Episode 115: Chris Ridenhour: Sharknado 2 composer
Air date: 8.6.2014
Every now and again, an event happens that captures the zeitgeist of America. Charles Lindbergh’s seminal 1927 crossing of the Atlantic in his rickety airplane was a major milestone in American history, and it brought the young pilot a level of fame that was theretofore unimaginable. Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon in 1969 riveted not just a nation, but the entirety of humankind. And on July 11th, 2013, the Syfy network released a made-for-TV movie called Sharknado. The plot - by all accounts utterly and intentionally absurd - was based on the occurrence of a series of disastrous tornadoes (water spouts, more accurately) that sucked up untold numbers of sharks and deposited them on the streets of Los Angeles; carnage and camp ensued. Far from the first of its kind, something about the low budget disaster flick transfixed a goodly number of Americans, a few of whom took to Twitter about Sharknado. A buzz turned into a roar and the movie was re-aired more than once on Syfy, even making the jump from small screens to the big screen in 200 movie theaters in cities nationwide by August. The inevitable sequel, Sharknado 2: The Second One, followed on July 30, 2014 and made an even bigger social media splash with 1 billion impressions on Twitter, making it one of the top trending topics on social media. Musician and composer Chris Ridenhour has been scoring movies for the film studio, The Asylum - who released both Sharknado and Sharknado 2 - for years, turning around scores very quickly in keeping with their traditional insanely tight production schedules. To Ridenhour, the first Sharknado was just another scoring project, and after working tirelessly for years without a break, he took his family on vacation and let someone else compose music for the film. Who could have known that the popularity of Sharknado would explode like no Syfy movie ever had? But the airborne sharks are back for Sharknado 2, and so is Ridenhour, who provided the score for yet another toothy disaster that has transfixed America. Maybe it’s not a man on the moon, but it is good fun.