It was just one year ago that “Bird Box” was the biggest movie sensation around the world. The Netflix thriller, directed by Emmy winner Susanne Bier and starring Sandra Bullock and Trevante Rhodes, debuted December 14, 2018 on the streaming platform and exploded into the pop culture zeitgeist over the holidays thanks to word of mouth and viral memes. Netflix announced “Bird Box” was streamed by 45 million accounts over its first seven days, a then record for the company. But not everyone who worked on “Bird Box” enjoyed the experience.
In a new interview with Revolver, musician Trent Reznor slams “Bird Box” for the way it handled his original music score. Reznor composed the “Bird Box” score with his frequent collaborator Atticus Ross. The two men won the Best Original Score Oscar for their work on David Fincher’s “The Social Network” and their additional credits include “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “Gone Girl,” “Waves,” and most recently HBO’s “Watchmen.” As for “Bird Box,” Reznor looks back at the experience and calls it a huge waste of time.
“When we got immersed in it, it felt like some people were phoning it in. And you're stuck with a film editor who had real bad taste,” the composer said. “That's kind of our barricade to getting stuff in the film. And the final icing on the shit cake was we were on tour when they mixed it. And they mixed the music so low, you couldn't hear it anyway. So it was like, that was a ... [Laughs] That was a fucking waste of time. Then we thought, no one's going to see this fucking movie. And, of course, it's the hugest movie ever in Netflix.”
“Bird Box” was adapted by “Arrival” screenwriter Eric Heisserer from Josh Malerman’s 2014 novel of the same name. The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where invisible monsters roam the earth and cause people who look directly at them to kill themselves. Bullock stars as a woman who finds herself protecting two young children against the monsters.
Next up for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are the film scores for Pixar’s “Soul” and David Fincher’s Netflix movie “Mank.”
South by Southwest has unveiled its final round of keynotes and featured speakers including Damon Lindelof, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Lulu Wang, Janelle Monae, Judd Apatow, Kenya Barris, Rashida Jones, Annie Clark, Carrie Brownstein, Kevin Feige, The Russo Brothers, Spike Jones, Julianne Moore, Robin Thede and an impressive mix of Hollywood names that are making moves and changing the industry. The 34th edition of the SXSW annual conference will take place in Austin from March 13 to 22.
Nine Inch Nails group members Reznor and Ross join Emmy Award-winning Executive Producer and writer Damon Lindelof to discuss their collaboration on the HBO series Watchmen while The Farewell director Wang, fresh off her Independent Spirit Award win, will also deliver a keynote. Grammy-nominated singer Monae, who is also the star of the second season of Amazon’s Homecoming and the upcoming film Antebellum will also take the stage as a keynote.
“Today's announcement is one of the most significant we've made in the 34 year history of SXSW,” said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer. “The Keynote and Featured Speakers added to the lineup are can't-miss luminaries who are headed here to share the theories, strategies, and motivation behind their success. We're honored to share the whole of this year's stellar conference schedule with our attendees. There's definitely something for everyone at the 2020 event.”
Featured speakers and sessions include Judd Apatow, who will interview Stephen Colbert while Kenya Barris and Rashida Jones for will talk about their upcoming Netflix series #blackexcellence and Black List founder Franklin Leonard and Kate Hagen will bring The Black List Podcast to the Austin-based confab.
The new additions to the keynote and featured lineup will join previously-announced Keynote Speakers including Erin Lee Carr, Diplo, Kim Gordon as well as Whitney Wolfe Herd and Jon Korngold with Gayle King.
Read the new additions below.
Newly-announced SXSW 2020 Keynotes include:
Multiple Grammy-award winning musician, actress, producer, director, and writer Vincent a/k/a Annie Clark with musician, actress, writer, and director Carrie Brownstein in conversation about their upcoming collaboration on The Nowhere Inn Convergence The founder of SM Entertainment, one of Asia's largest entertainment groups, and pioneer and innovator of the modern K-Pop industry, Soo-Man Lee in conversation with COO of Capitol Music Group, Michelle Jubelirer Music Eight-time Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, producer, activist, star of the second season of Amazon's critically acclaimed series Homecoming and the upcoming film Antebellum Janelle Monáe Convergence Executive Director of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation Cat Packer in conversation with Cannabis...
Last year, Bird Box became Netflix’s biggest hit movie, setting the streaming giant’s seven-day records and inspiring dangerous memes. The film, which stars Sandra Bullock, takes place in a post-apocalyptic world that has been overrun by monsters that cause people who look directly at them to kill themselves. For a movie that’s all about sight or lack thereof, Bird Box would have to rely heavily on sound. But one of the key composers behind that sound, Trent Reznor, who composed the Bird Box score alongside his frequent collaborator Atticus Ross, was not very happy with his experience working on the Netflix film.
In a candid interview with Revolver, Reznor called his experience on Bird Box “a fucking waste of time.” The musician, whose frequent collaborations with Atticus Ross have won acclaim and a Best Original Score Oscar for their work on David Fincher’s The Social Network, did not mince words when looking back at his time working on Bird Box.
“When we got immersed in it, it felt like some people were phoning it in. And you’re stuck with a film editor who had real bad taste. That’s kind of our barricade to getting stuff in the film. And the final icing on the shit cake was we were on tour when they mixed it. And they mixed the music so low, you couldn’t hear it anyway. So it was like, that was a … [Laughs] That was a fucking waste of time. Then we thought, no one’s going to see this fucking movie. And, of course, it’s the hugest movie ever in Netflix.”
The film was directed by Susanne Bier and edited by Ben Lester, though Reznor does not specifically call anyone out for the treatment of his and Ross’ original score. But when you’ve got renowned composers like Reznor and Ross, who have composed for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl, Waves, and most recently HBO’s Watchmen, I feel like you should give some due attention to their score.
Whatever the case, Reznor and Ross probably won’t be returning for Bird Box 2.