The composers for Weird: The Story of Al Yankovic discuss how the movie score compares to: Cobra Kai‘s. The satirical biopic, directed by Eric Appel, will debut exclusively on Roku on Friday, November 4. Harry Potter‘s Daniel Radcliffe as the titular Yankovic, Foreign is based on a Funny or die video posted in 2010. The video served as a trailer for a then fictional Yankovic documentary, was directed by Appel himself and starred Breaking Badis Aaron Paul. However, Appel brought the idea back to life more than a decade later after a string of successful musical biopics had success in Hollywood, and the full-length feature film, Weird: The Story of Al Yankovicwas born.
Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, Weird: The Story of Al Yankovic also features an ensemble cast. The list includes Evan Rachel Wood as Madonna, Rainn Wilson as Dr. Demento and Quinta Brunson as Oprah Winfrey. Foreign follows Al Yankovic, the jack of all trades singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, actor and author, throughout his storied career. Although biographical, the film is more of an embellished, comedic, loosely based story about the artist’s life. However, Yankovic has left his stamp of approval Foreigneven as Tony Scotti in the trailer.
forward Weird: Al Yankovic’s Storys premiere, composers Zach Robinson and Leo Birenberg sit down with screen frenzy to discuss the film and reveal that the score bears musical similarities to that of Cobra Kai‘s. The pair are collaborating on the Netflix series and have previously joined forces for many blockbusters such as Frozen, The hangover continuation, hot tub time machine, and ant man. whatever it is Cobra Kai that seems most similar to Foreign in terms of scoring. Check out what they have to say below:
Zach Robinson: We say this all the time, approaching the score for both Cobra Kai and Weird with utmost sincerity. I think that’s especially true with Weird because our direction was really to play it as straight as possible. The movie is a parody, but we are participating in the parody. The score doesn’t tell you to laugh, “Ha, ha, ha”, on point A, point B, point C. The music should really present itself as this heartfelt score to an American hero à la Forrest Gump or Rudy, or something like that. . And with Cobra Kai it is similar. We approach it from a place of sincerity and love, and we never joke about it, but we go insanely hard, and that’s what we did on Weird. We were like, “We’re really going to get into it as hard as we can —”
Leo Birenberg: ” – Nineteen-ninety-four movie vibe from Robert Zemeckis.”
Zach Robinson: Yes. Precisely.
How sincerity makes Weird’s humor hit harder
although Foreign is an outrageous parody of the artist’s career and pokes fun at itself, this doesn’t necessarily mean the music has to be as absurd as the characters and storyline. In fact, as Robinson and Birenberg point out, ForeignThe main character and story are funny enough on their own, but for the jokes to land there has to be a sense of seriousness in the tone of the music to contrast with the ridiculousness of the script. While Yankovic is at times over-the-top and strange, his sincere and charming approach to making music needs to be emphasized to make the film’s more humorous moments hit harder, which Robinson Birenberg certainly did.
Moreover, as the composers discuss, their approach is derived from their work Cobra Kai. Although sometimes comical, Cobra kai‘s score does not diminish when serious or tense situations arise on the screen. While Cobra Kai has more dramatic moments then Foreign, it is important that the music is self-aware of what is happening in a scene. As Robinson and Birenberg share, it’s not about making the audience laugh; it’s to be part of the reason they laugh. While Weird: The Story of Al Yankovic have yet to hit Roku, it will be fun and hilarious to watch it all come together.
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Weird: The Story of Al Yankovic