Horny Beast Composer Matthew Barber

ComingSoon lately sat down with composer Matthew Barber to debate his rating for the Paramount+ TV collection Horny Beast. The collection, which stars Sarah Greene, James McArdle, and Stephen Moyer, debuted on January 25.

ComingSoon: How did the idea for the Paramount+ collection Horny Beast come about, and what drew you to the challenge as each a producer and an editor?

Barber: Horny Beast is a ardour challenge of Nicole Clemens, who spent a few years attempting to get the proper staff collectively to make it a actuality. It noticed many interations earlier than lastly getting green-lit. A number of days earlier than Christmas of 2022, when the collection was over midway by means of filming, Nicole rang me up and requested if I had seen the movie Horny Beast… I hadn’t. She stated, “Go residence proper now, watch it, after which name me again.”

That first viewing, I used to be intrigued at how this film may presumably be made right into a TV collection. Nicole despatched me the assemblies of a few episodes, and I noticed a lot potential within the footage. The forged was unimaginable and made it straightforward to say sure! I got here on as a producer and was requested to supervise the editorial course of to make sure a cohesive imaginative and prescient for the entire collection. I used to be capable of form the primary episode as an editor after which information the remainder of the staff with my imaginative and prescient.

I’m additionally an enormous music fan and love discovering songs that assist spotlight the interior world of a personality. Horny Beast (the collection) is a lot concerning the subtext, what will not be being stated, what’s being lied about, what’s being averted… It’s romance, and heists, and betrayals… it’s virtually Shakespearean. Music is a key component in bringing these complexities to life and that is likely one of the issues I do greatest. It’s additionally a lot enjoyable to work on a collection that isn’t only a straight-up drama. I used to be given the liberty to play… intercut… smash lower… flashback… I may use all of the instruments to assist make this world come to life.

2. As a producer, what challenges did you face in bringing Horny Beast to life, and the way did your position as an editor contribute to overcoming these challenges?

The largest problem for me was being primarily based within the States whereas the remainder of the staff was in London. My aim as a producer was to ensure everybody felt seen and heard whereas additionally having readability on what my imaginative and prescient was. The UK vs US system is a bit totally different, so I usually needed to depend on my producing companion, James Levison, to translate the organizational construction to assist me handle extra successfully.

Attempting to navigate the time zone was additionally tough at occasions, as there was solely a slender window through which we may work together dwell and get solutions to every others’ questions. One other problem was one all of us needed to navigate through the pandemic: speaking through Zoom. A lot magic can occur if you end up in the identical bodily location, and I’d usually must work a bit more durable to clarify what it’s I pictured in my head. However, as a result of I used to be an editor as properly I may usually simply hop on the keyboard and take a look at a couple of issues to indicate to the opposite editors. Doing is commonly higher than explaining!

I used to be capable of be within the UK for the important occasions through the challenge and was capable of work in individual with the staff. It was a lot enjoyable being a global producer for the primary time in my profession!

Are you able to share any insights into the collaborative course of between producers and editors in shaping the narrative and visible components of the collection?

Any present can dwell or die within the enhancing room. Horny Beast, specifically, has a lot happening that enhancing is a personality in itself. There’s an underlying pressure that drives the entire collection… everyone seems to be hanging on by a thread, and it seems like the entire world may implode at any second. The edit wanted to hold that depth as properly. It might’t let the viewers off the hook.

So every time a scene or an episode was lagging narratively or visually, we all the time thought outdoors the field and requested the editors to mess around. Throw paint on the wall, so to talk, and see what sticks. Most of the concepts by no means made it within the collection, however we found completely new buildings that floored us, intercuts that made us crack up laughing, flash pops that made us tear up, and songs that made us bounce out of our chairs.

Horny Beast is understood for its distinctive mix of genres. How did you navigate the artistic choices to take care of a stability between totally different tones and themes all through the collection?

I spent a few years within the trenches of Style Mixing tv, so I’m no stranger to going from romance to horror to comedy all inside one scene. It’s a fragile stability that may simply tip into the absurd if not performed fastidiously. That is the place Nicole Clemens and Alec Stern actually helped us. Together with all the staff at Paramount and Viacom, they had been our first viewers. They tell us once we went too far… or once we didn’t go far sufficient.

What particular elements of enhancing do you discover most vital in making a compelling and interesting storyline for a collection like Horny Beast?

