“To become a film score composer, you must know how to put your ego aside”
A collaborator of filmmaker Nicolas Bedos since his first film, composer Anne-Sophie Versnaeyen just received first prize from listeners France Musique – Sacem, among 12 shortlisted, for the film’s score.
Undercoverreleases in theaters in November 2022. He will receive this award on a special evening tomorrow, Friday 3 February at the Auditorium de Radio France,
broadcast live on France Music. This award came with a commission for a new piece for the Orchester Philharmonique de Radio France, a piece he welcomed with glee but also with some trepidation: “This is a dream I never imagined. In my writing, I’m used to having support, both images and scenarios, and there’s almost a big void. My first instinct is to envision support, it can be small, but it’s a starting point, an inner story.“
Anne-Sophie Versnaeyen met Nicolas Bedos in her first film
Mr and Mrs Adelman as an orchestra and haven’t left each other since : “Each project can have its own node. For disguise, there is a bright side to the disguise, but there is also a dark side, which clashes with the jokes. What’s tricky is matching the music with the pictures. Also because, in a Nicolas Bedos film, we are looking for alchemy played out in micro detail.” For this film in particular, he wrote the double score, befitting a film with two registers.
Knowing how to build a common language
With Nicolas Bedos they have formed their own language, a form of symbiosis that nourishes each project, Beautiful moments on Masquerade: “Speaking of music in words is not easy. Sometimes it’s hard to describe our emotions. What works well in long collaborations, this language condenses and becomes more and more refined. We sometimes don’t need to talk to each other anymore other.”
A violinist by training, Anne-Sophie Versnaeyen studied at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris and fell in love with film scores, often before even seeing the film. This internship combines artistic skills and more technical coursework, inherent in the film music composer profession. Very quickly, his desire to improvise and compose with his violin arrived. A keen listener of Schubert and Bach, one of his references in film scores remains the American composer John Williams, whose work contributed to his desire to become a film score composer.
In 2011, by a lucky combination of circumstances, he signed his first film score for a feature film Requiem for Assassins with Mélanie Laurent, by Jérôme le Gris: “I think the challenge for composers is to understand the need for a film, and find the alchemy that makes it work. To be successful, you have to know how to put your ego aside and accept feedback about your music.“
A question that often arises when talking about film composers is the invisible presence of women in this profession. This point is the subject of discussion a
discussion day on January 26, initiated by Flora Benguiguiqui as part of her podcast “Chercez la femme”, although only one woman has been nominated for César this year in the category “Film music”: “The question of being a woman I have literally been asking myself ever since I was asked it in the last few years. I realized by exchanging with other female composers that I would not have to ask myself this question for the rest of my career. Now there are a few but that’s changing because there are more and more. In the world of education, there is a projection of women that must be eliminated.
As well as commissions for the Orchester Philharmonique de Radio France, Anne-Sophie Versnaeyen is currently completing the score for the film. Bernadetteby Léa Domenach, a humorous biopic about the life of Bernadette Chirac to be released on October 4th.
- Winner of the 1st France Musque – Sacem listeners prize for film scores, Anne-Sophie Versnaeyen will receive this prize on 3 February at the Auditorium of Radio France during
the Lalo Schifrin evening hosted by Thierry Jousse and Benjamin François, with the Orchester Philharmonique de Radio France and in the presence of composer Christophe Julien, sponsor of this first edition. Live broadcast on France Music,