How Jeff Rona Used a Submarine to Make the Music for ‘Phantom’


Phantom tells the story of a submarine that goes rogue after a distinguished Captain is set on a mission, but joined by a group of technicians from the “Special Projects Institute,” headed by David Duchovny, who may have other motives in mind. The true nature of this mission, and why Captain Demi (Ed Harris) was selected to head it, is the question Phantom attempts to unravel.

When creating the score, composer Jeff Rona visited the submarine director Todd Robinson was filming on and found himself inspired by the sub itself, discovering musical elements in the metallic valves and hydraulics. This use of “found sounds” (something greatly utilized in Nathan Johnson’s score for Looper) is not only a creative way to make a distinct score, but it helps to incorporate subconscious elements into the music that  relate back to the film itself.

The sounds Rona collected while on the submarine ended up becoming the foundation of the film’s theme, and the score itself. However, technology did more than just manipulate these sounds into music; it also allowed Rona to collaborate with a fellow musician is Austria to create additional instrumentation that would round out the sound of Phantom.

Go behind the scenes with Rona to see how he created the thrilling and mysterious score for Phantom.

Phantom dives into theaters Friday, March 1st and Rona’s score will be released on February 26th, but you can pre-order the soundtrack now.

Allison has always been fascinated by the power music has when paired with an image – particularly its effect in film. Thanks to a background in recording and her days spent licensing music to various productions (including, of course, movies), Allison can usually be found sticking around to see all the songs noted in a film’s credits and those listening to her iTunes inevitably ask, “What movie is this song from?”

Read More from Allison Loring
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