What Do You Mean By 'Fake?'

The Origin Story

Founder Darren Callahan, who has written drama for the BBC and the SyFy Channel, and also has released over 60 records of original music, has been a longtime fan of film soundtracks. "I was drawn to them when I was young. I started buying soundtracks to films I wasn't old enough yet to see - 'Halloween,' 'The Island,' 'Escape from New York' - anything that I could find. I couldn't get into the theatres to see them yet, because they were all rated R, but I wanted to have a part of that story. It was usually music for horror and science fiction during the late 1970s and early 1980s. If it came out in that period, I probably owned it." Started in 2009, Phantom Soundtracks has evolved to have both real and fake scores.

The Plot

Production teams are assembled to concoct a film idea, a brief outline, sample dialog, title and logline. Actors and/or models are cast in key roles. Lobby stills are storyboarded and shot by a professional photographer, reenacting scenes from the unmade movie. Then, a composer retreats to create cues based on the sketchy details of the story and the mood of the photographs. At last, the record is released to the world.

What Happens Next?

The sky's the limit - a jazz score, orchestral, an all-song score with ten fake bands. "There will always be different production teams with a different takes on things," says Callahan. "It's more like, 'Let's put on a show,' than an actual business venture. But hopefully it will be a great show/score. And it's certainly cheaper than making a whole movie!" Exceptions are THE WHITE AIRPLANE, originating with a stage play, and CHRYSALIS, an honest-to-goodness real zombie movie. The latest release is CRY IT OUT (2017).