John Powell scores Stop Loss

Posted on July 12, 2007 by Dan Goldwasser



Composer John Powell has recorded orchestral music for the upcoming drama, Stop Loss. Written and directed by Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry), the film focuses on a soldier (Ryan Phillipe) whose life is affected when he is called to duty again in Iraq through the military’s stop-loss program.


John Powell conducts Stop Loss

The dramatic score was recorded at the Todd-AO Scoring Stage, where Powell himself conducted the Hollywood Studio Symphony. Dramatic and emotionally powerful, the orchestral score features flute, oboe and piano, with a heavy string presence.


The Hollywood Studio Symphony performs on Stop Loss

There is also a contemporary aspect in the score, featuring guitars, synths and other acoustic instruments, much of which was recorded by Dan Lerner at Powell’s studio in Los Angeles prior to the orchestral session. For those cues, the orchestra was used to sweeten the music as overdubs.


Orchestrator John Ashton Thomas discusses a cue with John Powell

In the control room, Shawn Murphy was mixing the score, while orchestrator John Ashton Thomas and music editor Nic Ratner gave feedback to Powell and made sure things were running smoothly. In fact, they went so smoothly that they were able to record over 30 minutes of score in just three hours!


Scoring mixer Shawn Murphy and stage recordist Tom Hardisty

Orchestrator John Ashton Thomas and music editor Nic Ratner

John Powell conducts the Hollywood Studio Symphony

Stop Loss will be released by Paramount Pictures on March 28, 2008.

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