Construction, construction, construction. We by no means totally knew what would work within the script till we noticed the meeting edits. As soon as these first cuts had been delivered, we instantly requested, “How can we make this higher? Which scene ought to begin the episode? The place do we have to intercut?” We might go down so many paths to seek out the proper stability for every episode. I’m a giant fan of “much less is extra” and would usually lower the scenes right down to their naked minimal… a lot to the chagrin of Alastair Galbraith. We balanced one another out properly and most of the deep cuts I made for tempo and depth had been then balanced out by his notes. In the long run, we discovered a superb mix between tempo and character improvement.

Have been there any scenes or moments within the collection that posed explicit enhancing challenges, and the way did you strategy resolving them?

Episode 4 posed a novel problem for us editorially. Gal and Don journey to Spain to fulfill Roger Riley and Teddy Bass. In the direction of the tip of the episode, Roger sells the heist to the boys and units up the MacGuffin that drives the rest of the collection. Nearly all of the episode was shot in Spain earlier than I arrived, and the template was established in put up. Some components of the story had modified, and we would have liked photographs to essentially arrange the significance of this heist, however we didn’t have the price range to return and re-shoot.

Paul and I re-cut the sequence with various inventory footage photographs, placeholder playing cards, and actually unhealthy voiceovers… We turned that over to Alastair, and he re-wrote what we did, putting the proper stability of knowledge, believability, pressure, and enjoyable. Manufacturing then used that script to choose up a handful of photographs on units that we already had been at. We then lower the sequence collectively, re-voiced the horrible temp VO with Ralph’s good voice and turned it over to Nathan Micay who delivered the icing on the cake with a music observe to tie the entire sequence collectively.

How does your twin position as each a producer and an editor affect your perspective on storytelling and the general manufacturing course of?

Tv is an enormous collaborative, commerce pushed artwork type. It’s Storytelling AND Enterprise. In the end, if the story doesn’t seize the viewers’s consideration and doesn’t say one thing that resonates with their soul (or at the least take their thoughts off of their troubles for a short second), then no advertisements shall be bought and no subscriptions shall be renewed. So we filmmakers dwell within the pressure of expression and restriction. How can we specific probably the most given no matter limitations is positioned upon us by the individuals financing us. As a producer, I’ve to think about the schedule, the price range, and the affect that may tackle the crew at occasions. As an editor, I need all of the instruments within the toolbox to play with: countless music price range, reshoots to get the shot proper, and extra time to play. I believe there’s a magic in boundaries. What can we do given X period of time and Y quantity of music? That’s the place I excel. I really like having to suppose outdoors the field… even when it’s a shoe field.

By way of post-production, what strategies or enhancing types did you use to reinforce the visible and narrative affect of Horny Beast?

All of us grew up bathing in so many nice gangster movies: Goodfellas, Snatch, The Godfather… Too many to call. These movies had been all the time within the background as we had been slicing. We borrowed the place it felt helpful: freeze frames to arrange characters, selection flash pops to remind the viewers of the stakes, intercutting disparate scenes to tie characters collectively, smash slicing so as to add power and pressure, and extra. Our purpose was to not be spinoff however to assist settle the viewers on this planet, to make use of visible language to keep away from additional exposition, and get to the meat of the story.

As a producer, how do you make sure the artistic imaginative and prescient is maintained whereas collaborating with different key members of the manufacturing staff, together with administrators and writers?

More often than not I used to be reacting to what I used to be given. Approaching board midway by means of manufacturing, a lot of the writing was full, and half the episodes had been shot, however one of many first issues I did after I used to be employed was ship Nicole a brief type information that she then forwarded to the remainder of the creatives. This information included enhancing concepts, music and music instructions, in addition to recommendations for the Director/DP. In the end, the administrators may determine what they felt was greatest for his or her explicit episode, however I labored intimately with Alex Eslam and Stephen Moyer to ensure the integrity of the collection was held all through the again half of the collection. 

Are you able to share any memorable experiences or anecdotes from the manufacturing of Horny Beast that spotlight the collaborative and inventive dynamics behind the scenes?

I’ll refer again to the earlier sequence in episode 104, the place we had a restricted pallet through which to transform the sequence in Spain. It actually was a phenomenal synergy between the writers, administrators, actors, put up, and the manager producers. The manufacturing staff gave us the parameters of what they might shoot (actors, location, props, and many others.), after which Paul and I crafted a brand new sequence, which we then turned over to Alastair Galbraith, who wrote the phrases to make it pop, earlier than ending it off with Nathan Micay’s driving rating. 

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