Interview: Too Late composer Mikel Hurwitz on balancing giggles and gore

Too Late. Courtesy of Gravitas Ventures
Too Late. Courtesy of Gravitas Ventures /
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Too Late
Too Late. Courtesy of Gravitas Ventures /

1428 Elm: Well, we get those photographs in the end credits, though.

Mikel: Yeah, that’s right! I forgot they did that in the end credits. We kind of figured he’s from somewhere around Baroque Europe to Victorian Europe, somewhere in that rough area. So, how do we speak to the humorous scenes with him? So, I chose the harpsichord for him, which is very Baroque/Classical era, and the accordion, because it’s European, but it’s also sort of gypsy, and it also has a bit of a global thing as well.

Those were the two comedic instruments that I chose, and as we’re in the first act, we’re using them in a more traditional way, but as we went along, I started to mangle them with delays and reverb, to have the DNA of them being the same, you know? But, they’re being sort of distorted and messed around as we go. Those two were my comedy go-tos I guess.

I also built a couple of synthesizer patches, I used a didgeridoo for one of them, which is kind of cool. For the horror elements, I tended to use more organic sounds, I sort of mangled them and put them into synthesizers and built patches around that, and also used a more orchestral scoring as a backdrop.

1428 Elm: As I was watching the film, I remember specifically hearing the accordion, and thinking, “OK, that’s a good choice!”

Mikel: Thanks! We associate accordion to a lot, I think, there’s an immediate trigger to maybe some nostalgia, or something like that.

1428 Elm: What projects do you have coming up in the near future?

Mikel: I’m currently on a Hallmark film, I have another Hallmark film coming up too.

1428 Elm: Tell me when you’re doing a Christmas one, I’ll look out for it!

Mikel: (Laughs) I’ll be sure to do that. I think the coolest thing – it’s actually a non-film project – but I’m writing a 25-minute orchestral piece, and we’re going to record in the late fall.

1428 Elm: Oh, nice.

Mikel: That’ll be my next focus, I’m finding a real desire to record live musicians after this whole pandemic. I’ve been doing so much with computer-based sound and stuff, I miss the life that live musicians bring to the music.

1428: Will Too Late be released as video on demand, or will it be releasing in theaters?

Mikel: It’s video on demand, it opens on the 25th, and that’s the same day the soundtrack is coming out as well.

1428: Oh, a soundtrack too? Very good. Thank you so much for talking to me today, I hope Too Late is a big success, and everything else you do in the future is as well.

Horror comedy Too Late is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime.

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