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The Sounds (and Silence) of Horror: A Discussion with the Genre's Top Film Composers

Last month at Comic-Con, I slightly geeked out having had the pleasure of chatting with some of the hardest-working film composers in horror: Michael Abels (Get OutUs), Chris Young (Pet SemataryThe Grudge), Carl Thiel (Machete KillsFrom Dusk Til Dawn: The Series), and Nick Soole (The Head Hunter). They sat down with me before taking to the stage for a panel to discuss the scores from some of the biggest horror movies of the past two decades.

Together we pulled back the curtain and revealed how they create some of the world’s most frightening film music. Check it out here.

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Martinis, 'Metroid,' and Matthew Lillard

My series of throwback blogs continues, excavated from my personal archives. These were originally sent as e-mails to friends and family back home, #humblebrag-filled life updates from Los Angeles. And looking back, I think I want to slap my 22-year-old self...

Sent: Saturday, November 23, 2002

Hola amigos,

Long time, no e-mail, yes? Well, my L.A. journey continues...

WHERE I'M AT: Starbucks. (Also temping through the Friedman Agency; did at gig at New Regency on the Fox lot.) The Starbucks crew is really cool and friendly. My managers are taking me out to a comedy show on Sunset tomorrow night.

WHAT'S BEEN UP: I interviewed to be an assistant on a new UPN reality show called Supermodel. Tyra Banks is one of the producers. I was in the running to be a production assistant and then an executive assistant to the producers, but then I never got a call back. Meanwhile My Big Loud Greek Family doesn't start production until next month...that is, if I get chosen to be a PA on the…

That Time I Worked With Shirtless Werewolves (and a Future Bravolebrity)

In the fall of 2010 I had the insane (and exhausting) pleasure of working with my friend, Michael Medico, on a project for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Our sixth collaboration involved producing a flash mob-like experience and an accompanying digital video that promoted the DVD/Blu-ray release of Vampires Suck, the comedy spoofing the Twilight franchise as well as other pop culture trends at the time.

The project involved a day of rehearsal at a studio in the sketchy warehouse district of Los Angeles, followed by a day of shooting these performances at five locations throughout the city. The dance number was a recreation of one of the movie's scenes in which a group of shirtless werewolves (in human form) break out into a choreographed routine set to "It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls (naturally).

The first performance took place on a Sunday morning at San Marino's Colonial Kitchen, a quaint suburban diner where we gave the post-church crowd a servi…

Song of the Month: August 2019

That bass drop. That chorus! And that simple yet effective choreo...

My song of the month is Sam Smith's "How Do You Sleep?", and its accompanying music video is my current obsession (So far, I've contributed to 15 of its current 52 million views). My only complaint is that the tune ends too abruptly. And according to several reactions on YouTube, I'm not alone in this. IMHO (In My Hiko Opinion), an additional thirty seconds would've produced a more satisfying experience. But still...

Directed by Grant Singer, the video is a surprisingly sexy and stylish collection of subtle visuals in which our crooner has fully embraced his sensual side. He's the most comfortable he's ever been in his own skin, and it shows in these mesmerizing three-and-a-half minutes.

For a behind-the-scenes peek at the making of this video, go here.


#TBT: Romancing the Silverstone

I'm kicking off a series of throwback blogs that I've dug up from my personal archives. These were originally sent as e-mails to friends and family back home, life updates from Los Angeles filled with an insane amount of humble brags only a naive twentysomething could be capable of...

Sent: Tuesday, May 4, 2004

"We're going to see Super-Size Me this weekend," Alicia told me. "You should come."

Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to the movie. "I'll be in San Francisco," I told her, trying to suppress my migraine. "But we should do something else with Molly soon."

Did I just turn down an invite from the star of 1995's Clueless and 1993's The Crush?? You betcha.

I had congratulated Ms. Silverstone on receiving the Young Veteran Award as we mingled among the hotness that was the Young Hollywood Awards afterparty at Spider Club. I soon made my way to the bar for a Coconut Bay Breezer after chatting with Alicia's boyfrien…

10 Questions from 90s Pop Songs, Finally Answered

The 90s were filled with emerging music genres (hip-hop, dance, alternative rock) that characterized the decade and provided a unique soundtrack for those of us who came of age during the Clinton era. It was also a time when songs delivered a few head scratchers when it came to their lyrics, posing questions that have never really been answered...until now.

QUESTION 1: "What Is Love?" (Haddaway, 1993)

ANSWER: Love is never having to say you're sorry for subjecting women to running backwards down staircases. In heels. (But your pleas have fallen on deaf ears; your "baby" is definitely going to hurt you.)

QUESTION 2: "How Do You Talk To An Angel?" (The Heights, 1992)

ANSWER: Very delicately. Angels are known to be esoteric beings that only communicate with those who function on the same intellectual level as them. Sometimes you can talk to them in riddles; they appreciate a good brain teaser every so often.

QUESTION 3: "Where Do You Go?" (No Mercy…

Celebrating My 17th L.A.nniversary with a Bang

The impact, like many impacts, was sudden.

I heard the crunch of metal, not as loud as those bang-ups you see in the Fast and Furious movies. Maybe because it came from behind, out of nowhere. Maybe because my windows were rolled up.

And maybe because Huey Lewis was singing "If This Is It," a result of Spotify shuffling my 80s playlist, possibly to demonstrate the algorithm's twisted sense of humor.

And because it came from behind, I was thrust forward, my right tibia (shinbone) hitting the console of my Honda Civic's dashboard, my upper thigh pressing into the lower half of the steering wheel.

Next, the recoil: I fell back in the drivers seat, the backrest falling with me, reclining until it could recline no more. The headrest broke off its rods and tumbled onto the backseat. My head didn't know where to go. Meanwhile, I could hear the screeching of tires, another impact, metal-on-metal...

If this is it indeed. After all, I was on Santa Monica Boulevard. A road m…