Film scores

Soundtrack review: The look (Daniel Perry – 2015)

the-look

“The look” is a 2015 short drama film which is the story of an emerging photographer who took a photo of an aspiring actress that would eventually change both of their live. It’s written and directed by Shawn McDaniel and it stars Ross Gallo, Yarett Harper and Michelle Romano. The score was written by Daniel Perry who is a recent comer in the film music composer world from what I see, focusing on short films in the past couple of years.

The opening is a tender and romantic piano theme which makes me think of old movies. The strings accompany the piano quietly in the background like an almost invisible shadow and melancholy and desire go hand in hand in this wonderful first cue “The story unfolds”. The music is simple and effective. You don’t need more than these two instruments to make a statement.

I recognize this sound, it has a place inside me. Or, should I say, it finds a place inside me. This low key piano that evokes honest melancholy is as familiar to me as the first quiet autumn rain. I welcome it with a smile and wanting to feel every drop on my face. The subtle inflexions in the way the piano is played in “Love at first sight” communicate more to me than minutes of film. The composer (or is it the piano player?) tells me a wonderful story where time moves differently for two lovers caught in their own impossible but perfect private universe.

This score is also an exercise in restraining the music and not letting it go wild. The story might ask for something epic and spectacular in an ideal world but maybe this isn’t an ideal world and everything the two lovers want to shout needs to stay contained in that little universe. “The balcony of emotions” tells me this like a scream behind an almost fully sound proof window. I like this cue because it also has an electronic sound to it which spells nostalgia for me.

Every moment in this score tells me something and this makes a 19 minutes long album richer and more rewarding than hours from other compositions. Each cue is a story in itself and the atmosphere in “The look” is special and familiar to me. Some people might read “The look” and think of just a moment. I read “The look” and imagine the torrent of emotions, fantasies, questions and desires that might come from a look exchanged between the right persons. This is how the score felt. I will be on the lookout for Daniel Perry and his piano from now on.

Cue rating: 91 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 13 / 19

Album excellence: 70%

Highlights:

The Story Unfolds

Love At First Sight

The Balcony of Emotions

The Road to Understanding

When Stories Collide

Toxic Breath

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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