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Peripheral Vision 014: Will Bates on how a viral William Shatner mashup helped kickstart a film scoring career

Brian Heater

"When I was 6 years old," Will Bates begins, with a touch of nostalgia, "I sang the whole score of Star Wars to my parents. From then on, they figured out that I was going to go in this direction." We're sitting in a dimly lit studio at Fall on Your Sword's Williamsburg, Brooklyn office. And while the film and commercial scoring company certainly marks a fulfillment of the musician's childhood, John Williams-fueled dreams, such career paths are rarely so straightforward. "Fall on Your Sword began as a video art project and a band," says Bates. "It really became an umbrella for all of the different projects I found myself involved in: scoring movies, scoring commercials, short form stuff and viral videos. The idea of the company was to have a home for all of these different facets of music production and allow them to cross-pollinate."

Fall on Your Sword, the band, garnered a fair bit of notice online when it began translating its live multimedia performances into web videos, going viral with remixes of celebrities like William Shatner and Michael Caine. "It's done us really well in the end, because, in terms of notoriety, that's how things really kicked off. The 'Shatner on the Mount' video went crazy. Suddenly I'm playing at science fiction conventions and film festivals. All the sudden we're starting to score commercials based on the fact that some creator fell in love with that video. "

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