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From Carnegie Hall to the movies
PHS graduate composes for movie ‘Gone'
Perfect timing is everything. And for movie director DJ Lopez, that includes waiting until his film was completed before finding the perfect music composer for it.
Lopez hired Kory McMaster, a current senior music composition major at Azusa Pacific University — and former Porterville High School Panther Band member — for the job.
“When I met Kory, he was just as passionate to do this as I was. That’s what drew me to him. I knew right away he was the right fit. He was perfect,” Lopez said.
McMaster, who met Lopez through a friend of a friend, spent a whirlwind month composing the music for the movie “Gone” — a CL3 Production about a grieving soldier during a trying time.
“I heard he was looking for a composer and we met for coffee,” McMaster said. “I do a lot of student films, so I just thought it was another gig. I didn’t really take the meeting too seriously.”
But once he was there, everything changed and McMaster and Lopez talked passionately about the project.
“It’s been amazing. Kory is such a talented composer. He works really quick,” Lopez said. “Within a month he scored the entire movie and just today [Monday] gave me the final mixes.”
The movie centers around United States Army team leader, Jason Briggs (Trevor Hoeper) who, while on a mission in Iraq, watches his best friend die in his arms. Upon his return to base, he is accused by his commanding officer of killing her, leaving Briggs to prove his innocence while simultaneously trying to overcome his grief.
The inspiration for the movie began in 2010, Lopez said, when he needed a subject for his film thesis.
“When you write a film, you take a lot from personal experience. This seemed like a right fit,” Lopez said.
In May 2008, after returning home from a tour of duty in Iraq, Lopez learned his friend and fellow soldier had been killed in action in Iraq.
The film, he said, is dedicated to her memory — Spc. Mary J. Jaenichen, killed in action on May 9, 2008.
McMaster, who has performed at the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, is no stranger to composing.
In June 2010, at age 19, his original concert-band piece entitled “Our Tribute” had its world premiere at Carnegie Hall during the Porterville Panther Band’s “Salute to New York” concert.
His current work is five cues, including an intro, three cues that play throughout the movie, and one long, 5-minute, cue at the end — all of it composed, orchestrated and conducted within a month, McMaster said.
“It’s a labor of love. The movie is very moving and has a strong message for anyone who has ever had a family member in the military,” McMaster said. “I’m really excited about the project.”
The movie will have a premier showing for the cast in November, will open in theaters across the Los Angeles area shortly after, and be submitted to several small film festivals before being submitted in January to the SlamDance Film Festival in Utah, with a hope, Lopez said, of it winning a student-production award or an Academy Award for short film.
For more information and to see a trailer on the movie, visit http://cl3productions.wix.com/home#!gone/cjss.