After one hell of a year and even more rewarding months in 2014, Really Slow Motion gave its fans what they were longing for: A public release called Fiery the Angels Rose, available on ITunes and CDBaby consisting of 17 dark and powerful tracks including two that will be mentioned below: SHREDDER and GENDER. We already covered some of Really Slow Motion’s steps in a couple of articles and yet we never introduced you really to the person holding the strings behind this machine of epicness. Therefore we thought it’s time to fill that gap speaking to Agus González-Lancharro, founder and Creative Director of Really Slow Motion. Enjoy!
Being Spaniard – how did you like the World Cup so far? [asked after Spain’s match against Chile]
Well, unfortunately I am not following it too much since it´s happening during my 6 weeks business trip through US and Canada and it´s becoming difficult to coordinate with some football (or soccer!) watching. However, you could see the disaster coming since some of the key players have been dropping their game terribly for the last few months. For the last 6 years they have been performing as anybody did before but obviously sportsmen age too and there´s no way around it.
Why did you start the company and who was involved in the process?
Like 18 months ago, I randomly bumped into one of those YouTube channels that promote trailer music. I could listen to all the greats in only one channel: Two Steps From Hell, audiomachine, Immediate, X-Ray Dog… I thought that if I could think deeply on how to set up such company with the right strategy then I could have a real shot at it. I had music background as well as manager skills thanks to my 7 years experience editor-in-chief for a publishing company of instrumentalist´s magazines. Also, creating a trailer music company I could blend my 2 big passions in life: Music and Films. I wanted to be involved in big movies without having to deal with the short film and low budgets business first because we all need to pay bills, right?? I thought that if I could get noticed in the trailer business new opportunities could follow, and that´s the current scenario. It was a big gamble and leap of faith back then. The plan seems to be working out so far but still very long way to go.
Where do you see yourself as the Creative Director in it?
As a Creative Director of a company like this your connection to the industry is total in so many ways, and it wasn´t easy since I did not have any connections nor background whatsoever in the industry when I decided to start with this. I was a session guitarist before taking off with this venture but I had the determination to succeed. Since the very beginning up until now, I´m still the only official employee of the company. Although the creative part of the business is based in collaborations with other composers and producers and with Rain Ventsel helping me out with supervision. As you may imagine, this industry is not all about music and being creative. You have to deal with the business side of things that, in all honesty, I would have never thought it would be so huge and time consuming yet fun. The most enjoyable part is talking to the clients, communicating with them directly. They transmit to me their needs and from then on it´s a matter of getting starting the engines and deliver. It´s a great feeling when you get a call from a Major studio asking you for your catalog, or a big trailer house requesting your most recent draft of music. Custom music is also very good fun. And then there are the fans… It´s unbelievable the response from the fanbase, and I can´t believe we were able to grow any fanbase and so fast, but social networks and YouTube can make wonders nowadays and I have no words to thank you all for the support and love you are showing every day.
What was the most positively surprising thing that happened within the last 1 ½ years?
That is a very easy question to answer!! EVERYTHING has been surprising. You know, this industry has very established members, the fact that anybody gets in and makes business straight away is highly surprising already. Since day one, Really Slow Motion managed to find their place among very high-end companies, trying to offer our thing, without paying too much attention of what others are doing, we try to do our own thing. During the Golden Trailer Awards ceremony couple of weeks ago someone very well reputed and important in this industry for years came to me and asked: “How does it feel to be the current ´Hot Company´ in the industry?” I did not know what to answer to that since that very question popped out of the blue left me in shock. I thought to myself “Really?? Is this actually happening?” I´m grateful that the feedback so far has been incredibly positive from creatives at the film studios to editors at the trailer houses. This just gets me going and it´s huge responsibility. Clients are expecting good stuff from us hence we need to keep the quality standard that they are expecting from RSM. If I had to choose an RSM highlight it has to be February 2, 2014, when over 200 million people worldwide could listen to 5 of our tracks during the broadcast of the SuperBowl. I´m very proud of that achievement since apparently no trailer music company placed 5 tracks in one single SuperBowl event before.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to face so far?
As I mentioned before, this industry counted already with many companies like mine providing studios with very good products so, why would they listen to a completely unknown company since they already have all the stuff they need? Getting them to listen to what I had to say was rather difficult, but I was very determined to make it happen and I knew that they would like it, so I tried VERY hard to get noticed and…. it worked!!!
There are so many companies out there creating fantastic music for trailers as well. What is it that makes RSM special?
