Reboot Ideas: The Ten Commandments – A Film Rescored
For Passover 2021, Reboot released a modern-day score to Cecil B. Demille’s 1923 classic silent film The Ten Commandments with Steve Berlin (Los Lobos), Steven Drozd (Flaming Lips) and Scott Amendola.
The musicians talk with Reboot CEO David Katznelson and moderator Liz Nord (Sundance Collab) about the project, the musical themes, and what it was like to write a full film score together apart.
Watch the film with the new score here.
Steven Drozd is best known as a multi-instrumentalist, composer and vocalist for The Flaming Lips. The Flaming Lips received Grammys (in 2003 and 2007) for “Best Rock Instrumental Performance.” He has contributed to other artists’ albums and has had multiple side bands such as Electric Würms (with Lips band mate Wayne Coyne) and “STEVENSTEVEN”, a children’s psychedelic rock album he created with former “Blues Clues” host Steve Burns. They won 2019’s best selling children’s Audible Book with “Foreverywhere”. Drozd has also scored films such as Adam Goldberg’s 2003 film, “I Love Your Work”, the Flaming Lips movie, “Christmas on Mars” and documentaries such as “The Heart is a Drum Machine,” and “SHOT! The Psycho-Spiritual of Rock.” Drozd lives in Oklahoma City with his family.
A longtime mainstay of the Los Angeles music scene, saxophonist Steve Berlin enjoyed perhaps his greatest prominence as a member of Los Lobos, although he was also a sought-after producer and session player. Born September 14, 1955 in Philadelphia, he first surfaced with the Blasters, and officially joined Los Lobos in 1984 after co-producing their 1983 EP And a Time to Dance with T-Bone Burnett. Berlin also continued playing on sessions for a variety of Southern California bands, including the Beat Farmers, Translator, and the Flesh Eaters. In 1986, he appeared on Paul Simon’s landmark Graceland, and a year later, Los Lobos enjoyed their commercial breakthrough with the soundtrack to the film La Bamba. Concurrently, Berlin’s reputation as a producer continued to grow, and he helmed sessions for acts ranging from Faith No More to Dave Alvin to the Tail Gators. In the years to follow, he remained an alternative rock fixture, forging ahead with Los Lobos and working as a freelance with the likes of the Replacements, John Lee Hooker, Leo Kottke, and Sheryl Crow.
For Scott Amendola, the drum kit isn’t so much an instrument as a musical portal. An ambitious composer, savvy bandleader and capaciously creative foil for some of the world’s most inventive musicians, Amendola applies his rhythmic virtuosity to a vast array of settings. His closest musical associates include guitarists, Nels Cline, Jeff Parker, Charlie Hunter, Hammond B- 3 organist Wil Blades, violinists Regina Carter and Jenny Scheinman, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, players who have each forged a singular path within and beyond the realm of jazz. No project better displays Amendola’s big ears and musical ambitions than “Fade To Orange”, an orchestral piece commissioned as part of the Oakland East Bay Symphony’s Irvine Foundation-funded New Visions/New Vistas initiative. The roiling work premiered to critical acclaim at Oakland’s Paramount Theater on April 15, 2011.
Liz NordDirector of Content - Sundance Collab
Liz Nord is a documentary filmmaker and multi-platform producer who has created and shown work across the globe. She is currently Director of Content at Sundance Co//ab, where she develops courses, Master Classes, and learning materials for emerging filmmakers and curates The Muse, a biweekly journal for Screenwriters & Storytellers. Previously, she served as the Editor-in-Chief and Lead Producer at No Film School, the world’s largest online filmmaking community, where she also co-hosted the popular Indie Film Weekly podcast. Her projects have included Emmy-winning election coverage for MTV News and a documentary for Wyclef Jean’s NGO Yele Haiti. In her multi-platform work, she partnered with transmedia pioneer Lance Weiler as director of Lyka’s Adventure Labs, experiential science and tech workshops for elementary school students. Her first film, JERICHO’S ECHO: PUNK ROCK IN THE HOLY LAND, a critically acclaimed documentary about rebellious young Israeli musicians, screened at over 100 festivals and venues worldwide. Liz is also an active member of Film Fatales, and has spoken and written extensively on media-related topics, notably as a TEDx speaker and as a multiple-time SXSW presenter.
David Katznelson is the CEO of Reboot. A Grammy nominated music producer, in his 30+ years in the music industry, he worked in high school for Bill Graham Presents, as a college radio DJ, as vice president of A&R at Warner Bros., and as the head of the independent label group, The Birdman Recording Group, Inc. Katznelson served as the chair of Reboot’s board of directors since 2012 and he is also one of the first members of the Reboot network, and has been an active member of the community from Reboot’s inception. He is a co-founder of two of Reboot’s most successful initiatives – The Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation and the Dawn Festival, a Shavuot celebration in San Francisco.