Written By Shirley Ju
Edited By Lyric Dodson
May 20, 2019
Booksmart, which is set to hit theaters May 24, is a light-hearted comedy highlighting two female best friends as they live up their last few days of high school by partying until the sun comes up. The film serves as a cross between Superbad and Mean Girls, two movies that have gone down in history as comedy classics.
Booksmart’s plot is spearheaded by actress and activist Olivia Wilde, who makes her directorial debut. In addition to the elite team behind-the-scenes, including Executive Producers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, one things stands out above the rest: the music. The soundtrack is scored by Bryan Ling, who had every intention of bringing audiences back to the good ole’ days of partying in high school when you weren’t supposed to.
In addition to music supervision for the film, Ling and his artist management company, New Community Management, recently partnered with Jay Z’s Roc Nation to create an authentic space for artists. Ling’s accomplishments to date include his 2013 Grammy win for producing Big Easy Express, which showcased Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros traveling across the States on a train.
Speaking to We Take Note about how to inspire other creatives, Ling said, “Identify your heroes, and try to do research on the paths that they chose. If you’re lucky enough to work with them, do your best.”
As co-stars, Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever journey through the film in hopes of arriving at the party of their dreams. As they do, the film’s music selection does not go unnoticed. Songs like “Money” by Leikeli47, “Boys” by Lizzo, and “Come Down” by Anderson .Paak define each moment by creating everlasting memories for the audience.
As far as Ling & Wilde’s dynamic, they are extremely close friends. Ling explains, “We’ve been listening to music together for many years. It was about sending ideas back and forth while she was filming, before she was filming, after she was filming. Because we knew each other so well, it was easy to articulate what she was looking for and for me to send her options.”
Dan The Automator was tapped as the composer of the film to add his unique sound and style where he saw fit.
Dan gives his two cents: “Stay true to your vision. Observe, listen and learn, but ultimately make your own path. It’s really not that interesting to be the 2nd best Timberland or Pharrell…"