Composers Sonya Belousova & Giona Ostinelli Bring “Absurd” Sounds To “Unbelievable” True Story With ‘The Thing About Pam’ Score – Hear Two Exclusive Tracks
EXCLUSIVE: Deadline has the first pair of exclusive tracks from Sonya Belousova and Giona Ostinelli’s score for The Thing About Pam, which is set for release via Milan Records on April 15, following the airing of the NBC true-crime ratings giant’s finale.
The Blumhouse Television-produced limited series centers on the 2011 murder of State Farm employee Betsy Faria (Katy Mixon), which resulted in her husband Russ’s (Glenn Fleshler) conviction, although he insisted he didn’t kill her and was later exonerated. This brutal crime set off a chain of events that would expose a diabolical scheme deeply involving Faria’s supposed friend, Pam Hupp (Renée Zellweger).
From Belousova and Ostinelli’s perspective, Pam is someone who “tromps through town like a predatory larger-than-life force that will crush anything that comes her way.”
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The show’s main theme, “The Thing About Pam,” is billed as “a motif combined with a predatory march,” reflecting someone who is “on a mission, marching to the beat of her own drum.” Just as in the series, “everything revolves around Pam because that’s the thing about Pam,” the composers say, “everything revolves around her theme as well.”
The Thing About Pam soundtrack features the show’s main theme “in many modifications, from menacing and driving to slow and foreboding, or even absurd and funky,” the composers note. “We cannot forget that this is a true story with real people, real gut-wrenching tragedies, even though the truth is stranger than fiction. Therefore, we’re using a string quartet with its fragile sound, sometimes unrefined, sometimes a bit edgy or slightly out of tune, to underline the raw, heartbreaking, and emotional journey our characters go through.”
While Belousova and Ostinelli’s score is melody-driven, its melody is surrounded with “particular and absurd instrumental choices” reflective of a series of events within the story that are both “bizarre and unbelievable.”
“Pam is constantly sipping her Big Gulp, therefore slurping is not just a part of her everyday lifestyle, it became an integral part of her soundtrack,” said the duo. “We also added an occasional ‘ka-ching’ sound by sampling a cash register and commissioned an instrument maker to create a combination of a waterphone and daxophone.”
Belousova and Ostinelli are best known for their work on Netflix’s mega-hit, The Witcher, the original soundtrack for which has surpassed 300 million album streams worldwide, charting on Billboard’s Top 10 Soundtrack Albums, Top 20 Current Albums and Top 20 Album Sales, and rising to No. 1 on iTunes in every major territory in the world. They were also behind the album’s hit single, “Toss a Coin to Your Witcher,” which reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Rock Song Sales chart and No. 8 on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart, and quickly became a viral sensation, amassing millions of listens and inspiring countless YouTube covers and remixes.
The duo’s previous projects include Amazon Studios’ The Romanoffs, from Mad Men creator and nine-time Emmy-winner Matthew Weiner; NBC and Peacock’s Sacred Lies, created by Emmy-nominated Raelle Tucker and starring Juliette Lewis; and Paramount Network’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel, The Mist, starring Frances Conroy; among other series and films.
Faria’s murder was previously examined in several episodes of Dateline NBC, becoming one of the most popular topics ever explored on the hit NBC franchise. It also became the subject of the popular 2019 podcast, The Thing About Pam, which remains one of the most downloaded podcasts on Apple Podcasts. The NBC series premiered on March 8 and saw a 400% increase in ratings by its second episode, making it the top digital premiere on Peacock for any NBC show through its first seven days on the streaming service. Josh Duhamel, Judy Greer, Gideon Adlon, Sean Bridgers, Suanne Spoke and Mac Brandt round out its cast. Blumhouse Television, NBC News Studios and Big Picture Co. produced, with Zellweger, Carmella Casinelli, showrunner Jenny Klein, Mary-Margaret Kunze, Scott Winant, Jessika Borsiczky, Liz Cole, Noah Oppenheim, Jason Blum, Chris McCumber and Jeremy Gold exec producing.
The Thing About Pam‘s main theme can be found above. Listen to a lyrical, introspective version of that theme, titled “Did She Win After All,” by clicking below.
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