Monday, August 25, 2014

Living the dream (AM)

Australia is always accusing itself of suffering from tall poppy syndrome but have you seen how wild we go when an Australian wins an Oscar or gets cast as a super hero?! We love it! But you know, before a person wins an Oscar or is cast as a superhero they usually have to work really hard doing awesome things and I wonder why we don't talk about that more, about the people working hard on awesome things. Sure not everyone is going to play Thor or win an Oscar but there is lots of great stuff happening out there worth taking notice of. 

Melbourne musician Monica Sonand was working a day job and writing music on the side before deciding to move to LA to study film scoring and technical score engineering at UCLA. It wasn't long before she started getting work. Not just anywhere, mind you, no. Monica has been working at Hans Zimmer's Remote Control Productions as a Film Score Technical Engineer. Yes I said Hans Zimmer, the guy that has scored probably every second movie you've seen, from The Lion King to 12 Years a Slave. But we're not here to talk about Hans. 

While at Remote Control Productions Monica worked on the scores on an impressive list of films including Oliver Stone's Savages and Ron Howard's Rush, for which she had to watch Chris Hemsworth all day long.* Yep, the rest of us are definitely in the wrong line of work. And while we're on the topic of setting scores to Australian actors, Monica also created much of the music for TV series Chicago Fire, starring Jesse Spencer. Yep, bringing Aussies together even though Spencer is totally oblivious of the fact. Oh, the lot of the Film Score Technical Engineer, working alone in a dark studio while Jesse Spencer rides on a fire truck. 

Monica in the studio

But as if a move to Hollywood and a job alongside some of the industry's best names wasn't enough, this month Monica was in Switzerland for the Locarno Film Festival for the short film Thirst, to which she travelled with the film's director, Rachel McDonald and star, Melanie Griffith. 

Monica (right) with the Thirst team at Locarno

Monica and Rachel met through Remote Control on the film It's Complicated. When Rachel came to direct Thirst, she liked idea of working with a female composer and when she heard the piece Monica wrote for the film Rachel was sold. The piece became the theme of the film and no wonder! Check it out in the trailer. 

After hanging out in Switzerland with Melanie Griffith and a bunch of movie making whizzes I'm pretty sure Monica will be doing something awesome next. And now I'm starting to think I need a dream so I can pursue it and do something awesome too! 

*This job probably involved other stuff too, like, you know doing her actual job. 

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