Justin Timberlake and David Fincher on Trent Reznor's 'Social Network' score

social-networkImage Credit: Rob Sheridan; Albert L. Ortega/PR PhotosThe Social Network doesn’t come out until tomorrow, but it’s already a chart topper—in the music world, at least. The movie’s instrumental score, written by Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and composer Atticus Ross, is currently at the number one spot on Amazon’s MP3 album chart.  Even better, it’s getting rave reviews from fans, including Social Network star Justin Timberlake.

“The score is the best part about this movie,” says Timberlake, who plays Napster co-founder Sean Parker in the film. “[It's] the most unique and dark and ominous and emotional score that I’ve heard in so long. And if [Reznor] doesn’t get some sort of accolade for that, I will think it’s a travesty.”

So how did director David Fincher get Reznor to score his movie? Turns out they have a history together.

“I’ve known Trent for a long time now,” says Fincher. “We had talked at one point about doing Fight Club on Broadway. We wanted to do this super homoerotic, industrial bridge-and-tunnel affair.”

Still, when Fincher asked Reznor to work on The Social Network, Reznor initially said he was too worn out from touring with Nine Inch Nails to do a film score. So Fincher used excerpts from the Nine Inch Nails’ album Ghosts as a temporary soundtrack during the editing process. “They had this very playful kind of Eno-esque thing,” says Fincher. “I loved how it… used synthesizers and it used a sort of walls of dissonance and sound effects.”

Convinced that Reznor was the man for the job, Fincher persuaded him to look at early footage of the movie.

“The entire time he sat there kind of nodding his head,” recalls Fincher. “At the end of it he said, “Yeah, yeah. Interesting. Ok thanks.” And he got up and left. I thought, well, that’s a bad sign. The only person who says ‘interesting’ is my mom when she doesn’t want to say she doesn’t like something.”

But in this case, “interesting” meant good – Reznor soon sent Fincher a number of “sketches” for the movie’s score, which Fincher assembled with his sound designer and editors. After a few more meetings to tailor the music to specific parts of the movie, the score was finished. The entire process took just four weeks.

Looking back on the experience, Fincher has high praise for Reznor’s work ethic. “You’re talking about a guy who is so profilic, so disciplined in his craft of making what he makes,” says the director. “There’s none of this artistic pretense. He just wants to do it.”

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (18 total) Add your comment
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  • nodnarb

    When I heard Trent was doing the score was the first time I started developing a serious interest in this movie. He’s a compelling choice given that he’s the artist who probably has the best understanding of how to use social networking. In fact, for weeks he’s been giving away 5 free tracks from this soundtrack to promote it. Seems like it worked.
    PS: I’m allowed to call him Trent because we’re friends on Faceook.

  • jeannette

    And this is why Trent Reznor is a god. I’ll have to see this now that he’s involved!

  • Karate Pants

    Fight Club + Trent Reznor + Broadway?!? I love it!

  • S.O.

    David Fincher also directed the NIN music video for “Only”.

  • Dave

    I read somewhere that when Reznor was first approached, he kind of scoffed at the idea of it because it was a movie about facebook (and who would blame him? most people, including myself, scoffed at the idea of the movie when it was first reported). But then I guess he read Aaron Sorkin’s script, and saw that it was so much more than just a movie about facebook.

    • Mike Burke

      @Dave… Yeah, Trent wrote that on nin.com

  • Noah Koln

    The score sucked balls – boring as hell. Corporate media machine in hyper action here.

    • benjamin

      Corporate Media Machine… On an Independantly Made and Distriubuted Soundtrack… No Major Labels involved whatsoever and yet you’re still jaded enough to post some snide half-assed remark claiming some non-existent high ground.

      Grow up.

      • Frank

        Trent sold his soul to Interscope long time ago…they’re owned by Universal Music Group… D.I.Y. or DIE …
        I Don’t Wanna Grow Up.

  • ninformant

    So, who will take the academy award for best score? Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross or Daft Punk? Tough call if they’re even nominated.

  • banan

    saw the film today – had no control over my foot & leg thumping along to the beat. Downloaded it as soon as I got home.

    • Ali

      Sera ahora, ya que se suaiegn viendo desde hace mucho, ahora, para levantarse una mina esta el bodrio de un angel enamorado…

  • Matt B

    Movie of the year. Soundtrack of the last decade and probably this one too. Props for Justin for recognizing it’s a good score.

  • Richard

    Definitely a must-see movie; convinced me eventually to quit Facebook temporarily; not the truth…the movie really turned out to be fantastic, the truth behind social media and it’s socialistic opposites is seen throughout the movie and totally it’s not a movie about people using Facebook! The most intriguing was the soundtrack so I pre-ordered the CD, so much Nine Inch Nails perpection and genius control in synthetic sounding and a well-though role in creating the soundtrack! Credit apart goes to Trent for creating influences to “The Social Network” with samples from Ghosts I-IV and a successful score!

    • Felipe

      para el lolo iarustdinl con mangueras en la cabeza que le dedica canciones a su gotica iarustdinl con bototos hasta las rodillas. un amor.

  • toast

    I like to work to this soundtrack or lay around like a log depending on the situation

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