I got a credit for scoring the film “Last Laugh,” where my credit should really have been sound design and music editor. Matt Reeves, a friend whom I met working at Oak Tree, was at the USC film school and wanted me to help him with his films. I starred in “Last Laugh” as the malevolent street clown who will go to any lengths in order to get the intended laugh out of his victim. I thought I was a terrible actor, and I hated wearing the clown makeup.
The day we did sound design, I brought my four track up into his attic, and we watched his film and threw on some music from the score to Cotton Club from one cassette player to the other. Then we took sound effects, which were the cartoon noises from Daffy Duck and Warner Brothers cartoons, and overlapped them to the pictures. It was a long process, but a very satisfying one. The death of my character, the clown, was executed in a brilliant way, without ever sounding the bang of the gun, but using the cartoon explosion which was on-screen at the time, from a TV in the living room in the film. A lot of cartoon footage had been filmed from TV and between what we had on film and on tape we were able to make it work.
Matt’s 290 film class were upset with him; they wanted his films shown after theirs from then on.