This very question could have many subjective answers, but for the actual clients to answer. I have been told many things from them like “you really understand our needs”, “your stuff never bores me” and things like that. To be honest, I can´t answer because as I said, I don´t really pay attention to what the other companies do, I just pay attention to what the clients need because they are the ones using the music we do. What I can really say is that we work SO hard in every single track we do, to optimise the chances of success, and then it´s up to the clients to find the right project for it.
How important is Sound Design in Really Slow Motion’s releases and what changes do you see happening already in this field?
This industry, as any marketing related industry, is all about trends. Seems like the new trend is sound design related audio and clients are in the hunt for that, so we try to make them happy and most of our current catalog is based on it. Right now, you can listen to a lot of very minimalist sound design arrangements, as well as the very well known commercial song that everybody likes and old classics remixes… Who knows what´s going to be next!!! I would put my money on commercial covers.
Who was involved in the refining of SHREDDER until it hit the industry and what was the main idea behind it from the very beginning?
SHREDDER was born from a need. In January 2013 I was preparing our first promotional video to approach the first clients with the editor Rain Ventsel and we needed a particular passage on the cut to have a particular sound that we couldn´t find on the catalog I just had by the time. We thought that Attila Áts, a totally unknown artist from Hungary, could do something of the sort, so we contacted him and started working on a track. Since the very first draft, I could see that this track was a real winner. And indeed it was!! The cue made its way to 5 out of 6 different Major studios to be featured on Oblivion, Star Trek Into Darkness, Pacific Rim, World War Z, Maleficent… and it got quoted on over 10 movies more. I have been working with Attila ever since, I love the guy. When I worked on that video with Rain I could feel some special chemistry between the two of us, we think about the industry in a very similar way, so around 9-10 months after that video production was made we started working way more closely. Behind a great Agus stands a great Rain!! Not that I think I´m great, but you know what I mean. haha!!!
Are you a fan of Marvel or DC? If yes, what’s your favorite movie and why?
I definitely was a big Spider-Man fan when I was a kid, which is Marvel, but oddly enough I fell in love with the humanity of the latest Bruce Wayne played by Christian Bale. However, in the last 10 months we have been involved in all the Marvel campaigns out there with the exception of Thor: The Wolverine, Captain America: Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Guardians Of The Galaxy, X-Men Days Of Future Past and Marvel Live, but I´m a bit sad that we couldn´t make it into Man Of Steel. We have great relationship with Disney, Fox and Sony, who handle Marvel movies, and Warner Bros, who owns the theatrical rights for DC Comics heroes , so I really hope we have something to say in their upcoming productions, at least, we will try!!!
Tell us a bit about the process behind Really Slow Motions’s track GENDER [check the Captain America trailer above!]. How was it different to other projects, who was involved and how long did it take?
Ohhh, boy!! That was a long project!!! GENDER was originally a draft by Anton Novoseltsev and Alex Sokolov. This new client who I never worked with before approached me saying that they were huge fans of our sound and asked me to send sketches of tracks that we had under production at the time. I remember I sent around 30 different drafts and they picked GENDER. But that was only the beginning… We started making amends to spec, a lot of them, and the arrangement changed completely. I had to invite on board the very talented Ivan Torrent, so this was a massive collaboration between the 4 of us, all based in 3 different countries, for 4 months. I remember I got a phone call from Disney at 4am in the morning on my birthday with the good news!! What I didn´t know back then is that the release of this trailer was going to be on SuperBowl, that was a rather nice surprise though!!
What changes would you like to achieve with RSM in the Trailer Music industry within the next 3 years, what in the next 10 years?
I´m really fighting to make of RSM a solid established company in the industry and so far we are getting there steadily. Trailer and marketing industry is a big beast that moves fast and it´s very difficult to catch the train and not falling off it after few miles. I don´t really want to think about the future much, I just want to make the clients happy today so they keep coming back tomorrow, so I´m trying to take it day by day. Who knows what´s waiting for RSM around the corner… 3 years?? 10 years?? I hope I will be still involved in music and in movies, that´s all I want to achieve, but enjoying the process, too.
What else is there you wanna share with the world?
Well, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity of sharing my feelings with the music and movie communities. Thanks to Jeff from Immediate Music [Jeffrey Fayman founded Immediate Music together with Yoav Goren in 1993], Jez from Hi-Finesse [Jez Colin, Owner at Hi-Finesse] and Guillermo from Dos Brains [Guillermo De La Barreda, Co-Owner and Creative director at Dos Brains] for being so cool with the new kids on the block, and huge thanks to Rain Ventsel, Dan Winters and all the composers, engineers and producers I have the pleasure to work with!!
If you can’t get enough of Agus, read more about him in a recent interview he did on Trailer Music News, watch him being interviewed by Nick Murray in a video interview on TrailerSound here or read two other older interviews on FilmandGameComposers.com and The Audio Spotlight.