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  • Writer's pictureFilipe Leitão

Discover How Lucas Spolzino Turned Challenges into Success Scoring 'Garlic Parmesan'

Updated: Apr 2

Lucas Spolzino is a Brazilian composer who took my online courses in Portuguese. Despite living in Brazil, he was able to collaborate with a movie studio based in LA, scoring the movie Garlic Parmesan, a comedy directed by AJ Lutsky. He shared fascinating details with us about the composition process and the challenges faced during this incredible opportunity.

Lucas Spolzino

The movie's plot revolves around Gary, a man obsessed with a certain flavor of chicken wings. When his favorite restaurant closes and he can't get them anymore, his life descends into madness, and he goes on a crazy quest searching for Garlic Parmesan chicken wings. Along his journey, he discovers the difference between being full and being fulfilled. With elements of dark humor, the film promises a unique and fun approach to modern life's obsessions.

Garlic Parmesan

Lucas began to stand out by sharing his work in a filmmakers' community on Reddit. Until the film's director saw his work and contacted him. This initial contact opened the doors to a unique collaboration in the film industry.

A Canadian film director, on behalf of an American production company based in Los Angeles, saw my work and was enchanted by what I had done. That was enough for him to contact me.

The collaboration process with the director and the production company was not easy, but Lucas demonstrated his ability to deal with challenges.

Despite the time pressure, Lucas managed to maintain close communication with the director, sending his daily progress and participating in video call meetings to discuss creative and technical issues.

The contract required me to compose 1 hour of music for the film in just 30 days. Time was short, so there wasn't much time for revisions.

One of the biggest challenges came at the end of production when the film's producers expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of the sample libraries used. Lucas had to replace the libraries throughout the movie's soundtrack in just 5 days. This intense demand was a real test of Lucas's ability to adapt and overcome obstacles quickly and effectively.

The score of Garlic Parmesan reflects Lucas's style and creativity. With a predominantly comedic theme, Lucas also had to incorporate elements of popular music (something he had never done before) and a symphonic orchestra. For a comedy film, Lucas used a lot of chromaticism, pauses, unique instruments, and percussion focus, in addition to using leitmotifs.

Maybe because I really appreciate old film scores (20th century), this was the technique I used the most in the film. I created themes for characters, situations, and even 'things'.

Additionally, Lucas followed the "clichés" that work for comedy, such as specific chord progressions and instrumentation, which were crucial for finishing the project on time. He also used the classic "Mickey Mousing" for scenes involving comedy, demonstrating his ability to create music that integrates perfectly with the scenes and reinforces the film's narrative.

This project made me feel like a professional. Before, I thought there were many steps to be completed before considering myself a 'professional'. After successfully delivering the film's soundtrack in such a short time, I realized I was more capable than I thought.

He also attributes his success to my online courses in Portuguese. "70% of what I did in the film were direct results of the course! I wouldn't have had the ability to compose with the proper speed and sensibility without your courses (so much so that I took them all)! Only the comedy course from the mentorship program speaks for itself."

Lucas also shared an example of how his soundtrack was crucial to telling the story of Garlic Parmesan.

There is a specific scene that I really enjoyed making. There is a moment when the two main characters talk about dreams. During this moment, I used the Lydian mode, in addition to using harp to simulate this ethereal conversation. However, right after that, their boss appears shouting demanding that they stop talking and get back to work. At that moment, I changed the soundtrack to a 'military march', to symbolize her authoritarianism. It was the scene that I made that the director liked the most.

Lucas also had to score, especially in the comedy moments. The comedy moments were the ones with the most sync points. Situations where the main character 'embarrassed himself' in front of the boss were often marked with the sound of a lap steel, a very characteristic instrument in SpongeBob SquarePants animations.

Although it was incredibly tiring, it was a wonderful experience to work for the Hollywood industry!

It's fascinating to see how the Hollywood film industry can seem so close and interconnected, despite its immense scale. A striking example of this connection is the participation of Omar Gooding, brother of Cuba Gooding Jr., an Oscar winner, as one of the actors in the project. This closeness between renowned talents and new talents like Lucas Spolzino highlights how the film industry can be accessible and offer unique opportunities for growth and learning.

Lucas's inspiring story shows that, with determination and skill, it is possible to overcome great challenges in the film industry. We are looking forward to the success of Garlic Parmesan in the theaters soon!



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