovers that Dave is still seeing his ex. A confrontation at his ex’s place reveals that they’re not sleeping together at all. It’s far worse than that as his ex also knows about Dave’s sleep walking talents and has got him drugged with a sedative so he can complete her gazebo.
Rachel is heart broken by the implications of this betrayal, but then realises the enormous social mileage she can get amongst her own circle of girlfriends by lending him out to do their renovations too. Meanwhile, Dave is in a sedative addled daze, confused by all the women who are relentlessly throwing themselves at him. As Rachel notes, there’s “no rest for the wicked”.
The film also includes a couple of other original songs I’ve recorded that were used as part of the background folly for the BBQ scene.
Words and Music by Adrian Elton
© Copyright 2017
I’ve got you
I’ve got you right under my thumb
And it makes
How I could have been so dumb?
But now I’ve got you where I want you
Yeah you’re not going anywhere
You thought that this was all beyond you
But we’re building this dream
We’re the perfect pair
So under my thumb
(Build it up, build it up)
You’re under my thumb
(Build it up, build it up)