Andre Ettema’s typical business is with music and creative sound design for advertising and Hollywood blockbuster trailers like Wolverine, Transformers and Riddick, however he loves the creative challenge of bringing a full feature film to life with music. He explains his vision for The Right Juice: “I wanted to make a very spheric score with atmospheric sounds that would drag the viewer into the next scene, each scene would then start with a recognizable atmosphere. For example, the sounds that were used for the atmospherics are actual glass sounds, when you rub a glass with your finger on the top of the glass you get that sound.”
Andre first met Kristjan Knigge, the Director, at an event in Amsterdam at the MacGyver production house, where Kristjan does his work on commercials. This brought them together and their first creative work was for an advertising festival in Amsterdam which needed a short film about the dinner that the VIP’s were getting. Kristjan made sure that their appetite was completely gone with his film! Andre loved it and did a music search for it.
Initially, Andre was resistant to take on The Right Juice, because he knew nothing about the traditional Portuguese music called Fado. He had also never been to the Algarve! After some discussions with Kristjan, Andre came on board and they started creating the concept for the score.
The first thing Andre did was find an amazing Fado guitarist, Daniel Raposo, whose family is Portuguese but he lives in Amsterdam where Andre and Kristjan are both based. Daniel turned out to be very important for the score and he is a very fast worker. The music would be totally different without him. He played all the guitars and he actually is the traditional element in the score.
A lot of instruments were used, mainly guitars but also cellos, violins, violas, flutes, basses, synthesizers and glasses. The car chase scene where Beau chases Mark has a typical Hollywood drum style with big drums and percussion climbing in intensity. Andre shared, “I wanted to use those drums at that moment because in my view that is one of the highlights in the film, and an action scene, hey I just love car chases!”
Kristjan often came to the studio and listened to what was being recorded and Andre remembers, “Kristjan’s enthusiasm helped us to go on and take it a step further. It’s really important for a composer to have a good relationship and working relationship with the director of the film, not only for the enthusiasm and the magic that can happen but also for the little things that would remain unnoticed for me, simply because I’m not a director.”
For instance in the dolphin training scene with Lucia and Beau, the last cello note in the take was a half note higher than it is in the final take. In Andre’s version the emphasis would have been on Beau but Kristjan’s vision was this was Lucia’s scene and should emphasize her. That’s the difference a half note can bring to a scene!
Accodring to Andre, “The best compliments for the music has been from the people of the Algarve itself, the people living there, who told me they really liked it and thought it was a good blend of Portuguese Fado and a film score. I now have been in the Algarve twice and met a lot of warm and nice people there, I would love to go there again and I will.”
If life gives you oranges, make The Right Juice.
The film is a comedic drama about Oliver Fellows, a failed city banker, pursues his dreams farming oranges in Portugal. With his neighbour Manel, he fights unscrupulous developers in a romantic and amusing quest to save their valley.
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