Jake, a young comic book artist, gives up his craft when diagnosed with terminal cancer. The night before surgery, Jake shares a room with Clark, a young boy also facing cancer who also happens to be a huge fan of Jake’s comic heroes. Clark’s belief in the existence of a new super hero that Jake is inspired to create leads to an extraordinary experience that will transform the two of them forever.
Jared Billings, filmmaker
Jared received his B.S. in Communications at the University of Wyoming. Recently, Jared finished work on the History Channel’s most ambitious series to date: Expedition Africa for Mark Burnett Productions in LA. Jared’s mission is to create films focusing on the themes of hope, faith, love, freewill, and the power of the human spirit.
Richard's music is lush and emotive. Director Jared wanted to achieve a kind of contained emotionalism for this tale. Appropriately, the music is very sparse during the first half of the film. Little by little the score builds and develops until it actually functions as a main character by the end. It is in the Epilogue and END Credits where the music is finally truly free to reflect on, even recap the story and reach its full expressivity.
Richard makes use of the "motif" - a musical device utilized to immediately identify and evoke particular characters, events and feelings. The prime example is the famous, ominous 2-note "Jaws" figure that signals presence of the shark; another would be the 4-note motif identifying Beethoven's 5th.
4-note pattern, always played by the piano - Jake's anguish and most intimate thoughts
3-note, minor ascending - Cancer Man's appearance / influence
fast swirling string patterns - representing the ugliness of metastatic disease
String Orchestra - intimate to sweeping to desperate moments
Solo Violin - hope and joy
Piano - Jake's inner sanctum
Woodwinds (bassoons, flutes, bass-clarinet) - comic book antics and uncomfortable legends
Heavy Percussion, Chimes (Tubular Bells), Timpani - always in conjunction with the spectre of the dubious superhero
Choir - heralding the most bizarre, fantastic events
English Horn- catharsis
French Horns - power, nobility, futility
Low Brass (trombones, tuba) - power
Throughout the score, acoustic orchestral writing was employed. Only in one cue / scene of the movie is an electronic approach employed: the "Dream Sequence". Familiar motifs and melodies here are transformed by an unreal string section and otherworldly sounds along with voices to produce smeared, almost watery atmospheric effects. This reflects the moment in the film in which our dark fantasy character suddenly impinges upon the real world, strangely and mutedly calling on Jake to take an amazing first step toward faith.